Rethinking Friction

Using technology to create a smoother client experience is not the only way to help your clients simplify.

Some of the most interesting findings from our ongoing research on business model innovation are related to boutique consulting firms' value propositions.

For those of you allergic to marketing jargon, a value proposition is nothing more than your promise of value to be delivered. What do your ideal clients gain by hiring your services? And why should they hire you, and not somebody else?

Clients will hire your consulting services because, ultimately, they recognize they don't have enough in-house resources and capabilities to achieve a goal. But in practice, every organization has different motivations in play (see "the five dimensions of value"):

  • Maybe they're looking to produce better project outcomes than their teams or other consultants can generate. This requires specialization (depending on your field, hyperspecialization).
  • More often than not, clients want to minimize the risks associated with the project. Boutique consultancies can make it safer by sharing or reducing risks - be they financial, legal, operational, or even reputational.
  • Another thing clients demand and can differentiate you from others is to accelerate change and achieve results faster. Some consultants do that by reducing their time to value.

The fourth and last way we saw advisors and boutique consulting firms strengthening their value proposition is by simplifying. Making it easier for clients to generate desired outcomes. I gave some examples of how firms are doing this here, by reducing friction.

Why am I writing another post about it, then? Because in the past weeks I can across three different firms whose value propositions are all about making it easier for clients to achieve results. But how they do it is counter-intuitive.

Instead of reducing friction, these consultants focus on creating positive friction to improve results and client experience.

The conversations with those partners were so interesting I took five pages of notes. How can you help clients simplify the project delivery, generate desired outcomes, and make decisions by increasing friction?

I'll share some of the insights tomorrow.

Thanks for reading. You can get more specialized and actionable growth insights for micro consultancies in our newsletter. Every Tuesday, you get one idea from Danilo, one quote from other experts, one number you need to hear, and one question for you to level up your consulting practice.

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