|photo credit: pagarneau via photopin cc|
Last week, I wrote a post about The Biggest Mistake You Neeed to Avoid As A Consultant and taking a page from the movie Inception as part of your consulting repetoire. A reader responded with a question, “Do you not run the risk of a terminated contract if the client feels the idea is his/her own and therefore does not need to pay you for consulting?”
In other words, she wanted know:
Can Inception Go Too Far?
Let’s think about this for a second. Sure, you could come across a client who temporarily forgets that you’re the reason that person got that big promotion or still has a job in the first place when other people were encouraged to seek other other employment. That client may try to go it alone, but reality will set in quickly and you’ll be back in your trusted advisor seat before it has a chance to get cold.
The more dangerous situation is when you have a client that has so much budget pressure from its senior leadership they won’t continue to use your services no matter how much value you add. In this context, inception or not, you’re gone. If you had the chance to at least lend an idea or concept, whenever the budgets reset or the spending scrutiny returns to normal levels, you shouldn’t be surprised when your phone rings again. If you never brought anything worth discussing to the table, that client will have no problems losing your number.
This isn’t because the client doesn’t have smart people to do the work but rather it’s because you bring personal experience of having done this type of work multiple times before (or access to a team that has), and knowing the pitfalls to avoid in a project setting is just as valuable, if not more, as knowing the right sequence of steps to ensure a project delivers on its projected value/business case.
So what’s the bottom line?
Over the long-run, having a client-centric focus will always yield better results for the client and for you as a consultant, even if you take a roundabout way to get to the end result.
What do you think? Have you already seen this in action? Let me know in the comments below.