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Before I founded CIOBEE CONSULTING, I applied to a position at an advisory firm.

The experience I gathered there made me understand, why many SMEs may hesitate to hire a consultant. It made also crystal-clear for me what I want to do different.

I was quite nervous when had the appointment with one of the directors there: Kiton Suit, Oxford Shoes, Rolex watch: everything you can imagine. His opening sentence was this:

“The secret to our success is telling the customers, what they WANT TO hear, and NOT what they HAVE TO.”

This unvarnished statement shocked me.

“We never commit on any return of investment, and we are not interested in success-based payments. Being infallible is our brand. This justifies our high fees. We are never involved in implementations; therefore, we get the credits for the success, and cannot be made accountable for the failure… and we make a fortune with this philosophy each year.”

He leaned back in his big leather chair.

“Could you live with that?” – he smiled.

I probably know potential candidates, and even customers, who would have said yes to this question. But I believe in something. I've never been more sure of anything than I was at that moment about what I had to answer.

What would your answer have been?

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