Consulting: Breaking Up the Technical Talk
Technology can be difficult to understand. Part of what we have to do as consultants is taking the technical jargon and breaking it down to something simpler. We are the translators. Not all consultants can fully understand both sides of the conversation, but the good ones will know enough about your business and your needs to be able to wear different hats.
Even though I’m not necessarily a UI/UX guru –I can understand a great deal and translate to my clients. The requirement is to have a basic understanding of what is happening and be able to have intelligent conversations about these things. You’re breaking up the technical stuff and making it simple.
On the other side of the coin, very technical people can often times have a hard time translating to people that are not overly technical. It’s like speaking two different languages. A good consultant can take the technical conversations and boil them down to have a conversation with the sales people, business people, or marketing people. It’s about listening from a business perspective while understanding from a technical perspective. You want to translate back to the customer in a way that makes them understand and feel heard.
At the same time, you don’t just want to be one of these swarmy sales guys saying, “Yes, we can do it all!” and telling the client everything they want to hear. You’re simply trying to correctly explain what can and can’t be done when developing a product, creating software, etc.
In any sort of a demo situation, you’re going to have to use these skills to break down the technical information and present what’s happening and what can (and can’t) be done. It is a vital skill to learn as a consultant.
It also helps to develop trust with your client. As a consultant, you are the “expert” or “special team” that they’re calling in. You have to be able to establish the trust that you know what you’re talking about and that you understand even the most technical aspects of a project. You are the back up support here. You are the guide that is leading the team through this project. If you can’t translate what anything actually means, you’re not a very reliable guide.
What have your experiences been in different organizations when breaking up the technical talk? How have these experiences helped your projects in the past? Where has this skill come into play for you? How have clients reacted? As a client, is this a necessity for a consultant that you hire? What are your thoughts? Comment below!
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