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#230: Make Sure Your Services Are as Good as They Look

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Friday, January 29, 2010
Updated: Friday, January 29, 2010
As a solo practitioner, I can't compete with the resources of large firms. They can put together slick proposals and work products and the client is going to assume that glitz equals quality.

I understand your concern but disagree with the premise. First, you would be surprised to know that more than one client has disparaged these glossy, graphics laden reports. In fact, federal government procurements actually prohibit elaborate or expensive proposals. Just as people joke that they know they are paying the overhead that goes with expensive furnishings in high rent building for their lawyers, they also are uncomfortable paying for sizzle without the steak.

Second, your relationship with your client and their trust in you usually carries more weight than your work products. If your client is more wowed by a PowerPoint spectacular than the weight of your conversations, questions, analysis and your change management outcomes, then you might ask yourself whether you have the right client. This does not mean that your work products should be sloppy or unprofessional. Give your clients exactly what they need and don't try to cover any deficits with fluff.

Tip: If you want to feel better about the pretty masking the real, check out this now famous Dove commercial showing what is behind the attractive image.

Tags:  client relations  client service  communication  competition  proposals 

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Patrick Lefler says...
Posted Saturday, January 30, 2010
Any time I see a competitor with a 25 page proposal or a 50 slide sales presentation, I know I have them. It's much more effective to present a 10 slide presentation than a 100 slide presentation. Beat your competition by being concise. Beat them by focusing on the 2 or 3 things that really matter to the prospect as opposed to presenting something that highlights 20 different points compiled by a half dozen different consultants. Use size as your advantage. One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes applies here... “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

Pat Lefler
The Spruance Group
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