Articles

What is a Consultant, and Why do You Need One?

Posted by C/D/H Consultant on Nov 1, 2016 9:27:47 AM

Consultants provide expert advice you can trust.

I have been an IT consultant – finding, explaining and designing better technology solutions – for more than six years. I look for opportunities to add value, and deliver excellence. I keep up to date on my clients' environments and infrastructures, even when that means additional research on technologies with which I don't have a lot of experience.

I start with trust. As a vendor-neutral, on-site consultant, I listen to what my clients really want from their infrastructures. Then I design an environment that works specifically for them. But I spend time to develop the trust that can only come from time and mutual experience. We develop a comfort level, by talking about our families, hobbies and things we have in common.

As a result, even when I don't recommend the least-expensive options, my clients can rest assured that these are the best options for their particular requirements. Then, when I get it right, our trust relationship deepens. When I see other improvements should be made, I share those ideas, and my clients are likely to take my recommendations seriously – because they know I'm in it for them, not myself.

That's not to say that short-term consultants can't do a good job. They can. But I am there for my clients – all the time. I stop by when I'm in the area; even long after a project is completed. And I don't bill for it. A temp must focus on clocking hours.

One long-term client's Exchange went down on a Friday night. I could have let it wait until Saturday morning, or even Monday – but that is not what a trusted consultant does. I remained on-site Friday night until we had Exchange back up and running. Very few users were ever even aware of the outage. Part of a trust relationship is being there when I'm needed, even when it's not particularly convenient. I wanted my client to have the best experience possible with C/D/H. I earn my clients' trust. They know they can rely on me.

A key to that trust is honesty. My billings are transparent. If I usually spend 20 hours per week at a site, but spend just 10 hours on-site in one week, that's what I bill. And I tell my client why I spent less time there that week, because I'm not there just to generate billings, but as a real advisor.

Consultants allow you to access greater levels of expertise than you can maintain in-house. A good consultant is a trusted advisor – one who meets with you not just when you have problems, but even when you don't – and who knows when it's time for upgrades or maintenance that can grow your business.

I care about my clients and am genuinely interested in their success. I prove it by delivering results. I'm accountable for my actions – even when problems arise. I go above and beyond just what's "necessary. I maintain personal and professional relationships with my clients after projects are finished, with an email, a lunch, or at a ball game – so I always know what you need, often before you know you need it.

Bottom line

C/D/H has some of the best consultants out there – anywhere. And all of us pitch in when another of us needs help. Because with CDH, when you hire one of our consultants, you hire all of us.

Topics: C/D/H