Guerrilla Intelligence All Clients Are Unique

Some consultants make the mistake of telling a client that industry-specific experience is not important in their area of service. They tell clients about their extensive background in serving others with similar issues, and assure clients that they can easily learn whatever is needed to produce the desired results. A consultant told a client, "Accounts payable are accounts payable. It doesn't matter what industry you're in, the problems are the same."

Tslling clients that their issues are not special is dangerous. All clients believe their situations are unique, and they're right. Failure to recognize that truth will put you on a fast track out of the consulting business.

Second, impress on the client that "best practices"—the approaches that one company invents and everyone else follows—don't solve all problems. Industry experts tend to rely heavily on best practices, even though they often don't work. Forget best practices and use the insights, knowledge, and inventiveness gleaned from your experience in other industries. Help the client understand why group-think leads to the same old industry answers, not innovative solutions.

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