The skill of establishing credibility is fundamental to anyone working in a consulting-related profession. Clients generally decide whether to accept advice based upon two factors: The basis and quality of the advice itself; and the credibility of the organization or people presenting the advice. Our credibility influences the relationships that we are able to build with clients, the level of cooperation that we are able to secure and the way that we are perceived relative to other consulting providers.
In Chapter 1 we introduced the idea of the consulting proposition that describes the value that we are able to bring to the table as consultants. When meeting new clients you will need to articulate the basis of your proposition. Usually delivered in the form of a simple introduction, this in itself is a skill. If delivered proficiently, the client should understand the areas that you can be consulted on, the capabilities that you possess and your potential contributions.
In consulting you must know and be able to articulate your proposition. Without a proposition that is understood by your client you will not be able to consult effectively.
So how do we position ourselves, or even our colleagues, through a credible introduction? Consider the following personal introduction statements.