Most people usually don’t think of empathy as having much business value. In fact, you might think if you start empathizing with your clients, you’ll lose your edge; you’ll appear “soft;” you’ll lose business. Here’s a compelling story* about a global firm that turned that conventional wisdom on its ear and transformed a big loss into a big win.
It’s an age-old challenge in the consulting industry: how to get your delivery people to develop more business. After all, who’s in a better position to bring in more work than the people who labor side-by-side with the client? But first there are barriers to break through. Read on for four specific strategies that will help your delivery people execute on both project plans and business development plans.
Our Story Time series brings you real, personal examples from business life that shed light on specific ways to lead with trust. Our last story told a tale of risky business. Today’s anecdote zeroes in on the importance of being willing to interrupt the status quo.
It was a little over 15 years ago when I landed my first big meeting with a very big prospect. I cold-called him via FAX (hey, it was the early 90s). He was a government executive whose name appeared on book covers and in lights at conferences. I was 26 years old, working for an IT consulting firm with a substantial government practice. I wasn’t a business developer; I was just an eager consultant—a newbie—with an idea.
Charlie Green and I recently recorded a podcast interview with Mike McLaughlin on the subject of trust and professional services. We covered a lot of ground in 16 minutes, including the one piece of advice we’d each give consultants about building trust with clients.
Janet Andrews is a senior-level consultant at SRA’s Touchstone Consulting Group, a strategy and management-consulting firm. Janet spends her days running from one U.S. federal government building to the next, working with executives on issues of national interest. Discover Janet’s six tips for building trust-based relationships while getting the job done.