Eight ways to become a preferred consultant to your client

by Ashvini on May 22, 2012 · 8 comments

in Entrepreneurship,My Personal Thoughts

What is the best way to exceed expectations with your customer?

Preffered consultant

Customers are often known to press the vendors for reducing prices and being very demanding . It is because that they pay big amount for consulting or  they are themselves under huge pressure to deliver.

Often consultants make few mistakes inadvertently and land up on the wrong side of client. As a consultant your winning the next project with your customer depends on how well you perform in the current one.

Here are a few tips that you can utilize to become a preferred consultant to your client.

#1: Always be proactive

The reason customer pays money is that they need peace of mind. If they were able to solve the problem, they would have done it themselves.  As a consultant thus you expected to be proactive in  problem resolution.

#2: Be truthful

I have seen consultants not being truthful to the client because they feel that being a “yes man” is better. This is contrary to the right way of winning trust. By telling the things truthfully, you often gain trust of your customers . It may sometimes annoy client when you do not agree with them but if you have right reasons, you will earn their respect.

#3: Respond immediately

Other things can wait but a paying customer will not. Your client’s work needs to be your top priority above everything else including personal and your official work. Not responding to customer calls or email is a sin . If you cannot answer your client immediately, tell him/her you will call back. Follow on that promise.

#4: Do not wait if you see a problem

If there is a problem that can affect your client in a big way, always bring it out as soon as possible. Your client will appreciate you because you were a) proactive b) saved him a lot of headache and probably money loss.

#5: Be clear in your communication

Always be clear in your communication with your client/customer

  • What task are you working on?
  • By when you are going to complete it?
  • Any potential problem you are going to expect?
  • Is there a dependency on other person/team?

You don’t have to be formal but clearly explain your current work to customer.

#6: Develop professional relationship

Your client is also a human being other than just a businessman. He has his own anxieties, He has his own targets to meet. If you can develop a good relationship when he is in dire need, he will always come back to you. Be open to help and form a professional yet friendly relationship with him.

#7: Be patient

Clients are not the expert in your subject. They will make mistakes and mess up your well set up systems. They learn with time. If you are patient in these times, they will respect you for it.

#8: Help even after you have finished the project

By the time you finish your project, your client is more than just an acquaintance for you (most of the time a friend). As a good friend, you do need to help out the client even if your work has been delivered.

Hope you utilize these tips to win over your client. Do let me know in the comments below if you have one.

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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{ 8 comments }

Himanshu June 14, 2012 at 8:27 am

I really cant understand marketing but i am trying to analyses your post thanks for sharing

Ashvini Kumar Saxena June 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Hi Himanshu,

You are most welcome. Thanks for your comment. Do let me know if you need any help :)

Daria Steigman May 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Hi Ashvini,

Number two is really key. Too many consultants & consulting firms are afraid to say “no” if something doesn’t make sense, or turn down work when it’s clear upfront that what the client wants isn’t doable, won’t work, or can’t possibly be successful. How does that help you?

Or they make the (worse) error of thinking they can “change” the situation once they get their foot in the door.

Being truthful isn’t always the easiest path, but it’s the best one if you want to build a good relationship — and be that go-to consultant.

Good tips, though I think #3 is contextual. I think every client has to believe that they’re important, but I also think you have to manage those expectations. If you have to jump everytime they say jump it means you have a (bad) boss, not a client.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena May 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Hi Daria,

I think that I agree with both your ideas :). It is very common to first cut the deals and then later renege on the promises. In the long term, it may not work out well. Being truthful is not the easiest option but it is far better than failing later.
For #3, I would also like to manage expectations and thus agree with you. However the suggestion is for those consultants who do not make effort to have a clear communication with customers.

As usual thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it.

Carolyn | Wonder of Tech May 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Hi Ashvini, You make great suggestions that show you have a thorough knowledge of customer service. Exceeding your customer’s expectations will ensure you are the one they contact next time they have a project.

In the beginning, it’s essential that you understand what a client’s expectations are. You are absolutely correct, communication is key. Even if you just respond that you have received your client’s email/call and will get back to him as soon as possible, that gives him reassurance that you have not forgotten him.

If all consultants followed your advice, Ashvini, the business world would be a much better place!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena May 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks for your comment. I really feel that professionalism is sometimes given only a lip service . Communication is really very important and often a lot of crisis happen because of lack of it .
A number of troubles happen because clients and consultants get into ego problems rather than solving the issue. If one side is diplomatic then such situations can be prevented.
If both sides understand each other and work professionally( like us setting up your blog :) ), the work seems like a breeze :).

Have a great day :).

Jafar @ Tech Trait May 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Just love your article

Want more…!!!!

:)

Ashvini Kumar Saxena May 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Sure… will keep writing more :)

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