IOCI supports its clients and colleagues on a range of business topics during consulting engagements. One topic that is becoming increasingly interesting is how to create long-term success with key clients by becoming “sticky.” Indeed, this is so important to us that we are creating a training program to help our clients become sticky consultants.
The concept of sticky consulting has been around awhile, and there are a number of books and resources on the topic. It’s an approach to consulting that focuses on building strong, sustainable relationships with clients. This approach is based on the idea that consultants who are able to create value and build trust with their clients are more likely to achieve long-term success in the industry.
Sounds easy, right? Well to be sticky, we must understand our client and be willing to challenge them to build valuable skills. We must also be contextually aware – that is to know the market in which our clients operate, and how world events can affect them. To help them run ahead of the pack, we must also know the client’s competitors and key differentiators.
Here are a few key principles to keep in mind:
Focus on the client’s needs and goals
Sticky consultants prioritize the needs and goals of their clients and work closely with them to understand their challenges and develop solutions that meet their needs.
Collaborate and build partnerships
Sticky consultants work in close collaboration with their clients, building strong partnerships based on trust, mutual respect, and shared goals.
Use frameworks and tools
Consultants that routinely communicate with their clients in meaningful ways and engage them in effective problem-solving techniques become stickier as they approach their work in a structured and systematic way.
Be open to new ideas and approaches
Sticky consultants are open to new ideas and approaches and are willing to adapt their strategies as needed to achieve the best outcomes for their clients.
Be creative and innovative
Sticky consultants use creativity and innovation to identify new solutions to complex problems and to create value for their clients.
Maintain high ethical standards
The stickiest consultants adhere to high ethical standards in all aspects of their work, including honesty, integrity, and confidentiality. They understand that expertise does not equal trust, so they always focus on the best interest of their clients rather than their own.
By following these principles, consultants can build strong, sustainable relationships that can create success and impact for both them and their clients.
Marialane Schultz is the founder of IOCI. She helps individuals and organizations perform at their best, do meaningful work and be impactful through customized coaching and consulting engagements.