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#136: Tuning Up Your Service Portfolio

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, September 21, 2009
Updated: Monday, September 21, 2009
We are reevaluating our services to a market that is still struggling economically. We are split whether to abandon the market for better prospects or persevere with long term clients who temporarily can't pay.

Does this all come down to loyalty vs. revenue? The answer is easy, but not easy. Easy because you are in the business of providing consulting services to clients to enhance their business. Your are in the advisory business, not the charity business. So what is the problem? Just tell your current clients you wish them well and move on to other clients who can pay. You’ll be available to advise them when the market turns around.

Regrettably, this is the correct strategy for your own business, but only over the short term. However, you have to weigh this against the loyalty effect on your long term profitability and reputation. Your currently struggling clients are not likely to be so forever. They probably need your advice more than ever now. Your skills in pulling them out of the fire in this economy, as well as sticking with them - as a true partner would - will earn you loyalty in return.

Tip: Yes, your partners and you will have to come to a decision that you can all live with. Look at creative ways to restructure compensation such as longer term payments with a modest premium. Alternatively, your clients may be in a position to provide some in-kind services of value to you, such as office space, accounting or printing services, technical support or even temporary staffing. Don’t give up on your customers without trying all you can to stick with those clients who have been loyal to you. That's what partners do for each other.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USADIversify your portfolio - tune up with new sectors and services

Tags:  client relations  client service  consultant role  goodwill  reputation  sustainability  your consulting practice 

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