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5-Step Process for Highly-Successful Security Consultants

monday security memo Aug 30, 2020

Monday Security Memo

Intellectual firepower for security professionals

5-Step Process for Highly Successful Security Consultants

Rarely does a day go by that a fellow security professional does not reach out to me with a question about global security consulting. Most of these inquiries come via email or social media. They typically involve topics such as: how to start a security company, how to win clients, if SMI is hiring at the moment, or whether I would like to invest or partner up on a project.  I never mind these questions and - despite eating up a good hour or so of my time - I make an effort to respond to every one of them, within reason. I do this because I never forget the days when I was just starting out with my own company. 

As a young entrepreneur, I would reach out to industry leaders for advice, in the hopes of gaining some golden nugget of wisdom.  Most people never responded back to me, some verbally slammed the door in my face, while the occasional few respondents were class acts who offered insight and a kind word of encouragement.  I always said that if I ever started doing well at SMI, I would give back the same way those generous leaders did for me.   

As such, one of my favorite questions that I get asked, albeit not that often, is "How does one actually consult?"  While it might be on par with asking a doctor, "How do you practice medicine?" I will do my best to break it down into a simple formula.  I wrote about this process in my book, Global Security Consulting: How to Build a Thriving International Practice. 

To begin with, there's no magic bullet or secret sauce in this business.  The term "security" is so encompassing that the field has sprouted too many diverse niches, so a set of boilerplate instructions or templates will never fit every situation.  But there are some guidelines you might find instructive as you try to meet client needs.  I call them my Fast Five - immediate steps you can use when beginning any global security work.  They include:


Step 1:  Confirm the requirements and establish measurements of effectiveness - As soon as a client has hired you, start to manage their expectations.  You never want to to dedicate yourself to a consulting project only to find out at the end that you didn't do what the client was expecting.  Take nothing for granted and establish open lines of communication throughout the engagement.

Step 2:  Get moving.  Sometimes the best way to begin a project is to just do it - As soon as you sign the contract, and you understand the client's expectations, take immediate action.  Don't wait or tell the client you'll begin on such and such date, several weeks from now.  Begin today.  

Step 3:  Ask smart questions then shut up and listen - As a security consultant, you are hired to identify problems and prescribe solutions, much like a doctor diagnoses an illness and prescribes medication.  The only way you can identify a problem is to listen to what the client has to say about it.  Don't immediately try to force your proprietary security methodology down the client's throat.  Just because you have a hammer doesn't make every problem a nail.  

Step 4:  Document, Document, Document! - You must document everything you do for a client.  Even if it seems trivial, document it.  This can not only protect you legally, but it also demonstrates the time and effort you have committed to the client.  It's also useful when situations such as "scope-creep" arise or when you need to renegotiate the contract.   

Step 5:  Play the "What if? game - Always ask yourself "What if?"  Anticipating various outcomes will not only protect your assets as a security consultant, but it will also help you know how to proceed with a client's problem.  

There you have it.  While it's a high-level overview of security consulting (particularly for a Monday morning newsletter), it should get you pointed in the right direction.  

If you are looking for more information on how to be a successful global security consultant, allow me to make you a special offer.  If you order TODAY, I will give you "The Global Security Consultant Video Series" at 50% OFF.  This ONLINE series provides hours of valuable content in EIGHTEEN (18) comprehensive videos, that are both informative and entertaining.  This offer is only for subscribers to The Monday Security Memo and will be closing shortly.  The button at the bottom of the page will grant you access to the 50% discount.  

Click here to view details about the course:

The Global Security Consultant Video Series Course Description


Until next time... stay safe and vigilant,





Looking for a ton of FREE resources to add to your security consulting toolkit?  Check out:

- FREE online video series:  "The Playbook: Daily Operations for Managing a Security Firm" 

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