Four Advantages Of Using External Consultants Over Internal Employees

BY MICHAEL ZIPURSKY

What are the advantages of using external consultants?

Perhaps you’re a consultant and you’d like to communicate why a potential client should hire you over an employee.

Or maybe you’re a company that’s torn between hiring a consultant or an employee for a project.

Far too often companies hire internally when they should hire a consultant to solve a problem.

Consultants often solve the problem more quickly, get better results, and are less expensive over the long term.

By the end of this article, you’ll understand the advantages of using a consultant over internal employees — and, if you are a consultant, how to market and sell your consulting services more effectively.

Let’s dive in.

Consultants often solve the problem more quickly, get better results, and are less expensive over the long term.

1. Consultants Have More Industry Experience

As a consultant, you have more industry experience than most internal employees.

Internal teams might know their company really well.

But chances are you have broader experience across the whole industry.

Or, you understand how similar companies operate (unlike someone who’s been with one company for a long time).

When you understand what is working well for other companies in your industry, you’ll bring that expertise to your client.

Specialists with a depth of industry experience are in demand.

Consultants who are specialists and make it clear in their marketing have a higher average consulting engagement value — 25% more of them make $20K-$100K+ per consulting engagement than consultants who don’t make their specialization clear.

Don’t be shy about your industry experience.

Make your specialty apparent in your marketing assets and your sales conversations.

This will set you apart from internal employees — and enable you to charge higher fees.

2. Consultants Provide An Objective Perspective

Unlike internal employees, consultants provide a more objective perspective on the situation.

You’re the doctor helping diagnose the patient because the patient can’t accurately diagnose themselves.

Internal team members are often afraid to speak their minds. They’re thinking about their career, position, role, and safety. They might have powerful ideas and opinions, but they’re scared to share them.

They don’t want to rock the boat, so they hold their ideas back.

However, consultants can speak freely. They don’t have to think about their position and role within the company because they aren’t employees.

They are brought in to share their opinions, ideas and recommendations, even if those opinions and ideas are controversial. In fact, many buyers bring in consultants to do exactly that: to rock the boat and shake things up.

New ideas and perspectives lead to better results. Use this as a selling point.

Buyers understand that it’s difficult to analyze their own situation because they are so close to it. And it’s the same for their employees.

As a consultant, you’re distanced from the company. The advantage of that is you can provide an objective analysis — objectivity that is incredibly valuable to your client.

Don’t hold your perspectives back. Instead, embrace the fact that you’re an outsider.

You’re the doctor helping diagnose the patient because the patient can’t accurately diagnose themselves.

3. Consultants Are Lower Risk

It’s less risky for companies to hire a consultant than it is to hire a full-time employee.

If they hire an employee, they have to pay…

…and if things don’t work out, they have to do it all over again!

They don’t have to pay all of this extra money for a consultant.

As a consultant, you don’t commit to the company full-time. Nor are they paying you a salary.

They are paying you for the value and results you create for them.

Very few employees know how to explain the economic value they’ll create for the companies they work for. Use that to your advantage.

Explain to the buyer that for X amount, they’ll get X in return.

That’s value-based pricing. And it’s a tremendous aid to your marketing and sales toolkit — one that employees don’t have.

Companies are afraid of making risky decisions. Show them how you’re a lower risk, and you’ll seal the deal.

Very few employees know how to explain the economic value they’ll create for the companies they work for. Use that to your advantage.

4. Consultants Help Companies Move Faster

As a consultant, you can help your clients move faster.

The larger an organization, the higher the chance they move slow.

Their size makes it hard for them to be creative and innovative. They are full of processes, procedures, and bureaucracies.

These systems do provide stability, but they slow the company down.

This is why large companies have to focus on fending off smaller startups that are showing promise and nibbling away at their market share. This is also why these same companies acquire smaller companies.

As a consultant, you help your clients stay innovative.

Armed with your expertise, you help your clients move faster.

You can guide them through agile approaches, facilitating more creative and new ways of doing things.

That’s why companies bring in consultants in the first place.

They bring employees in to keep the ship moving in the same direction.

But they bring in consultants to speed things up — or, if necessary, to change direction.

In business, speed is key. Use this as one of your selling points.

And if you can get your client results quickly, they’ll pay MORE for your expertise. Full-time employees don’t have that same incentive.

Imperfect Action

As a consultant, marketing and sales are your #1 challenges.

Not only are you up against other consultants, but you’re up against employees as well.

However, if you utilize your 4 advantages…

…then you’ll position yourself as a better investment than a full-time employee.

MeetEm.com provides marketing Free of charge as an Advisor on their platform.

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