Just get a new job on a consulting team?
Congratulations on the new position!
As you make your transition, here are eight easy steps you can take in the first few weeks to help you be successful:
1. Get to Know the Company’s PSA or PM Software
Your first task is to make yourself familiar with your new company’s professional services automation (PSA) or project management (PM) tool.
This will be the hub of all your activities as a consultant. It’s also your best source of information for your new territory or any existing clients you’ll be taking over.
If your company has a manual or training for the software, read it or watch the videos.
The more familiar you are with the software, the better off you’ll be.
2. Set Up Google Alerts for Key Clients and Prospects
For your major accounts and prospects, set up Google alerts for their business name and company owner.
If those companies have email newsletters, subscribe to those as soon as you can as well.
If they show up in the news, you’ll be the first to know about it, and you can react accordingly.
Did your biggest client just get profiled in the local business journal? Reach out and congratulate them.
Did the owner just sell the business to his biggest competitor? Time to call on the new owner.
3. Gather Basic Financial Data for Clients
Is your client a publicly traded company? Look them up on Yahoo Finance.
You’ll find the company’s public financial statements, which are a treasure trove of information if you know how to read them.
Publicly traded companies often have an investor page buried somewhere on their site. Reading the quarterly and annual investor reports can tell you a lot about management’s plans for the future.
4. Research Your Major Competitors
Next, spend some time getting to know the people you’ll be competing against.
What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses?
You can glean a sense of the competition’s sales strategies by reading through the notes in your company’s PSA or PM system.
But you should also ask your new manager and teammates what they think of the competitors in your field. They’ll have insights beyond what makes it into the official client notes in the computer.
5. Find a Good Restaurant (or Three!)
Every good consultant knows a few good restaurants.
Ideally, you want go-to places for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If your clients are the type that socialize for drinks after-hours, then finding a good bar is essential too.
Look for places that will allow you to have a good conversation with a client or coworker if needed—one where you don’t feel rushed to leave as soon as the meal is over.
This isn’t just for client meetings—although that’s part of it. As the newest member of the team, it might be your job to pick the restaurant the next time your team heads out for lunch.
6. Review All Pre-written Messages (Proofread if Needed)
The PSA or PM system you’ll be using probably has a library of pre-written content.
As soon as you can, find the library and proofread everything you find. If you find errors, correct them. If they’re templates that you can’t change on your own, take them to your supervisor so they can get fixed.
This will ensure you have messages you can use when needed—and it will create a great first impression with your supervisor.
7. Connect with Everyone Who Touches Your Clients
Is there a salesperson who works with your client? A service team?
Find out who works with your clients and start building relationships with those people. Let them know you’re available to help anytime the client has a need.
Building these relationships early will help ensure things aren’t happening at your client that you’re not aware of.
8. Make Friends With Any and All Admins
Finally, make friends with any administrative staffers in your company that work with your team.
These are the people who enter data into the computer, schedule appointments with your clients, and keep track of who’s supposed to be doing what.
They often have tremendous power to either help or hurt you. They also know all the shortcuts and can be a tremendous resource if you need something or have a question.
Need reimbursement for travel expenses but don’t have the right form? Can’t find the phone number of a key prospect? Not sure how something works in the PSA system?
Admins can usually help. Making friends with them now will go a long way to ensuring a smooth transition into your new position.