News Reports

News Reports

 

Martin Pergler summarizes the assessment of comparative risk levels from two recent press articles and compares them to simple-minded risk assessments to identify the value of the information. 

As we gingerly try to “unfreeze” economic and social activity after this first wave of COVID, there’s a lot of prognostication what formerly normal activities are more or less risky. Two recent U.S. press articles thoughtfully assess comparative risk levels, but also fall into several pretty typical risk assessment traps. What did they do well, what could they have done better? (This article focuses on methodological lessons learned and risk management best practice. Apologies; I have nothing to add as to how risky it truly is to have your hair cut next week!)

The New York Times surveyed several hundred epidemiologists when they expect to feel personally comfortable doing 20 activities. So e.g. only 3% expect to feel comfortable attending a sporting event, concert, or play this summer, 32% in 3-12 months, and 64% in more than a year.

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • Analysis of commentary
  • Assumptions about risk mitigation
  • Risk assessment

 

Read the full article, COVID risk by activity: how to (not) do risk assessment, on LinkedIn.

 

 

Do you find yourself stressed about your consulting firm? David A. Fields provides the advice you need to adopt a healthy approach to business to ensure long-term productivity and prosperity. 

These days, maintaining physical distance preserves your health and protects those around you.

News Flash: Mental and emotional distance between you and your business bolsters your health, happiness, and the success of your consulting firm.

All entrepreneurs tangle themselves in their businesses. As a consulting firm leader, this issue is magnified. The separation between you and your practice can narrow to nothing because your consulting business is an extension of who you are.

You promote and offer your own thinking, IP, approaches, brainpower, insights and skills. Your firm and you are conjoined, even if you employ a staff or team to tackle your projects.

When a prospect rebuffs your consulting firm’s proposal, it can feel like your contact is spurning you and passing judgment on you, personally. And that hurts.

Wait a second, though. Consulting is a personal business, and that’s one of the wonderful attributes of our profession. So, is linking yourself hip-to-hip with your consulting firm really so bad?

Yes.

 

Benefits identified in this article include:

  • Maintaining energy, enthusiasm, and excitement
  • Gaining perspective
  • Consistent leadership

 

Read the full article, Do You Practice These 7 Tips For Proper, Consulting Firm Distancing?, on David’s consulting website.

 

 

David Fields explains how to maximize the benefits of video conferencing by encouraging clients to give a testimonial. He provides five stellar tips, including questions to ask to ensure you make the most of the moment. 

Your consulting firm’s prospects and clients are settling into the video call format. Other than the relationship-building advantages of video, has this newly-accepted communication medium ushered in any valuable opportunities for your consulting firm?

You betcha.

Video testimonials are where it’s at.

Any testimonial from a happy client builds credibility for your consulting firm.

However, since most people trust what they see more than what they read, videos of people earnestly extolling your consulting firm’s virtues pack a particularly powerful punch.

Also, clients who record testimonials for you are more likely to hire you again and recommend you.

 

The five tips include:

  • Stage setting
  • Directing the response
  • Camera direction
  • Reenactments

 

Read the full article, 5 Pro Tips For Transforming A Lockdown Into Killer Testimonials on David’s website. 

 

 

As more consultants rely on video conferencing to connect with clients, David A. Fields shares timely, tractable, and tongue-in-cheek tips on how to avoid common mistakes that are all too often made. 

Are there video call-specific rules of etiquette? Of course.

Remember the old days, when people left their houses? Consultants would frequently travel thousands of miles, sardined next to strangers (crazy, right?).

Even then, your consulting firm’s best, everyday outreach tool was your telephone.

However, in the modern, no-travel era, video calls have become totally acceptable and quite common.

Video calls are far more effective than the phone for building relationships with your consulting firm’s clients, prospects, influencers and partners.

As noted in this article, you’ll benefit from quickly moving email and phone conversations to video.

However, video calls do come with some risks and behavior changes.

For instance, when you were on a phone call and the other person was talking, you could sneak in a quick bite of your lunch (or one, entire Krispy Kreme donut).

On a video call, you tell your contact that you see a tarantula dangling behind them, then quickly scarf your box of donuts while you’re watching the other person shriek and flail. (Later in the conversation you can mention how much you like their pajama bottoms.)

Obviously, a quick review of avoidable video call faux pas is in order.

 

Tips include:

  • Visual disconnection
  • Audio fails
  • Hot mic/camera
  • Unhappy endings

 

Read the full article, “10 Common, Avoidable Mistakes Consultant’s Make on Video Calls,” on David’s website. 

 

 

Jason George explains with delightful simplicity how the formula used by Dr. Seuss to tell a story is a good example to follow for presentations. The distillation of the core idea to ensure comprehensive understanding that opens the door to deeper exploration.

Author Theodor Geisel was dealing with some tough constraints. The audience for his next book required an instantly captivating story with a clear narrative arc, but there was a catch: they could only process a limited set of words, ideally fewer than 300, most of which would have to be monosyllabic. This was understandable given his target was students in the first grade, who would be around six years old.

Geisel had written children’s books previously, but this was to be his first in a new publishing imprint aimed at the youngest readers. After wrestling with these limitations for almost a year, Geisel worked out a deceptively sophisticated tale that differed markedly from those of the simple reading primers used to increase literacy in 1950s America. It featured a whimsical cat whose unexpected encounter with two children generated amusingly outlandish antics, all told with unusual irreverence.

 

Read the full article, Simplicity rules – Short and sweet,  on JasonGeorge.net.

 

 

David A. Fields provides expert advice on how to manage customers during a crisis. 

What do you do when your well-intended outreach call crashes into a brick wall of negativity?

Like many consulting firm leaders, you may have been burning up the phone lines the past week or two, reaching out to your clients and other contacts. Your motives are pure—admirable even. You’re checking in, showing support during a difficult time and offering help.

By and large, your efforts engender successful conversations. More executives are picking up the phone these days.

 

Advice offered includes:

  • Staying right side up
  • Responding with empathy
  • Offering help

 

Read the full article, How To Gracefully Manage Your Consulting Firm’s Shell-shocked Clients, on David’s website. 

 

 

David A. Fields offers an encouraging post on how to manage your ego when clients don’t respond to your overtures.

With a sigh and subtle shake of your head, you send one more outreach email to Pippi Burntkernels, the co-founder and COO of Plumper Popcorn, Inc. A few months ago, you and Pip had a great conversation about their operations, and you gave some advice on effectively instituting a better butter beater process.

You know that if you and Pip keep talking, there’s a consulting project at Plumper for your consulting firm.

But she doesn’t return your phone calls, nor has she responded to any of your emails. What’s going on?

 

Read the full article, How To Overcome Your Consulting Prospects’ Fear (So They’ll Call You Back), on David’s consulting website.

 

 

In this timely post, David A. Fields provides ten strategies consulting firms can implement to help navigate through difficult times. 

You’re swimming in a vast sea of stressful news and, given today’s reality, you’re well within your rights to feel anxious, nervous and uncertain about how your consulting firm should proceed.

Clients are shutting down their operations; workshops and meetings are being called off; in fact, the entire economy appears to be headed for an abrupt, if temporary, halt. What does that mean for your consulting firm and how should you respond?

I pulled together a couple dozen “to dos” for my consulting firm clients. Nine of them are presented below, leaving a space for you to fill in your recommendation for your own consulting firm and for other readers.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • Client relations
  • Budget management
  • Partnership opportunities
  • Remote work and delivery

 

Read the full article, 10 Tough-times Strategies For Consulting Firms, on David’s website.

 

 

David A. Fields offers a valuable resource for consulting firms in this series of articles that provide a comprehensive guide to marketing tactics. 

Your Challenge: Can you come up with even one tactic that’s not on the list below? (Bonus points if you post two or more tactics.)

Have you ever wanted to co-write an article because writing your own stuff is hard and takes time? Woo hoo, here’s your chance!

In the next part of this two-article series, you’ll learn a framework for determining exactly which marketing tactics you should invest your precious time and energy into for your consulting firm to attract more prospects and clients.

Spoiler alert: The best marketing tactic is not the same for every consulting firm!

 

Read the full article, Your Comprehensive Guide to Marketing Tactics for Consulting firms, on David’s website.

 

 

Pitching all the reasons why your company, service, or product is better is often received with a lack of response. David A. Fields explains where the miscommunication lies and provides a solution to the problem. 

 

You know a rain barrel full of reasons why your consulting firm is better than other firms that do what you do. Among the reasons, of course, is you. Your experience and ideas and unique perspective.

Hence, when Bethany Buttonwerk asked you why her company should work with your consulting firm instead of others she’s talking to, you quickly trotted out all your advantages.

Alas, that lessened your likelihood to win the project!

Oh no. Why’d that happen?

Let’s revisit Bethany’s query. Unfortunately, she unwittingly asked the wrong question. You then proudly tootled your answers to her mistaken question, which left her dissatisfied, disgruntled, and disinterested. (And you disappointed or dyspeptic.)

 

Read the full article, A Superior Response to “What Makes Your Consulting Firm Better” on David’s website.

David A. Fields’ first blog of the year provides a pathway forward for consulting firms in 2020.

It’s the first week of the year and one thing you’re probably wondering is what you and your consulting firm should do first. Right now.

Your consulting prospects are asking the same question. What should they do now? What should their priority be?  Unfortunately, their list could be topped with challenges that your consulting firm doesn’t solve—penetrating the blacklight market, designing an office layout that houses 200 employees in a 50-employee space, or inventing new uses for leftover holiday yams.

Where does that leave you?

Without a consulting engagement.

 

In this article, points covered include:

-What’s Important Now?

-What’s the VIP for your consulting project? For your consulting offering?

-Three Questions to Identify Your VIP

 

Read the full article, What Your Consulting Firm Should Do Right Now, on David’s company blog.

David A. Fields explains why correct assumptions can quickly become wrong, and how to test the assumptions of your consulting practice to create new opportunities.

You throw your best efforts into delivering value for your consulting clients, improving your consulting firm’s marketing, and creating a rewarding consulting environment. Then you find your work was off by a bit. Or more than a bit. Or completely wrong. Pickles-in-peanut-butter wrong. That’s no fun.

Alas, I have bad news for you and me: we’re mistaken. About everything.

I also have good news: our mistaken assumptions represent a huge opportunity for our consulting firms.

 

The article identifies nine signals that could transform your consulting practice, including:

-Unexpected success signals

-Unexpected failure signals

-Closely held belief signals

-Two transformative questions

 

Read the full article, Signs Your Consulting Firm Is Operating on Faulty Assumptions,  on David’s company website.

David A. Fields provides an eight-week plan for an effective strategic planning process that will engage and enthuse your team of consultants for the year ahead.

If you develop an annual plan for your consulting firm, there’s a decent chance you sit down with your senior team and/or advisors for a day or two to hammer out your objectives, strategies and tactics. (If you don’t engage in any strategic planning for your consulting firm then, as the old saying goes, ‘When you don’t know where you’re going, any road could end up in Newark.’) The annual rigmarole requires substantial effort, time, M&Ms and endurance. It’s a chore.

 

The six steps covered in this article are:

-Report the facts

-Lessons learned and implications

-Revisit vision, values, and mission

-Goals, gaps and objectives

-Strategic Initiatives and Success Metrics

-Quarterly Objectives

 

Read the full article, 8 Weeks to Get Juiced – A Better Strategic Planning Process for Consulting Firms, on David’s website.