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#621: Help Your Clients Connect With Influencers

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, August 1, 2011
Updated: Monday, August 1, 2011
Clients often ask us to spend much of our time improving people, processes and technology inside an organization. Are there ways we can complement these services other than just to provide inside, technical services?

The value of consultants to clients is to improve the client's condition. Just because you were retained to provide technical advice on one specific issue doesn't mean you can't use capabilities that extend beyond just the immediate challenge. This is not an unethical promotion of your services or trolling for more work. It is being a competent and mindful advisor.

One area often overlooked by consultants is to introduce their clients to influential people and organizations in the consultant's own network. We all know people and organizations (in the public, private and nonprofit sectors) whose knowledge, activities or assets might be of use to our clients. Perhaps we know someone who is introducing a new product our client might use. Maybe a government agency is selling off assets our client would be interested in buying. Or our client needs expertise on staff and we might know of appropriate individuals considering a career move. Even if an introduction of your client to one of your influential colleagues might not be part of the scope of your engagement, it could prove to be among the most useful services you can provide.

Tip: Make an active effort, regardless of your engagement scope, for opportunities to connect your clients, and this includes client staff, to influencers you know. As with any introduction between individuals, be mindful of any ethical or conflict of interest conditions raised by such an introduction.

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  client relations  consultant role  customer understanding  referrals 

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