Million Dollar Consulting® Mindset
From Alan Weiss
Volume 2 Number 2
A monthly newsletter with the objective of quickly and pragmatically helping consultants to improve their craft, results, and lives.
It’s A Long Fall from A High Horse
We often enter a client project—or even a prospect meeting—with the attitude that we’ve “been there, done that, and have the tee-shirt.” Ironically, this is often caused by success and the resulting smugness that we already know the answer and want to have the exactly appropriate intervention. In other words, there’s the wrong way, the client’s way, and OUR way!
If the objective is to improve the client’s condition, then I’d suggest that we listen to the client and be willing to stop short of perfection. When the client says, “Let’s coach the key sales leaders in the new approach,” and you believe this would be beneficial but not as beneficial as also meeting weekly with the sales vice presidents, perhaps you should simply go with the flow for the moment. Methodology always seems perfect in the heat of your passion for it, but it cools significantly in the often frigid and unfriendly tundra of the client.
I’ll stipulate that you may just know what the “perfect” approach is, but I’ll also admonish you to listen to the buyer and be willing to accept something that will work fairly well instead of holding out for the platinum solution. You want to build a relationship—think of the fourth sale first—and not appear as a demanding, aloof outsider who isn’t going to bend or be flexible in someone else’s house.
A buyer called me in and said, “Theoretically, what would you suggest if I told you that three employees were complaining about a newly appointed direct superior?”
“I’d do some analysis, such as how many employees aren’t complaining, and is there factual evidence for the complaints; I’d interview the four of them; and I’d arrive at the cause of the complaints and suggest a resolution. In most case like this, the employees have some other problem but take it out on any recent change.”
“You wouldn’t do a 360-degree assessment on the manager or review our selection and promotion process?”
“Why on earth would I do that? Do you want that?”
“No, but another consultant is demanding it and I suspected he goes through the same procedure no matter what the situation. I want you to go over there and take this on and just send me a bill for whatever you need.”
(Outcome: The three employees were upset about a new mandatory overtime rule that had nothing to do with the new manager but was a corporate policy.)
Frequently Asked Question
Q. What happens when a prospective buyer seems very receptive but says, “Tell me exactly what would happen next if we did this?” I’m afraid I’m starting to consult and give away the store when we have no agreement of any kind in place.
A. You have a legitimate fear, since your main competition is internal, and the client may attemp to do it alone. My exact response to the question you pose is: “The next specific step is that you write me a check, because now you’ve asked me to tell you how to resolve this!”
For a free, brief video series on RESOLVE, please go here:
October 22-24, 2012
The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL
The third annual conference, limited to 20 people, which has featured Marshall Goldsmith and David Maister the past two years. Learn how to rise to thought leadership in your field with practical techniques and ongoing support. The graduate session is already sold out a year in advance! Fifteen spots remain. There is no other opportunity like this in the world. The finest venue, great interaction, top people. All lodging and meals are included.
Read about the 2011 session here.
Sign up for 2012 here.
March 6-7, 2012
Alan's Home, East Greenwich, RI
We have space for only 6 people in this session which provides six months of growth in two days. Create a powerful speech, practice it, set the right fees, and establish a marketing plan. Extensive prep work. All meals, lodging, local transportation included. A unique, intensive opportunity with ongoing and detailed feedback from Alan. Three spots remain.
Miami, February 7, 2012
London, May 8, 2012
In an extensive day of recorded role-plays and case studies, learn how to establish objectives, metrics, and value that will gain conceptual agreement with a buyer and lead directly to large proposals with almost guaranteed acceptance. We will provide everyone with videos of their simulations, and everyone is encouraged to record their own and others. I’m buying dinner for the first ten registrants in each city.
© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.
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