Monday, March 11, 2013

The Client is Always Wrong

The hardest-learned lesson for any young consultant is how to be wrong. After all, you're the expert, right? But we're all painfully aware of our own limitations; otherwise we'd be in sales!

It's important for a good consultant to acknowledge and admit his limitations. It can even become a sport! Once you're gray enough, you can plead ignorance to almost anything and still get the gig!

I once admitted to the client's main point of contact that, until that meeting, I had never even heard of the product I was developing requirements for! Never mind that I knew it pretty well; I just wanted to see what he'd do! Of course, he kept the project going. After all, he had picked our firm…

But have you ever noticed that the client is almost never right? In fact, it's fair to say that the client is always wrong about everything, from requirements to the final punch list.

This may just be the hardest-learned lesson for an old consultant to face: You're going to tell them one thing and they'll do whatever they decide anyway. The best you can hope for is to convince them, through and through, all of them, that your way is best.

If you can't get real heartfelt buy-in, you're just as bad as they say consultants are!

Whatever. You know we're all even worse!

4 comments:

William Dykes, TU said...

I enjoyed reading this article for a few reasons. Its nice to hear an experienced voice speaking out to unexperienced persons about the "hardest-learned lesson." The lesson underlines some of my best traits, modesty and passion, which should be used at the right time and place. So, I will remember this small but important lesson later on when my career kicks off. Thank you for your thoughts!

-William Dykes
A.B. Freeman School of Business
Tulane University

Joshua Wilson said...

It's important for an honest authority to acknowledge and admit his limitations.

Posted by:
small business consultants

Melo Smith said...

I agree with your statements. Even the best and ideal business consulting in the Philippines have their own shortcomings and imperfections that they really have to improve.

Melo Smith said...

I agree with what you said. Each of us has their own limitations and imperfections. No one are excuse with this even business consulting staff.