“Bring a new idea to the table at least once a month.”
I wish I could remember where I read that. Not too long ago I read an article, at least I think it was an article though maybe I dreamed it up (regardless it makes wonderful sense), about how to stay on top of your business consulting projects and keep your clients happy.
Most consultants know that each time they meet with their client they need to show some form of progress.
Let me share with you what I use with my clients in meetings.
1) On page 1, before all of the supplementary data, stats, ad copy, etc, I have a “Strategy Session” meeting cover sheet. Here I list what we’ve accomplished since the last time we’ve met, and I’ll quickly run through this at the beginning of the meeting. It reaffirms in the clients mind that I’m helping them to accomplish many areas that they would otherwise be left to deal with themselves.
2) The second part of this document is listing what work is in progress. This shows them that I already have a plan of what needs to be done as soon as I leave the meeting – and then my team and I can get right too it.
3) The third is a list of goals and to-dos. This is where I bring something new to the table. It’s very important to show your client what you’ve accomplished. And just as important to show them what you will be working on in the near-term, but it’s just as critical to propose new ideas and strategies that your client’s business can benefit from.
Granted some of the ideas you propose will be shot down by your client – often just because they aren’t ready for them. Other times because they are not comfortable with them or feel strongly they won’t work. And that’s all fine.
You see, your goal is to have some of the ideas you propose be accepted. If all of them are, great, if not no problem. This then paves the way to your next assignment.
This is a great way to not only help your client tackle any areas of constraint their business may have. It also positions you perfectly to take the next step and continue the consulting project working with your client.