Identifying Client Needs
Identifying the needs of a client starting from an initial sales meeting, to the pre-assessment, through the engagement and even the follow-up audit is at the core of the consulting profession. Truly understanding the needs of someone who is a potential client enables you to sign them on as a client. Continuing to meet a client’s needs leads to a successful engagement, a lasting relationship, and future work.
But how do you ensure you are correctly identifying and addressing the needs of you client? Let’s look at some strategies to successfully accomplish just that.
Know Your Client’s Business
It’s not enough for a consultant to understand their client’s industry; they must also know the nuances of the client’s business. Good consultants aren’t just experts in solving problems related to a specific sector; they must be able to see the unique way those problems impact the company they are working with.
This specific knowledge is found in working collaboratively with your client, asking the right questions about their business, knowing how to listen to the answers and knowing how to incorporate your understanding of the client’s issues into your work.
Done properly, this will allow you to not only fully understand your client’s needs but also how to best address them.
Communicate with Your Client
It’s important to continuously communicate with clients, to ensure a continued understanding of their needs as they evolve, to make sure their expectations are being met and to quickly address any issues that may come up.
Maintaining good communication with your client goes beyond what happens at planned meetings and with scheduled deliverables. Throughout every phase of an engagement, it is important to be available when your client needs you, of course. But it’s even more critical to proactively drive communication when your client isn’t reaching out to you for something. Often, lack of good communication can reduce visibility to problems in their early stages when they are easy to correct, until it’s too late and the engagement is impacted.
Even When the Engagement is Complete
Understanding your client’s needs post-engagement is important but is something that can be easy to overlook.
In a perfect world, engagements would be self-contained, and once changes have been implemented, your client’s organization would operate perfectly to sustain those changes and realize the benefits. However, with the ever-changing business challenges that most organization face, it doesn’t work that way. So whether it’s to troubleshoot a specific problem or provide some level of continued support, part of every successful client relationship is knowing what your client’s needs are after the engagement is complete.
The importance of knowing our client’s needs and understanding their business is embedded in the Trindent approach. Through our deep Energy, Healthcare, and Financial Services industry knowledge, we recognize the importance of ongoing communication to understand clients’ needs.
Are you passionate about doing great work with industry leading clients? Click here to learn more about the opportunities currently available at Trindent.