This post is a follow up to my previous post titled How To Identify A Consulting Leech.
After writing that ‘rant’ these four points began eating at me [pun not intended]. I tried for days to ignore them. That didn’t work. The only way to clear my mind was to get the thoughts out of my head and posted onto my blog.
Andre Bells Consulting Manifesto:
- No more smoke and mirrors. End charging for services that are not actually delivered–ever. Think “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Hans Christian Andersen. I’ve always hated that story. The con artist pretend to deliver services while knowing full well they had no intention of ever doing so. There are consulting training courses that teach would-be consultants to do the same. Don’t listen to those unethical authors. Behave honorably in your business even behind the scenes.
- Kill the blood sucking leech. End recurring billing for services that are delivered once but billed perpetually, in some cases indefinitely. Recurring fees are fine provided ongoing availability is provided or ongoing services are actually delivered.
- The invisible scam. Cease prospering at the expense of others through the withholding of information, instead of prospering for delivering value to others. This especially applies to billing high fees for equivalent or better services clients could get elsewhere for free if the client were aware of the availability of such services. Withholding such valuable information paints consultants as con artists who prosper from the temporary ignorance of others. This is probably the greatest reason business professionals distrust consultants. This distrust can be totally eliminated by following the next point to the letter…
- Do onto others as they would have you do onto them had they full disclosure of all facts. Follow the so called “Golden Rule.” In other words don’t take advantage of people simply because you can…no matter how easy it is to “justify” doing so. Back in the early 90’s I worked in an industry that carried the motto: the uninformed buyer deserved whatever happened to them. My view of treating all people with respect and dignity immediately put me at odds with my peers in that industry. But it gained a huge following and trust with those who did business with me. Always strive to do what is right even if doing so might make you unpopular with dishonest, less ethical peers.
I hereby challenge all consultants in any field, but especially business consulting, to step to a higher level of ethics and value delivery. I challenge each of you as well as myself to meet these four highest levels of consulting ethics.
By focusing on delivering real, tangible value you not only improve your relationship with your clients, you make a difference in the way others view consultants as a whole.
Instead of being looked at as a selfish self-interested leech you are more likely to be viewed as a valuable contributing member of their team.
What could contribute more to the health of your relationship than that? Probably nothing.