Managing Your Clients

The October edition of Strogoff Consulting‘s newsletter Negotiating Strategies offers some useful project management advice that’s applicable while working with clients after a contract has been signed. Even though the newsletter is aimed at people working in architecture, design, and engineering, these steps might help FC Now readers stay a step ahead:

  • Start the project with a client kick-off meeting
  • Educate your client about changes that could likely arise
  • Review your client’s expectations as project conditions or assumptions change
  • Have a single client representative present at all client meetings
  • Educate clients throughout the project
  • Tell clients what they need to know, not what they want to hear
  • Make clients aware of the ramifications of their decisions
  • Obtain client approval at key points throughout the project
  • Inform clients about pending additional services
  • Rehearse client presentations ahead of time

The fourth and seventh items are particularly interesting. The article expands:

Don’t try to navigate your own way through a client’s conflicting priorities. Insist that your client appoint one person on its behalf to provide continuity, keep the other client stakeholders informed of competing interests, and give you the guidance needed to make timely decisions.

Tell your client if a decision might delay your work, increase your scope, or impact whether you can achieve their initial goals. Then give your client the opportunity to reconsider its decision in light of these ramifications.