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Do You Have The X Factor


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Talent, image, presence, belief and that something extra. These are the 5 elements, which determine whether you have or haven't got the X factor.

As a consultant, how do you measure up?


They say talent isn't necessary to be successful in the music industry and Chico and the Cheeky girls are evidence of that!

However, if, as a consultant, you have no talent you will soon be caught out even if you have the other 4 elements.

So what talents do you need to be a successful consultant?

Before addressing that, I should like to define talent as distinct from skills or knowledge I defer to Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman authors of First Break All The Rules for their definition

Skills - "are the how-to's. They are capabilities that can be transferred from one person to another"

Knowledge - "what you are aware of". There are two kinds of knowledge: factual knowledge - things you know and experiential knowledge - understanding you have picked up along the way"

Talents - "...recurring patterns of thought feeling and behaviour"

There are 3 basic skills and 3 key talents necessary for any successful consultant.


1. Questioning and Listening (OK that's two yet one without the other is not much use!)
2. Relationship building
3. Proposal writing (combining needs analysis, needs definition, defining relevant solutions and communicating that in a way which creates value for a client)


1. Perseverance
2. Proactivity
3. Curiosity


Madonna is constantly changing hers. Elvis's was instantly recognisable and Elton John's has mellowed - well some what!

In business the rise of personal branding and creating and optimising who you are, what you stand for and therefore how you are perceived is now critical as individuals seek to differentiate themselves from their peers and competition.

Consultants are everywhere, no matter which field you look at and with the trend to more flexible working, portfolio careers and achievement of better work life balance, consultancy is on the increase.

More people are taking their valuable skills and experience gained in the corporate word and establishing their own consultancies. With this rise in competition, image becomes even more important. Being able to differentiate yourself by having clarity of who you are, what you do and whom you serve is only the start. All of your marketing needs to align with your image, your messages need to support your image and you need to live and breathe that which you want the world to recognise you by.


Robbie Williams owns the stage. Meat Loaf is "in your face" and even Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand and Tom Jones draw thousands of people to every performance after years in the business.

They sing and their fans listen; they perform and their fans are captivated.

Presence is all about captivating your audience: attracting their support and holding their attention.

As a consultant, your presence will be what attracts certain people and combined with your image will help you focus on your ideal clients. Those clients that "tune in" to your voice, your message and your style will be easier to attract and hold. Of course your presence, like your image needs to "say something".

Do you exude enthusiasm and energy or structure and logic? Do you present warmth and caring or keep your distance? Neither is right nor wrong they are just different and will appeal to different clients. Just like pop stars, tastes differ.


Charlotte Church moved from being the "voice of an angel" as a classical singer to a pop star because that's what she wanted to do and she believed in herself enough to take the chance. She has taken risks, completely changed her image and is now a success all over again in a completely different genre of music.

Showing you have belief in what you do and what results you can achieve for clients is a real attractor. Knowing in your heart that you are good at what you do and demonstrating the passion you have for really helping your clients achieve what they want to achieve makes people want to be around you. Believing that you are different from other consultants will give you an edge over the self-doubters, the "flashy sales types" and the over promise/under deliverers.

Genuine belief in your uniqueness to deliver for your clients is something to be proud of and flaunted


That je ne sais quoi, X factor or something special is what all successful pop stars have. Just being musically gifted, looking good or excelling at self promotion are not always enough. Most truly successful, long reigning pop stars have that X factor. A sparkle a "way" or even an endearing quality that makes them AAA list.

You too need to find your X factor that will give you AAA list status.

It may be in what you deliver
It may be in how you deliver it
It may be in who you are
It must certainly be in the results you achieve for your clients

Value above that communicated
Service above what is expected
Delivery of the "little" extras that make you stand out and above the rest

It doesn't need to be and shouldn't be flashy, gimmicky or "loud". It does need to be authentic, from the heart and you.

The first 4 elements in combination will help you get on the A list. The X factor will lift you up to the AAA list.

Are you Chico - a performer, likeable with little talent?
Are you Brenda - talented, ambitious with general appeal?
Are you Shayne - talented, likeable with that magic sparkle?

Find and become known for your sparkle and you have the X factor.

About the Author

Beverley Hamilton works with independent business consultants to help them grow a profitable consultancy and still have time for their life. You can get my Free Ecourse Discover the 5 Most Common Incorrect Assumptions Independent Business Consultants Make and a complimentary subscription to Quickstart, the newsletter specifically for consultants. Go to One Step Further for more instantly accessible resources. Your future Your choice!

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-01-16 00:08:10 in Personal Articles

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