If you’ve been following along, you know that this blog miniseries is all about dissecting the shared traits that some of my most impactful colleagues demonstrate in their consulting work. My two previous posts have focused on developing and maintaining authentic relationship with clients, as well as how to communicate effectively and intentionally with them. This final post in the series is a final call to put your clients and their needs above everything else.
Always Think of the Client’s Needs First and Foremost
One of the things I love about my job is that I get to watch a solution evolve from a simple idea to a sophisticated offering. Whether the scenario calls for an add-on to an existing solution, a short-term band-aid, a phased approach or a full overhaul, it’s important to stay aligned to the client’s need. Consider some questions to help keep you on the right track:
- Does what we are doing make sense?
- Does what the organization is trying to do address the underlying goal?
- Does what we are doing help the business in any way?
- How is my solution making a client’s life easier?
- If a roadblock exists (such as trying to modify an existing solution), how would the problem be addressed if it were tackled from the start?
- What makes the most sense in the short term?
- What makes the most sense in the long term?
No client wants to feel they’ve been shorted; selling the right solutions to a client—not the ones that earn you the largest deal—earns trust, loyalty, respect and continued business.
Objectively Pursue the Client’s Best Interest
As a consultant, it always stings when hours of blood, sweat and tears are poured into a proposal, and you later discover the client selected a competing solution. The worst thing that can happen is to take a client’s dismissal personally or as a betrayal.
Some key things to remember here are:
- There might be other factors influencing why the consultant’s recommendation was not selected. Take a step back and don’t jump to conclusions.
- Politely ask if your client can provide some insight into why they selected the competing proposal.
- Your client has every right to make their own decision, even if you believe your solution is a better fit.
- Sometimes, you need to accept that your product is not the best fit.
Move on and get over the loss. Your client will have future asks, and throwing a fit will only deter them from working with you again.
Above: Some of our team at this year’s Alteryx Inspire conference in Nashville, TN.
Relationships Are Key
In a world where life is busy and the market is saturated with products and salespeople, it is easy to forget the little things. As a consultant, a great way of showing your client that you care about their well-being and they aren’t just another dollar sign is to simply see how things are going:
- Check in to see how what you implemented or recommended is running in their environment.
- Ask them about their personal life. Take a few minutes to talk about their interests, or find out if they have anything big going on.
- Check in periodically to see how things are going and if there is anything you can do to help.
A simple check-in with a client may add a little bit of work, but it can go a long way in offering that extra value and setting yourself apart as someone providing genuine, client-centered service.
Best People, Best Clients
I hope this series has been helpful, whether you’re considering your own role as a consultant or looking for consultancies to work with. At InterWorks, our team is our strongest asset, and we’re always looking for opportunities to serve and support others to the best of our abilities.
Does this approach sound like something you want to learn more about or experience firsthand? Let’s begin a conversation about teaming up to meet your needs.