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It was in the bag, yet your consultancy failed to secure the client. So, before you rinse and repeat, take time to consider where it went wrong.

Consultancies can turn their hand to anything, but deep expertise is what clients really value. No truer is this than in the technology sector. Whilst potential clients can be dazzled by pitches, they can see right through whether your expertise is robust enough. They can’t afford for you to learn on the job or be a test case. A recent tech acquisition won’t act as a panacea either. That’s why many businesses are turning to upskilling internally, as sometimes consultancies simply can’t compete on depth of knowledge.

Familiarity breeds complacency. Long term contracts can stagnate, so it’s good for businesses to shake up the norm. New consultancies will be fresh and raring to go, bringing innovative solutions to business conundrums. If consultancies want to retain key clients, they need to ensure that talent and solutions are regularly rejuvenated to avoid inertia.

Businesses don’t want to only see chargeable hourly rates, but how consultancies are investing in their organisation and adding greater value. They also want to see real proof of concept before investing. Consultancies need to put their money where their mouth is; invest in clients, take a stake in the risk, and show that you’re in it together.

And not just company culture, but country culture. Large consultancies often boast about their global reach, but it’s the cultural nuances that can seal the deal. You need to understand the country in which they’re operating, how they prefer to work and how their culture works internally.

The consulting landscape has changed so significantly, that diversifying has become a “do-or-die” situation for many.  Accounting firms have transitioned to tech businesses, and tech businesses to consultancies. Armies of scientists are hired to help scale the value chain, and aggressive M&A strategies are all tactics deployed to stay ahead of the game. With advancements in technology and data, traditional barriers to entry have disappeared too – opening up the floodgates to start-ups.

For the consultancies that haven’t been appointed a recent contract, they need to consider whether their offering is keeping up with the rapid advances in the industry and reflecting the demands of clients. No longer will a globally recognised brand be enough to secure or retain contracts.