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How to sell your ISO 45001 consulting service

In many business sectors, ISO 45001:2018 consulting services are very much in demand. Many modern organizations work on a “project” basis, and tend to hire OH&S (operational health and safety) consulting services on a project basis depending on the sector that the specific project is in. So, given that this demand exists, how can you go about ensuring that you can sell your consulting services to such an organization?

OH&S consulting – Where do you start?

In our article, What is the role of the OHS&S manager according to ISO 45001, we considered the role of the permanent OH&S manager, and indeed there are many similarities for the OH&S consultant, so on that basis, what qualities and characteristics should the OH&S consultant exhibit when meeting a potential client? Let us consider these:

  • Display knowledge of legislation: Legislation is critical to the success of any project, both to ensure that the risk of accidents is mitigated, and to avoid financial penalties in many sectors. Any proficient OH&S professional must have good working knowledge of legislation, and know exactly how to ensure that the upkeep and implementation of new legislation are instant and efficient.
  • Display relevant experience: Experience is critical in selling an OH&S consulting service, and in many cases is often valued more highly than personal qualifications. If you can prove you have relevant experience and a history of successful delivery from previous projects, this normally gives confidence to the client. Providing references can also be a very useful tool to give extra assurance to anyone considering employing an OH&S consultant.
  • Be objective driven: An OH&S consultant is employed to deliver results, and it can often be beneficial to ensure that you are clearly focused on the objectives the client wants to set. It can also pay to assure your potential client that you are fully capable and willing to be part of the objective-setting process, and that as a consultant you are comfortable working within, and having input to the existing project plan. You can learn more about this element in the article How to define ISO 45001 objectives and plans.
  • Be an effective communicator: The success of a project can depend greatly on the communication from the top of the business down through the employee chain. If you are an OH&S consultant who cannot communicate clearly, concisely, and effectively, then that is a risk to all stakeholders and ultimately, to the success of the project. Demonstrating to your potential client that communication is a critical element should once more provide confidence that the organization is hiring a confident and assertive consultant who will ensure that policy and procedural information will be communicated effectively throughout the organization. The article How to comply with ISO 45001 communication requirements can help you with more detail on this topic.
  • Ensure you are perceived as “risk aware”: Ultimately, all OH&S projects will succeed or fail based on the capabilities of all involved to identify and mitigate or remove risk. A consultant should ensure that any potential client understands that risk-based thinking and confidence in dealing with mitigation of risk are the consultant’s top priorities. It may also pay to ensure that as a consultant, you can offer extra value by identifying opportunities as well as risk, and by bringing improvement to the organization during the course of a project. The article What are the new requirements for risks and opportunities according to ISO 45001? can help you with more detail here.

Selling your services effectively

If your client does not already have an OHSMS (Operational Health and Safety Management System), some consultants use the key clauses of the ISO 45001 standard itself to shape a plan or proposal to a potential client.

Integrating the concepts of risk, hazard identification, communication, competence, and awareness can help enhance the possibility of a consultant proving his/her credibility and demonstrating that he/she has the qualities to deliver a successful and safe project. The personality and knowledge of a consultant are both important when you try to sell your services, but as ISO 45001 is the world’s premier operational health and safety standard, if you ensure that you keep its principles and clauses in mind, making a case for selling your service will be even more convincing.

Check out our free webinar How to sell ISO consulting services to learn about the basics and start up your consulting career.

Advisera John Nolan
John Nolan
John Nolan is a Fellow of the Institute of Leaders and Managers in the United Kingdom, and Prince 2 accredited with a background in Engineering and Electronics and Data Storage and Transfer. Having studied and qualified as both a Mechanical and Electronic Engineer, he has spent the last 15 years designing and delivering Quality Systems and projects across many sectors in the UK, including both national and local government.