How Consultants Can Be the AI Trusted Advisor

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As consultants and advisors, we get paid to tell the future.

We’re paid to explain it, help clients to understand it, and to guide them to a better version of that future.

AI is the declared future of all businesses. If we are going to be relevant to our clients, we must be one step ahead.

Flashlight in hand, we can expect they will be right behind us, asking what we see ahead.

Some clients believe that AI is not a part of their business. Not true.

That’s part of our value: showing them how AI is impacting customers, suppliers, and employees.

Because technology and applications are changing every day, drill-deep specifics on one application will not be relevant within 90 days as competing solutions leapfrog each other so rapidly in the market.

Your guidance to your customers will be broader and more strategic.

Here are 5 strategies to help you be the trusted AI advisor to your consulting clients.

1. Eat The Brain Food

The usual suspects of business apps available today include:

These players are the big ones, although there are other specific apps that run on these platforms that have received notoriety: ChatGPT is an example.

After your preliminary reading about the background of each of the listed platforms, set your keyword notification so that there is a search occurring every day or two that will provide you with updated articles.

Time-saving tip: Use one of the apps, (I currently use bard.google.com), and ask this question:

In the past 7 days, what are the most important published AI developments for each of the following.”

I then list whichever of the platforms, (I use the ones above plus a few that are industry specific for our clients), that you know to be most important to your client base.

My next prompt is “What are the links to each of the listed blogs and articles.”

2. One Step Ahead

Using this approach, you will be in a position of relevant information to the greater market or your specific client.

You are expected to be one step ahead when helping them plan and execute their strategies.

This approach will enable you to be current relatively quickly.

Because technology and applications are changing every day, drill-deep specifics on one application will not be relevant within 90 days as competing solutions leapfrog each other so rapidly in the market.

3. Speak The Evolving Future

The big platform information is critical to understanding overall business trends.

Those platforms as well as the underpinnings of other AI apps are what give a more specific value to your clients.

My recent AI search provided the following online information for determining what apps may be the best to add to your conversations with HR consulting clients.

An example of a search for HR AI applications

“What are some examples of specific AI applications that address these HR needs.”

  • Recruitment and hiring:
    • Hiretual: Hiretual uses AI to help companies screen resumes, identify qualified candidates, and schedule interviews.
    • LinkedIn: LinkedIn uses AI to recommend jobs to candidates and to match candidates with open positions.
    • Talend: Talend uses AI to automate the onboarding process for new employees.
  • Performance management:
    • Coupa Software: Coupa Software uses AI to track employee performance and identify areas for improvement.
    • Workday: Workday uses AI to provide personalized feedback to employees.
    • ThriveMap: ThriveMap uses AI to help employees track their well-being and identify areas for improvement.
  • Employee engagement:
    • SurveyMonkey: SurveyMonkey uses AI to analyze employee survey data and identify areas where engagement is low.
    • Qualtrics: Qualtrics uses AI to track employee sentiment and identify areas where engagement is low.
    • Lattice: Lattice uses AI to provide personalized feedback to employees.
  • Retention:
    • Oatmilk: Oatmilk uses AI to identify employees who are at risk of leaving the company.
    • Workday: Workday uses AI to provide personalized recommendations to employees to help them stay engaged.
    • ThriveMap: ThriveMap uses AI to help employees track their well-being and identify areas where they may be at risk of leaving the company.
  • Compliance:
    • Tone Analyzer: Tone Analyzer uses AI to analyze employee communication and identify potential compliance risks.
    • Grammarly: Grammarly uses AI to identify potential compliance risks in employee documents.
    • IBM Watson: IBM Watson uses AI to monitor employee behavior and ensure that they are complying with company policies.

This type of inquiry will feed information to any consulting or advisory discipline.

4. Refine, Refine, Refine

Your first inquiry often is one for context.

Because the tools will allow you to use the information from the prior inquiry, you can refine your final answers.

A few examples:

  • Query 1 – “List the top AI applications for Strategic Planning sessions.”
  • Query 2 – “List the blog and article sources describing each of the above.”
  • Query 3 – “Provide an example of a strategic planning document from each of the AI applications above.”

This is our secret sauce as consultants and advisors: answering the simple question, “What does all of this information mean?”

5. Apply Your Knowledge to Implications

When we tell the future we must declare what the information we have means for the future.

This is our secret sauce as consultants and advisors: answering the simple question, “What does all of this information mean?”

Fortunately, we are all paid to decipher the flow of AI data into recommendations. That’s where our value shows up. AI does not provide it.

Every executive is seeking a greater understanding of AI and its application to their business.

Being in a position of the macro information and business-specific information of your clients puts you in the advisor position that grows your value, relationship, and contract size.

You’ll move your position from important to invaluable.

Tom Searcy, CEO & Founder of Hunt Big Sales, is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and the foremost expert in large account sales. His methods of unlocking explosive growth were developed through years of real-world success. He is ranked Global Gurus “World’s Top 30 Sales Professionals for 2023” and #1 on the list with a focus on big sales.

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