In every episode of SFDC Consultant Podcast, we gather information from our guests and curate the advice and recommendations.
Here is a list of top 5 non-technical skills that every Salesforce Consultant should nurture:
“Mastering the ability to communicate, not only speaking but listening effectively and truly understanding what your customers are relaying to you from a requirement’s or concern’s perspective,” said Steve Baines on our seventh episode of SFDC Consultant Podcast.
However, this skill will grow in time. As a consultant, you will have to face difficult situations in order to be able to learn how to confront them.
What truly makes an effective consultant is the ability to work with your clients, be able to talk to them, but getting them to talk to you in a way that’s going to be meaningful, so you can help them be successful.
“The client is paying for your hours, which is very important and they want to keep track of what you’re doing? They want to see how are those hours being spent and, at the same time, you don’t want to be taking 10 hours to make a flow, when you could do that in two hours or possibly even pass it on to a developer to create a trigger for that. So it’s very important to make sure that you have a plan of how to use your hours.” – Mindaugas Savicius
Being able to plan your work and also being able to manage yourself and the expectations of your client is key. As we know that “time” is the only resource that we cannot recover, it is imperative that we use it in the most effective way. Some Consultants take the approach of planning their work in 30 minutes slots, some take a more generalist approach and not divide their day. In whichever category you fall, the key is to know what you are spending your time on.
The willingness to learn. Constantly.
One of the biggest debates in the Salesforce Community is the importance of Salesforce certifications. However, when we’re talking about skills that are important for a Salesforce Consultant, the ability to learn constantly is one of the most important characteristics of a successful Consultant. Gemma Blezard said in the second episode of SFDC Consultant Podcast, your job is to find out the problem that a customer is trying to solve with a specific action.
“Being able to lift off the covers and look underneath to see exactly what value brings that in”. – Gemma Blezard
The life of a Salesforce Consultant is full of events that present learning opportunities. Everything from a client meeting, a new project, a colleague asking for help, a new feature deployed by Salesforce, a new App from the AppExchange, a new technology that you need to integrate with, and of course there is Trailhead.
Be a very good listener
Let’s not get distracted and ignore what could arguably be the most important skill of a Consultant. Listening!
Theresa Durrant mentioned in the first episode of SFDC Consultant Podcast that a Salesforce consultant has to be a very good listener in order to be able to understand the problem a client is trying to solve. It may sound very simple, but in real life, this skill is on top of the list since you’ll have meetings that can last a full day. After you spent a number of months working on more than two projects at the same time and then a new client comes with its own requirements, it may be hard being as focused. By exercising and growing your good listener skills, your work as a consultant will improve.
Don’t forget that you’re working on your client’s interest!
This may not be a skill, but it is the best advice to give to someone who wants to become a Salesforce Consultant. David Berman explained in our sixth episode of SFDC Consultant Podcast, that one should not forget that the job is to work for the client’s interest at any cost. Do not let your ego ruin a future possible opportunity, because the path to becoming a successful consultant needs to be paved with projects in which you’ve done your best work.
“Ego’s are not fun to bring into consulting. Drop the ego. If you weren’t smart, you wouldn’t be doing this. There’s nothing to talk about. I’m not going to get upset at the moment or raise my voice, because this is not an emotional transaction for me. I’m trying to do my best work so that my calling card looks as good as it possibly can.” – David Berman
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