There is a lesson to be learned in everything we do, every answer we seek and every experience we experience.
It never hurts to step out of your own head, take a look at self and grow from it.
Making money is great and working with the right client is even better; at times it’s not about the money, more about the experience.
My grandmother always said, “All money is not good money“.
Sometimes we have to have a candid conversation with ourselves, evaluate our skills, goals, desires and make a decision.
- Is this opportunity for us or against us?
- Is this a good fit?
- Can we meet the demands that are necessary to serve the needs of the client?
- Is it too much?
- Do I really have the skills to bring success to this client?
Acknowledging that the potential client is not suited for you and referring them to a better solution, not only serves the client, but you as well.
Being honest with oneself – accepting that this is not the right client, is not always easy. Especially if you need the money and you have some of the skills needed. But it is the right thing to do.
I have taken on clients that I was not really suited for. Fortunately all turned out well but it was hell for me in the process…I did not consider the effects it would have on me personally in the long run.
Much of the process in deciding to work with potential clients involves key steps and decisions that need to be taken. To help understand more clearly and to gain a different perspective, I asked John Gillespie, Founder and President of Beyond the Bottom Line for his advice.
Understand the Language
Pay close attention to the language of the potential client.
- Do they view you as an investment or an expense?
- Do they consider you a vendor instead of a partner?
Understanding the language of potential clients is key to determining if the client is a good match for your services. This part of the cycle is typically very short and there may not be enough time to truly determine their behaviors or true thoughts.
Understand The Challenges
Understanding the challenges of the potential client is important. Quite often there isn’t enough time spent to understand their behaviors and what their true problem is before you decide to work with the client.
John Gillespie suggests to help clients identify the problem. There are times when what they are presenting as the challenge/problem may not really be the true issue that needs to be resolved.
He and his partner conduct a project assessment/analysis to review additional documentation, including financial reports, prior audit report, etc. and then ask questions of other (client) staff to get their take on the issues. The assessment process enables them to sharpen the focus of their work and to remove some of the guessing.
This additional step helps the development of a thorough proposal as well as aids in the determination if the skill set needed is present in the company, and if it would be better suited to refer the potential client to another company.
He believes it’s “easier to get out earlier” vs. 6 months later when you realize you should have helped them find a different solution. By then not only have you done a disservice to the client, you are probably pretty stressed and you may have hurt other clients as well.
If you’re crossing a river, but you’re unsure of your destination (successful culmination of a project), it’s easier to get off near the shore (at the beginning of the project) than at any other time in the journey.
Understand the Reason for Outsourcing
Mr Gillespie suggest there are a few reasons:
- When a business decides to outsource it is typically because they don’t have the skill set needed to accomplish the required task and they need the expertise. It could start out short-term, but circumstances force it into a long-term situation. It’s always better to determine and establish the timeline upfront.
- Some may have left the company suddenly and there is a need for someone to provide “bridge the gap” services between the leaving and the new hire
- Sometimes the company doesn’t have enough expertise to hire the best person and may need and expert to help with the hiring.
- Outsourcing can help with costs. When there is a fixed cost, it may be better to outsource it to control the cost structure.
- Organizations with no skill set in that area may prefer to hire hourly to supplement the needs of staff, or completely outsource the function if there is no designated internal staff for that function
It all goes back to understanding the language, thoroughly understanding the problem while making an informed decision. Each experience is important, what experience do you want to walk away with?
This post is part of April’s Word Carnival “How Being an Expert Doesn’t Mean You Know Everything”. Make sure to click here and check out more on this topic from these awesome bloggers/business owners. You don’t want to miss it