Too many people think that reaching out for business consultants or going for business consulting sessions are as much daunting as reaching for self-help. This happens, because people fear the unknown. On the other hand, many business consultants and business consulting firms fail to reach their target audiences, because they too, sometimes take that their audiences would take their expertise for granted.
Business consulting is not simple information exchange
Asking for business consulting is initiating a social interaction.
So what are you actually getting out of business consulting, at its fundamental core? When you see things in the context of social interactions, you’d understand that business consulting rarely takes place for the sake of acquiring knowledge possessed by a business consultant.
Rather, people and businesses go for business consulting for the sake of refining their own attitudes, perspectives, and feelings about certain business problems that they previously did not possess. And successful business consulting ends in each party having a sum of values greater than at the beginning of their consulting sessions.
In contrast to business consulting, when you simply ask for expert opinion, like asking a local person the directions to the local grocery store, the person who gives the directions cannot expect any relevant information in exchange for information given.
However, when you ask a doctor for medicine, in exchange the doctor adds to his experience by gaining contextual knowledge, and similarly, a business consultant adds to his experience by gaining contextual knowledge of business problems.
So, business consulting is much more than simple information exchange and simple question-answer sessions. Knowing this, helps both a business consultant, and those who seek business consulting, get more out of the social interactions they initiate.
Why we need business consulting
Why? Because even the hottest-selling author on the NY Times bestseller list requires an army of editors – simply because they bring in different perspectives, and not because they are better authors. And because, even from our childhood we have been relying upon the help of experts. When tying a shoelace becomes a problem, we call our mothers – because we see them as experts.
As we keep growing, from childhood to teenage and from academics to sports, we ask for the help of teachers and coaches, because we see them as experts, and we know they would be able to help us.
Later in life, it becomes apparent to many of us, that many of our teachers of yesteryears really knew much less than we do now on certain matters – but that does not take their contribution away.
Similarly, in growing a business, at particular points of time, we need to bring in business consultants, or have sessions of business consulting, because we need advice from experts, and we need to understand perspectives with the compressed experiences field experts provide.