Well let’s check the definition:
1 : a fair return or equivalent in services, or money for something exchanged
2 : the monetary worth of something
3 : relative worth, utility, or importance <a good value at the price>
4 : something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable
Until we got to #4 on the list, anybody in that spot performing the required set of tasks would do. But #4 changes the answer.
No just because you are necessary does not implicitly make you valuable. If you can be replaced by another less costly cog then by definition the client receives better value. So as consultants where does our value come from?
So the example above compares 2 cars. Same fuels, same # of wheels, both can get your favorite FM station, they both seat 5 people and they both have air bags for safety. One car is $13,845 off the lot, the other exactly $150,000 more. If you just needed transportation, then clearly the KIA is better value than the Mercedes. But its not the only criteria by which people look at value.
In order to not be evaluated as the lowest cost commodity, we as consultants need to ensure that all of the attributes that are valuable to our clients are on the table and what I mean by that is VISIBLE. In the above chart what’s missing?
- domain expertise
- track record
- intellectual property
- organizational depth & other backup resources
- communication abilities
- analytical and design capabilities
- teamwork capabilities
- familiarity with client tools and processes
So if you want to be a commodity consultant and sell your services as cheaply as possible, you do not need to read my next blog. My next blog will be focused on exactly the opposite. The topic will be how to both understand and communicate your true value to your client. If you don’t want to read that, you may instead wish to click on the picture below to assist you with your next career step.