What Makes a “Bad Consultant”?

Oct 14, 2020 4:38:00 PM

By: Jason Crouch

Jason Crouch is one of Bluefield’s young, emerging leaders, based in our South Australian team. Like many engineers in our business, Jason found the sales process to be quite different from what he expected. However, Jason saw this as a challenge to overcome and an opportunity to improve.

Recently, Jason shared experiences with the Bluefield team at our Weekly Lessons Learned Meeting. We found his open and honest reflections over the previous three to six months to be incredibly insightful, and worth sharing with the broader industry.

What follows is an abridged version of Jason’s presentation.

“To give you a bit of background, I've been working to try and win work for most of 2020. It's just one of these little internal goals that I had. I wanted to start bringing in work for Bluefield and learn the sales process.

“Although I was reaching out to some of the contacts that I've had and worked with in the industry in the past, I could never quite get that to a solid win.

“Some of the things that I was doing - I was quick to jump to a product or service offering that Bluefield had, and nothing was really coming back successfully.

“So, I went down, and I caught up with my mentor. I'm a big believer in having someone external to be able to sort of give you a bit of guidance and coaching from a different perspective.

“My main mentor doesn't work in mining, or heavy manufacturing and anything along those lines, so he told me to go away and come up with a series of points from my experience:


“What makes a bad consultant?”

“From that, I went away and come up with these (this is from the clients‘ perspective, when I was in the client shoes):

  • An individual who didn’t listen to what I needed;
  • Someone who didn't truly understand the problem or the desired outcome that I was trying to achieve;
  • Someone who pushed a product that I didn't necessarily want;
  • Someone who spoke down to me; and
  • Someone who didn't deliver the outcome as agreed, or not at all.


“It dawned on me as I was writing the points down that I was probably particularly bad at the first three. And then from that it was this realisation that I needed to change my approach to better understand the client's needs. So, from that, I came up with a bit of a new approach.

“When I have conversations with clients now, it's more around:

  • What challenges are the client clients currently facing?
  • What does the end result look like for them?
  • What help are they seeking to assist them in achieving this desired outcome?


“Before, I just thought I knew the answer. So up-front, rather than getting the full understanding, and as much as my manager, tried to hammer it into me, it wasn't really until this point that I've come to realise that, that was the problem with what I was doing.

“From there, it has been quite a significant change from not winning anything and not really getting a look into anything, to being able to be successful in helping clients overcome their problem.

“There’s probably still more learnings from this.