Annya Newman Tells Us What It Takes To Be A Trusted Adviser To Clients

We had a chat with Annya to find out what it takes to be a trusted adviser to clients.


Annya Newman is a Senior Program Manager with Apis Group. Prior to joining Apis, Annya’s career included work in the corporate finance world in Sydney, and then in government, in the areas of project management, communication and change management.

We had a chat with Annya to find out what it takes to be a trusted adviser to clients.


What drew you to work at Apis?

In essence, the people and the work the company is involved with. I got to a point in life where I was asking myself questions like, “what’s next for my career?” and I liked the idea of consulting and working on large pieces of diverse work. A colleague of mine suggested I think about consulting. He had previously worked with Apis and he had a lot of positive things to say about the company and its people. He referred me on, and the rest is now history.

What does your role as a Senior Program Manager involve?

Every client and every piece of work is different – the dynamics and the needs are also different. I spend my first few weeks with a client learning how they work, what is keeping them up at night and especially how they like to be engaged. I also work alongside clients to try and find out what their business problems are and assist them in finding solutions.

What would you say is one of your key strengths as a senior consultant?

“Get in and get it done” with a no fuss approach. Clients want someone who can fit into their existing teams and provide tailored solutions to their problems, not an out of the box solution. My goal is always to become a trusted adviser with their best interests at heart, and understanding how they operate. This then enables me to bring proactive solutions to the table at the right time.

If you could pinpoint one, what would be the most interesting project you have worked on during your time at Apis, and why?

The e-Health project – It is an electronic system for every Australian enabling them to login and view their health records online, from prescriptions to radiography results. What made this project interesting was the complexity of the project and the number of balls that were always in the air. There were multiple parties involved, from numerous consultancy firms to inter-government agency relationships and medical peak bodies. It was a massive undertaking and a great learning opportunity that I feel privileged to have been a part of.

What makes an effective consulting relationship?

Every relationship is different; but you want to get to the point of a trusted relationship. How you get there and how you navigate the relationships can differ. Consulting relationships go through stages. For example, when you begin working with a new client you are focused on delivery and you need to prove what you can do. Then you move into a guidance and support phase where clients look for support in solving their business problems. To me an effective consulting relationship is the ability to do all of this and to really understand the business problem of a client and work alongside them in solving that problem.

What factors do clients look for in consultants?

Clients look for someone they can trust, someone who can hit the ground running, come up to speed quickly and deliver whatever it is they need help with. Clients look for someone who will be a seamless fit into their teams and their working environments, as well as ultimately getting the job done.

Name one mistake consultants cannot afford to make in how they approach client work?

Ultimately, good old fashioned customer service principles are of the utmost importance. You need to come from a place of helping your client solve a business problem and work with them, as opposed to simply telling them what you think they should do. A consultant also needs to earn a position of trust.

What is the biggest lesson you have learnt in regards to working with clients?

Every client is different; you can’t make assumptions. You need to spend time and energy in getting know what their business is, how your client likes to work and what their business requirements are in order to develop tailored, fit-for-purpose solutions.