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3 Issues You Must Accept to Win Consulting Projects in Uncertain Times

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September 4, 2020
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4 minutes
London-based Copywriter who drinks too much tea. Formerly of The Economist and Bloomberg.

It won’t be news to you that the work environment has changed a lot since coronavirus kicked in. Not only has the world of work changed, but it’s done so at rapid speed with the ongoing threat of further disaster.

As businesses adjust they need the right external consultants to advise them. If you’re a freelance consultant, you may have experienced new objections and more resistance than normal.

Fear Is on the Up

The world is full of uncertainty and there is no sign of the economic recession ending any time soon. Right now, the stakes for businesses are much higher than in more normal times. The clients simply can’t afford for their freelance consulting projects to go wrong.

They often be hire consultants to help them navigate significant business change. This adds extra pressure on consultants to deliver their best work as failure can be catastrophic to the client’s future. Taking on a freelance consulting project in the current climate will often mean accepting higher expectations to perform.

It’s important to build trust with your freelance clients and approach work in a way that shows you care about the success of the project. Nervous clients will often need reassurance throughout the projects so it’s important to build their confidence in your ability early on.

With clients increasingly short of time, it’s crucial to show them tangible results as soon as you can and not rely on verbal promises. Moreover, when clients can see the benefits of working with you, they will have confidence that they’ve made the right decision in hiring you for the project.

When looking for freelance consultants, many businesses turn to online consulting marketplaces like Consultport for fast and easy access to proven expertise. Proving your ability and building your reputation on Consultport will help to reassure your prospective clients. Being an active member of an online consulting marketplace will make it easier for you to get work. This is especially in times of uncertainty when clients want proof that the consultants they work with know what they’re doing.

Proving to clients that you’re flexible and able to adapt to changing situations will help you secure and maintain projects during this pandemic.

Be A Flexible Consultant

Increased uncertainty means that you need to be prepared to accept big changes. You may be taken on to advise on a scenario that becomes obsolete as the business strategy shifts.

As a freelance consultant, it’s important to accept that things may change and maintain a flexible approach to your work. A client choosing a different direction doesn’t always mean that you’re no longer needed. In fact, there will often be times when a change will cause clients to extend the length and depth of contracts as the support will be needed even more.

In extreme cases, you may be asked to tear up work you’ve spent months on. You need to start again and switch focus as the ship sails in a new direction. These decisions are often outside of your control. Patience is a key skill to develop as you work on freelance consulting projects in times of volatility.

With the ongoing risk of governments forcing the closure of whole industries, it is important to prove the clients that you’re flexible. You need to be able to adapt to changing situations i.e. maintain projects during this pandemic. As companies are forced to tear up the rule book, so are the freelancers who want to work with them. Proving your flexibility will help to reassure clients that you’re the right freelance consultant to help them as they sail through these rocky waters.

Survival Mode? On

The pandemic has forced even successful businesses into survival mode.

With many companies struggling to keep going, businesses are taking extra precautions to make sure that they hire the best people for their freelance consulting projects.

With less time and a lower tolerance for errors, businesses are increasingly turning to online consulting marketplaces. For example, Consultport as they look for management consultants to work with. Being a member of a freelance platform like Consultport allows you to immediately gain credibility with clients as your expertise is verified.

As layoffs continue to hit and the remaining staff are being spread increasingly thin. The clients will often look to make sure that freelance help they hire can deliver without the need for too much supervision and input. Build the confidence of your clients by showing them the confidence you have in yourself.

Keep in mind that you are working with individuals. Showing empathy helps in times of widespread fear and uncertainty. If you interview with an agitated client and the interview feels more like an interrogation. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be difficult to work with. In fact, it probably means that a lot is at stake and this will often be reflected in the rate that they are willing to pay.

Be Yourself As a Consultant

The pandemic has caused uncertainty and fear for many workers. It’s a natural consequence of the risks of living through one of the most severe economic downturns in memory.

Don’t let fear get in the way of staying true to the person you are and the work you can do.

Having the confidence to tell your clients the hard truths that they don’t want to hear is still one of the most important aspects of working on freelance consulting projects. Moreover, it’s what they’re paying you for.