I am a bit compulsive about documenting all my client encounters. I do it for my own purposes but is sending my notes to a client as a record of a meeting worth doing, or is there a downside?
Savvy consultants recognize the importance of recording assumptions, decisions and action items after every key client or prospect encounter. Memories fade for both consultant and client and decisions may have been made in which the impact of a disagreement becomes critical to a project's success.
Do you need to send a full copy of your detailed notes? no, but here are six reasons for sending a follow-up summary:
- Shows you are committed to the details of a project.
- Allows you to add critical "after-thoughts" that help to strengthen your original point(s).
- Demonstrates your professionalism.
- Provides a written record of the meeting that can be referred to, often saving the client the trouble.
- Sets the stage for next steps, particularly when you can cast them in terms you are clear about.
- Informs others of the encounter (and its results) by copying them in, as appropriate.
Send a memo as a courtesy to your client after every key phone call or meeting in order to help reflect your professionalism, build a stronger relationship, get your recommendations acted on, and leverage your good work. Keep is as short as you can, in a consistent format, and always indicate any action required/requested. Don't procrastinate. Send the follow-up while the original encounter is fresh in the mind of the client. © 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA