It is never pleasant to deliver bad news to your client. So what can you do?
Remember that the very nature of bad news usually means you, as a consultant, have learned something valuable. Perhaps you found out what went wrong or have unfortunately discovered that an expected remedy was not, in fact, really the solution you were looking for. You might finally have discovered the root cause of the problem, an unexpected shortfall, unforeseen rejects, a lack of sales, etc. Regardless of the negative impact, it usually represents a valuable learning or discovery.
Instead of starting with, "I have some bad news. We have a problem," try to accentuate the positive impact of the discovery. "I am glad to report we have finally identified the root cause of problem. My team plans to have 3 -5 specific recommendations to remedy the problem by the end of the week." Tip:
When identifying a problem to your client, it is critical to either providing (a) a plan for rectifying the problem, or (b) a specific timeframe for delivering a plan for remedy. © 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA