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#143: Premature Elaboration

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Updated: Thursday, October 1, 2009
What is the best (or even a good) way to demonstrate the most value for your services during initial discussions with prospect.

We are often so eager to show how much we know that we don't wait until the client has fully explained where his or her organization is, how it got there and completely understands the issues they face. As soon as some consultants hear a problem they have solved before or recognize, they are quick to show how much they know. Even when you have solved the presumed problem before, you owe the client the opportunity to describe why it an issue for the organization and the nature of the solution for which they are willing to engage you. Hold your conclusions until you have explored the issues together. Remember, it is about addressing the client’s problem, not showing how smart you are.

Tip: The title of this tip says it all. Not that every analogy is appropriate but initial consultant-client conversations can be considered like dating: show exceptional respect, listen more than talk, and think longer term.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  client development  communication  marketing  proposals 

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