It has been an interesting few weeks
with one particular client. And, as I write this post, I am sitting on an
airplane waiting on a small mechanical issue to be corrected, and then off I go
on vacation. What do the two have in common? Expertise.
You see, I am in no position to be of
any assistance to the mechanics on the airplane, even though I’d love to share
a thought or two. I would like to depart as close to on time as possible. Maybe
I could give some advice to the pilots on how to make time up in the air. No,
wait a minute, I didn’t go to flight school. Heck, I’ve never sat in a cockpit.
Granted, I work in technology, so how hard could it be.
Instead, I’ll just chuckle to myself,
and I’ll let the mechanics and the pilots do what they do best. Besides, I’m
putting my trust in their expertise, I mean that is what I am paying for,
Back to my particular client. Why did
you hire my firm? Do you not feel we have your best interests in the forefront
of the project? You are making a sizable investment into the project, so why is
that you selected us? Wasn’t it because you thought my team were experts and
could deliver a superior outcome? So why then are you constantly dismissing our
expert advice and opinions and making poor decisions?
In sales we work very hard to identify
what might be considered red flags. I would never intentionally bring a client
in for a project that would not use us for our best work. So, what should we
do? Handling these situations takes patience and tact and ultimately a willingness
to walk away.
Clients that hire you for your expertise
but then want everything done their way get what they deserve. That may not
seem professional, but what is the alternative? You should take into
consideration the toll it may take on your team members if you force them to
continue with this type of client. It diminishes their and your value. You and
your team have been at this for a very long time, building your professional
resumes in a particular field, and for what, to have a client tell you they
know more than you.
This is harsh commentary, however very
real on an everyday basis. These types of clients should be dealt with
professionally and swiftly. End the engagement. Dissolve the relationship. Fire
the client if need be. These are clients that will end up firing you down the
road for a lack of results even though you told them otherwise. They are their
own worst enemy and the results of “their project” should fall entirely on
Oh yeah, and as I post this week’s blog,
I am now sitting in another airport having missed my connection. I’m a bit disappointed
that I won’t get to my destination on time. But, I trusted in the mechanics and
pilots to keep me safe, and they did their jobs. I can handle the slight delay.
They are the experts, that’s why I hired them.