On Advanced Consulting

In January, I posted about session I am doing on the Sunday before Sage’s annual conference, Summit starts. In the post I called for your ideas and some of you were kind enough to reply.

As we get closer I want to begin to refine the idea so here is a short video on where I am at right now.


What do you think about the proposed topics? Are there any others? What songs should we sing? Yes, we, I would love for you to participate.

FYI – Here is the information if you want to sign up.

Session code: P-CHN15 | Ed Kless’ Session on Advanced Consulting (or Beethoven’s Night Out) – Singer Billy Joel recently posted a Q&A session he did in 1996 in which he spontaneously invented a back story to Beethoven’s Third Symphony. It reminded me, how very memorable improvisation could be. Then I got to thinking about this Super Sunday session for Sage Summit. I could write an abstract which would fulfill the requirement but be so obtuse as to mean absolutely nothing. However, I won’t insult you that way. Instead, I’ll tell you the truth—I have absolutely no idea as to what I might talk about during this session in July. It would be presumptuous to even try. I do promise it will be thought provoking and contain material that you have not seen me present before. If you are interested in suggesting topics for the conversation, please email me at ed.kless@sage.com.

10 thoughts on “On Advanced Consulting

  1. 1. Change request management
    2. Tips for providing more value than listed on the proposal
    3. Best practices for converting one-off clients into annual/quarterly recurring clients with high value add to our services

  2. Would love the Sabbatogue piece. What about something on the inner workings of partner organizations with all of the consolodations that have gone on in the past several years, it may be interesting to talk about the change management in our own organizations and how we can take what we’ve learned and help our clients with the same (change management).

  3. Love the video explanation of the session Ed. I think all those topics are good, especially ethics and change management. I’d also like to suggest a discussion surrounding the changing roles of consultants as technology advances. I believe the days of installing upgrades for a living are numbered. I for one welcome the day when the software upgrades itself or is easily done by clients. I don’t think that’s the real value we deliver to our clients. The real value lies more with helping them apply the technology in a way that helps them improve their business, not in fighting some driver compatibility problem. That said, I think there are still a lot of good technical folks out there that are great mechanics, but need to be transitioned into strong consultants. Any thoughts on that are greatly appreciated. As far as what songs we should sing? Trust me, no one wants to hear me sing.

  4. Client responsibility in a successful implementation: how to effectively communicate the workload required to implement a new system without scaring the client and losing the sale; how to deal with workflow and scheduling changes when the client cannot meet deadlines; how to deal with emotional responses to change, why clients cry; how to deal with IT management that have systems so completely restricted that software will not install and run properly.

  5. A couple more thoughts:

    #1. The language of consulting. Words do matter. Are we having a discussion or a dialog with our customers or our clients?

    #2. Should a consultant be friends with their customers?

  6. How to do a better job of showing the customer the ROI for the money you are trying to sell him on parting with to hire you to do the project for him.

    In this tight economony, clients seem to be quite reluctant to part with dollars for anything that isn’t either a) esssential to their continued operation or b) goingo assure them that the money they spend will be returned, plus more, in profit.

    Unfortunately, they tend to include most “computer work” (other than disaster recovery) as non-essential. We should build into our proposals some demonstration of ROI, because the proposal process is as much a sales process as it is a problem-solving process.

  7. Kathy Gotzenberg

    Aloha! I like Sonia Gray’s recommendation of the ever-changing world of technology. To take it a step further, it would be interesting to discuss the dynamics of remote training and how to successfully create a rapport w/clients when you’re not actually face-to-face (sorry, I draw the line at having a webcam!). I remember the days before internet when I’d fly off-island 3-4 days/week to meet w/clients. Now, probably 98% of my work is done remotely – obviously much more cost and time effective for both me and the client. And for some consulting engagements, there’s nothing better than being able to squeeze my stress/frustration toys I have placed near my monitors when I’m working with a difficult/clueless client without them seeing me!!

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