Tag Archives: Expectation Setting

How to Deal with Emotional Clients

Emotional Clients
Dealing with Emotional Clients

I’ve usually been able to manage my emotions in business settings.  Everyone makes mistakes and I’ve always had a tolerance for that.

But every once in a while, you get a client who doesn’t handle their emotions well.  And that can be contagious.

It happens quite innocently.  Perhaps you need to check with your client to get an update on something they promised you a while back.
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Consultants Give Clients a Kick in the Seat of the Pants

Kick in the Seat of the Pants
Giving Clients a Kick in the Seat of the Pants

There are many types of consultants.

Some consultants strictly give advice.  They may perform a study of the client’s internal processes, review their financials and submit a report detailing the changes the client should make to improve.

Some consultants provide additional staff that a client needs to augment their staffing needs for a temporary period of time.
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The 3 Ds of Client Subversion and What To Do

Client Subversion
The 3 Ds of Client Subversion

As a consultant, I’ve liked every client I’ve ever served.  There are some, however, that I’ve liked more than others.

Every once in a while I run across one person at a client that doesn’t like our presence.  It’s usually nothing personal, they just don’t like outsider consultants coming into their home court and disrupting things.  Sometimes consultants are seen as a threat.  We could point out how a process they designed is flawed.  We could change things around so much that the client employee’s job is either eliminated or changed, taking them out of their comfort level.
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Why Would You Need a Consultant?

need a consultant
There are many reasons why you would need a consultant

I’ve known people in the business world that don’t believe in using consultants.  These people believe that consultants are over-priced hacks who “borrow your watch to tell you the time”.  Like any industry, there are consultants that provide poor service and give their industry a bad name.  When a company pays anyone to provide a service, they need to do the due diligence to make sure they can do what they promise.  But once a company finds a consulting firm that is good at what they do, their rates can often scare them away.  So why would anyone in their right mind pay those high consulting rates?

Why you would need a consultant

Let’s look at three main reasons for which an organization might hire a consultant

To bring in an expert

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Old School Consulting

Old School Consulting
Practicing Old School Consulting

Some of the concepts I promote in my book and blogs could be seen by many as an old school approach to consulting.

Suggestions such as showing up to meetings on time and not using your smart phone during meetings could be seen by some as passé and old-fashioned.

I’ll respectfully disagree. Mainly because I believe those tips are ways to show respect in the business world.
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Michael Jordan and the Consultant’s Public Image

Consultant's Public Image
Managing the Consultant’s Public Image

I loved watching Michael Jordan play for The Chicago Bulls in the 1990s.  In those days, everybody seemed to want to “Be like Mike”.  I remember thinking about how isolated he and other big celebrities had to feel as public figures.  When I went out for an evening, I would often think about the fact that he couldn’t just go out to a movie with his family without drawing a huge throng of fans seeking autographs and pictures.

I enjoy my anonymity.  I enjoy being able to go out on a whim without orchestrating the renting of an entire movie theater or restaurant. But I still need to be careful.
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Do You Deliver a Transparent Status Report?

Transparent Status Report?
Do You Deliver a Transparent Status Report?

I once managed a project for a multi-site organization to implement software at each location.

I held a weekly status conference-call with the company’s executives which included the branch manager from each location.  In these calls, I would give an overall status of the project and each branch manager would report the status for their respective branch.

When the turn came up for one branch manager to report status, he always reported the project as green; there were never any issues or risks.
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The 5 Biggest Lies In House of Lies

House of Lies
The 5 Biggest Lies In House of Lies

A few years ago, I made a comment to a co-worker about an episode of the TV series Grey’s Anatomy.  He quickly cut me off saying that his sister-in-law is a doctor at a hospital and it’s nothing like the way they portray the life of a doctor on that show.

TV is not reality?

Really?  Next I suppose you’re going to tell me that The Andy Griffith Show wasn’t really about law enforcement.
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Client Expectation Management

Client Expectation Management
Client Expectation Management

When a client hires a consulting firm, whether it’s a single independent consultant or a full project team from a large firm, they know they are paying a high billing rate for those services.  As a result, they have a certain value in mind that they expect to receive in return.

Under promise and over deliver

The value set in the client’s mind is the direct responsibility of the consultant.  Many consultants are taught to under promise and over deliver.

That’s a good approach in general, as long as you don’t “lowball” your expectations.  Expectations should be set which raise the bar.  The client expectation on value should be set high.
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How to Manage Client Perception

client perception
Managing client perception

I was always taught not to worry about what people think.  That’s easier said than done.

It doesn’t always work in a customer-facing scenario, particularly in the consulting world.  In a perfect world, your boss would judge your performance strictly on that – your performance.  It shouldn’t matter how you look, what you wear or how weird you act.  Look at the final product and judge it by its quality.

Client perception is client reality

It would be nice if the client did that too.  But that’s not how it works.  When you’re at the client site, client perception is your reality.  If you show up dressed in jeans when they wear business casual, they may develop a perception that your work is more casual than theirs too.
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