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When Your Client Suddenly Departs

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013
I've been working with a client for 6 months and he has suddenly left for a new company. He was my primary contact and knew me best. I'm concerned his replacement may not see the value of what we have done and desire my future services.

If you only have a relationship with your recently departed client, then you may have a challenge ahead. Having a relationship with only that one person can be risky for 3 reasons.

  • A single champion in an organization leaves you in the vulnerable state you now find yourself in.
  • Effective consulting requires more insight into an organization than just your immediate client's world.
  • Your value and ability to provide services beyond just your client means you need to know, and be known, by more than just your client.

Since you've been there 6 months, you may have more of a network than you think. Who occupies the role of technical specialist, gatekeeper, advice giver? Who makes decisions, controls the money or other resources?

TIP:Consider who else you know in the organization who has influence and ways can get in front of them. Identify a "coach" in the organization who can help you bring the replacement up to date on what has happened so far. See if your departed client can be of help in the transition if he didn't leave under negative circumstances (and you can find him). Finally, take a hard look at other projects and find ways to prevent this from happening again.

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