Why Clients Resist Facts and Logic

The world would be a very different place if your clients lived and communicated in the world of facts. Every conversation would be so easy; it would all be right there on the surface. If a client thought your project was going badly he or she would just tell you straight out the simple facts to make a case. There’d be no blaming, no evasion, no hidden agendas, and no upset feelings. What a dream world! Here’s the way it really works: The truth is that clients, like all of … Read More

Partnership-Based Persuasion

We may convince others by our arguments, but we can only persuade them by their own. -Joseph Joubert The above quote about persuasion was written by a Frenchman in the 1820’s, but of course we humans have tried to persuade each other “by our arguments” well before language was invented. The methods of persuasion in the pre-language times likely weren’t so subtle. On the other hand, think of “The Godfather” saying, “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.” That’s not so subtle either. Come to think of it, I’ve … Read More

Four Ways to Persuade a Client With Integrity

If you’ve tried to sell clients to provide resources or time or purchase new services you know it can be difficult to convince others, and more difficult still do it with complete integrity. Maybe you’ve been uneasy with the persuasive trickery or manipulative techniques that you’ve read about or see others try. It can feel pretty uneasy when you try to twist clients into your way of thinking. Beyond that, when clients feel that you’re “selling” them, the trust you’ve built with them can go out the window. Trust, of … Read More

The Disease of Expertise

If you’re like most consultants you love to provide great answers to your clients. And after all, isn’t your expertise what clients are paying you for? Well, yes and no. In our work with some of the largest Professional Service organizations in the world as well as smaller start-up companies, we’ve found a problem we call “the disease of expertise”: consultants like to give clients their best answers before they have even heard the client’s full view of the problem! This is counter-productive for two main reasons: Clients are more … Read More

Can Letting Clients “Have it Their Way” Be Your Worst Mistake?

It’s one of the oldest maxims in the book: “The customer is always right”. It may be true in the world of retail business, but in consulting it can be the kiss of death. Every client wants what they want–and that’s their right. But a “Powerful Partner” knows how to set boundaries to stop “scope creep” in its tracks. Scope creep is the phenomenon of projects growing beyond what an original agreement states, and in the process a once tightly bounded engagement can begin to suck up time, money and … Read More