The Consultant's Handbook: A Practical Guide to Delivering High-value and Differentiated Services in a Competitive Marketplace
This comprehensive handbook covers the fundamental skills and attitudes required by successful consultants from novice to practitioner level, irrespective of their specialist area. It untangles the key variables present in any consulting service and introduces practical ways to improve their effectiveness based upon the author's experience of helping consulting organisations to develop and excel in the marketplace. The book explores consulting ‘from the ground up' steering away from theory and focusing instead on practical application, providing a solid platform upon which to build further domain-specific competence.
The Consultant's Handbook provides:
- An understanding of the key variables that can be addressed in order to improve one's own consulting performance
- A set of simple practices that can be implemented with immediate benefit to the reader
- Practical insight into day-to-day real life consulting interactions
- Confidence to implement the new ideas and approaches
About the author vii
PART I – CONSULTING FUNDAMENTALS 3
Chapter 1: What is Consulting? 5
Chapter 2: Preparing to Consult 25
Chapter 3: Establishing Credibility 37
Chapter 4: Managing Client Meetings 47
PART II – CASE STUDIES 61
Case Study 1: Exploring a New Consulting Opportunity 63
Case Study 2: Presenting a Solution Approach 85
Case Study 3: Scoping a Study 101
PART III – Additional Topics 117
Chapter 5: Proposing a Consulting Service 119
Chapter 6: Delivering a Consulting Service 133
Chapter 7: Client Interactions and Related Obstacles 173
Chapter 8: The Skill of Advising 193
SAMIR PARIKH is a principal business consultant, practice manager, and consultancy CEO with over 20 years of industry experience. In 2000, Samir founded SPConsulting, a global management consulting firm specializing in organizational strategy and change management. With a track record of projects conducted in more than 50 countries the firm works closely with companies that are transforming into consulting-based organizations, delivering solutions and professional services in highly competitive environments. Samir is also a regular speaker on the topic of consulting towards senior audiences across industries, as well as to ambitious undergraduate students at leading universities.
“It’s a clearly-presented book that’s clearly applicable to public relations consultants… I’m placing [it] on my bookshelf alongside the classic texts on consulting by David Maister” (Behind the Spin, June 2015)
“Enough good material here to interest those embarking on this career path” (The Irish Times, July 2015)
Consultancy skills increasingly important as businesses move towards services and solutions
The Consultant’s Handbook is a comprehensive guide for those working or interested in consulting. Written by Samir Parikh, an industry expert with over 20 years of experience, the book will also help managers in large organisations making the transition from a product business to services, solutions and consulting.
The author and founder of SPConsulting notes: “Transforming into a consulting-based organisation involves a change in mindset but this is something both business and technical staff can embrace. I have accompanied a number of industry leaders on this journey, as they successfully re-gear their organisation to compete in the professional services and consulting arenas.”
The Consultant’s Handbook covers the fundamental skills needed to be successful in the industry, with helpful case studies to demonstrate how these principles can be implemented.
The easy-to-read guide will provide immediate help in a wide range of daily situations so companies and individuals can find practical ways to improve their effectiveness and excel in the marketplace.
“Samir Parikh is sharing proven consulting practices and a solid approach for client engagement. Anyone who has the ambition to engage clients using a consultative approach will derive great value from this work, in particular from the wealth of real-life examples”.
- Christer Johansson, Senior Competence Management Expert, SKF Group