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Million Dollar Consulting

The Professional’s Guide to Growing a Practice

By Alan Weiss
  • Read in 21 minutes
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  • Contains 13 key ideas
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Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss

This fully revised fourth edition of the 1992 classic, Million Dollar Consulting, walks you through everything you’ll need to compete – and win – in the highly lucrative and busy world of consulting. Million Dollar Consulting offers you the tools you need to attract clients, organize your pipeline, and grow your current consulting business into a million-dollar one.

Key idea 1 of 13

A consultant adds value to their customers’ cause.

What does it take to become a doctor or a lawyer? That’s easy: there is a strict set of requirements you need to fulfill, like passing the bar or doing your residency, after which you’re awarded a certificate that allows you to practice.

While the requirements for becoming a doctor or lawyer, like those for many other professions, are quite narrow, virtually anyone can call themselves a consultant. If that’s the case, then what does the word actually mean?

A consultant is someone who has a unique set of skills and talents that help to create the value-adding components that their clients’ businesses lack. The value that they add comes from two sources: content expertise and process expertise.

Content expertise is earned through study and work in a specialized field, where the wealth of your experience and professional relationships lie. In other words, this is your professional “comfort zone,” where you are the most competent.

This expertise is rooted in the specific skills and talents that made you successful in one particular industry or field of study in the first place. If you are consulting for a specialized firm – for example, as an expert witness in a legal dispute – then you are acting as a content consultant.

This contrasts with process expertise, which transcends specific industries, is applicable in almost any environment, and involves a set of highly effective methods.

For example, the company Bain & Co. has spent years conducting strategic planning projects, and thus has developed the experience and the methodology necessary to consider themselves as having expertise in strategic processes. Consequently, they tend to specialize in just that area, as they know it best.

For solo consultants especially, process expertise is often more valuable than content consulting. This is because process expertise has a wider range of applications across a broad spectrum of diverse industries, which can help to make up for a lack of content expertise.

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