Consulting tips on a stick

July 16, 2017

Just in time for the State Fair…Consulting tips on a stick!

1 We’ve heard the stories. The highest grossing revenue food vendor isSweet Martha’s Cookies. And the second highest isn’t even close. It’s not as if they’re selling something totally unique. And It’s not because they have a wide assortment of cookie flavors. They do what they do best, make awesome chocolate chip cookies. So how does this relate to Finance & Accounting Consulting? The best consultants don’t try to be everything to everyone… they are hyper-focused on what they do best and execute at a high level. Be focused.

2. Who doesn’t love the “callers” at booths that sell products ranging from Sham-wow to vegetable slicers/dicers. I watch these people and am amazed by how well they have their sales pitch down so that their interactions with people seem unrehearsed. The best consultants know their stuff so nothing seems unrehearsed. Additionally, they anticipate potential obstacles and already know how to address them. Be prepared is not only for the boy scouts.

3. Music, music, music. I L-O-V-E the live music at the Fair. Whether it’s the main acts at the grandstand, the big names at the Leinie’s Lodge, or the local acts on numerous other stages, what’s the fair without live music? The thing about these bands is that they are pros at what they do but more importantly, know how to engage their audience. The best consultants don’t merely crank out work product. They engage their audience (CFOs, Controllers, etc.) by including them and solving problems beyond the scope of the original agreement. Be engaging.

4. People watching. Oh, the people watching. Did you know that the MN State Fair averages around 2,000,000 each year? Where are all these people the rest of the year? I’m convinced half the people come from others states (have you seen them?!?). The assortment of attire is truly unmatched anywhere else. I’ve seen jorts, zubaz, mullets, leather jackets (in 90 degree heat), flags of all types, patches, etc. Every company has a wide representative of the Cities’ population. Learn to work across all functions breaking down barriers. Be likable.

5. Free stuff! Everyone knows that you get the free bag first so you can fill it up with all the other free things at the fair. I’ve got pencils, maps, fans, rulers, toothbrushes, water bottles, etc. The best consultants freely give of their time and experience. You have tremendous experience and are a resource. Your clients want to learn from you. Be giving.

Have fun at the Fair this year. Watch some live music, have some great food and people watch. I know I will.