Nuturing your consultant

I’ve just finished reading an article by Wayne Schulz on his blog and I’ve got to say it resonates with me. The article in questions? “ Care And Feeding of MAS 90 Consultants (Tips & Tricks)

Although I deal with a different product to Wayne (he works with MAS 90, I work with ACT!) the questions he’s heard from end users are similar to what I’ve heard. His response to these four questions are worth reading. The questions he hears are:

  • Can you write down all the instructions that my IT guy needs to upgrade…
  • Hey, quick question - you’re not going to charge me are you?
  • That network or hardware issue is definately a result of your product….
  • Can’t you call Sage and have them fix it?

Go read his thoughts on why these questions should set off an alarm bell.

I think however that these situations arise when the clients expectations haven’t be correctly set. The best time to set the expectations of what we as consultants do is at the beginning of the relationship. Sometimes however, we find that the situation needs to be reset. In that case I’ve found it best to be upfront with the client as to what we find difficult and why, discussing with them what we are prepared to do and what we are not.

We as the consultant need to nurture the client, equally, the client needs to nurture the consultant. That is what a relationship is, individuals working through challenging issues, for the benefit of both.

Reminds me of this youtube video: “The Vendor Client relationship - in real world situations”.

Written on December 12, 2010