How to be a Bad Consultant

oops.gifA bit of real-life humor this morning. An associate of mine recently sent me an email, referring to a meeting he had with a business planning consultant.

Enjoy this excerpt.

BTW – The meeting today reconfirmed these important basic business truths:

  1. One should never wear a tie that has recognizable pictures on it. Much less, multiple pictures of what appears to be Wife and Daughter.
  2. A blue and white checked shirt should not be worn with a tie that has recognizable pictures on it.
  3. One should not hang a picture that is framed with a “furry frame” in an area of the office that is designated for use in holding meetings with potential clients. Jet black, 5 inch long, uncombed polyester-based hair on the furry picture frame makes the “no-no” very big.
  4. One can easily fix the fact that their business cell phone plays sampled riffs from the band Rush during business meetings.
  5. One can easily fix the fact that their home phone message device plays the theme from the Adams Family.
  6. 60 to 80 hours at $125 per hour for helping with a financial plan (only) is a little too much.
  7. Despite his hard sell and offer to discount his 60 to 80 hours at $125 per hour we cannot give up any equity to a guy who has a furry picture frame on the wall of his client conference room.



  1. Derek Haynes · February 1, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    While I understand the point, I also can’t help but feel that your associate wasn’t paying attention to the right things.

    Frankly, I don’t care what someone wears, how they decorate their walls, or what their phone ring sounds like. Some of the most brilliant, hard-working people I know have plenty of weird habits. They are often so into their work, that things others view as different don’t even register to them.

    I find it interesting that the quality of the consultant’s body of work or the strength of their references was never addressed. Questioning the price point of an hourly rate based on a hairy picture frame seems about as logical as deciding to purchase a used vehicle because it was owned by the actor Jon Voight.

  2. That made me laugh! Amusing visual. On a more serious note, your associate’s reaction to the consultant definitely speaks to the importance of perception, and consideration of one’s professional image.

  3. Very funny…and a reminder of the importance of managing one’s own brand.

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