One of the key roles a consultant can play for a client is to anticipate alternative scenarios. What if my client doesn't want me to spend my time on this activity?
Consider the difference between perspectives and services you bring to an engagement as part of your core value and the specific billable services you provide during an engagement. The former a client expects you to have and provide as part of your core value, the latter he or she expects to pay for since it consumes your time and resources. If you talking about describing scenarios that you can do during a conversation or as part of creating a presentation, then the client won't be paying anything extra for it, and you should tell them so. It is a foundation of making sure they recognize your high value is partly based on your knowledge and insights into emerging trends in the industry, technology or markets. Don't let a client preclude you from demonstrating that value.
If, on the other hand, you are talking about doing market research or analysis that requires billable time or resources outside your current scope of work, then this is the client's prerogative. If you do feel that your consulting contribution may be compromised by the lack of scenario definition, then propose a specific scenario development scope change. But don't assume because you think it is important (and often is) that the client needs you to do it.Tip:
Compensated or not, regular discussions about alternative futures with your client are important. It is in these discussions you can explore possible roles for you or a referral to a colleague.© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA