The Consultancy Process
You need to have in mind a consultancy process that you intend to progress through.
You need it as a game-plan both for yourself and the client. Not just because it is tidy, but because it helps you to manage the client relationship. The one that we use envisages an assignment as progressing through five broad stages:
Entry - where one builds the initial relationship with the client and carries out a survey or scoping to establish what the assignment is about, what it should aim to achieve, the likely time and effort required, and possible risks and difficulties.
Contracting - where one agrees with the client what the task is, what the consultant's role is, what the client's role is, and how the work should be tackled.
Diagnosis - gathering information and ideas to arrive at options and a plan of action
Intervention - taking actions to deliver the results, be it a report or organising the changes.
Withdrawal - ensuring that the client organisation can carry on without you and leaving the ground clear for your future involvement.
This is a general model and you may find it best to amend it to something that suits your own particular work and style or for a particular assignment.