Do you feel like your client relationship doesn’t give you the respect and freedom that you should have? Here is a quick diagnosis you can run to see if you have the right seat at the table.
The gap between your expertise and the client’s perception has been mismanaged by your marketing and positioning. Now you feel the consequence as your relationship diminishes into order taking and low margins. Yet there is hope…
You’ve Failed at Positioning Your Expertise
Like a first date gone wrong, your positioning in the marketplace missed the mark on the expectations of the client and now you’re stuck in a bad relationship. Relationships with customers tend to diminish over time into lower-skilled tasks. When you are stuck in these relationships, your client goes elsewhere to find new thinking and ideas. Unless you are introducing new thinking to your client, i.e. consulting, you will eventually be replaced by another firm that does better thinking. So what is your plan to stay on top of your client’s needs?
You Don’t Promote Your Thinking
There are so many ways to do this, but with a qualified approach, like our expert ecosystem, you get the full plan. Yet, at the core it starts with publishing your thought leadership in multiple venues. If you are not blogging, not speaking, not sharing your view on your industry in a way that shows you have something valuable to share, then you’re not an expert and won’t be treated like one. You might be brilliant, but if you are not sharing it, no one is going to give you the benefit of the doubt.
You Don’t Insist on Including Some Consulting
This is similar to the first point. Generally, you’ve started the relationship wrong if you don’t have the expert seat at the table. If you were brought in to execute someone else’s idea, and did not stop in the beginning of the relationship to provide some consultation or diagnosis to confirm the direction, you’ve missed the prime window for your expertise. Being an expert means starting out the relationship by presenting yourself primarily as an expert consultant, not as a technician. Start all of your engagements with a diagnostic phase to help the client know that you have to review and get your best thinking done before jumping into execution. Then you’ll be better off as the conversation continues.
Read The “Expert Ecosystem”
If this topic is resonating with you, check out our free ebook called Expert Ecosystem. Inside, we talk about using your expertise to connect with the right customers. We’ve helped many expert firms connect with the right customers by putting their expertise to work for them. Then, when you’re ready, let’s do a review and see if we can help you get to the next level.