We often think we need to come up with a solution on our own to prove we are worth hiring. But clients aren’t just looking for someone to take charge and save the day—they’re looking for an ally, an invested confidant.
Clients want to play a role in the shaping of every major assignment. They want to help mold the approach and inform our thinking when it comes to their work.
When clients weigh in, our immediate reaction may be to take pause. But, top business development performers have learned to grab onto client influence and make it their own.
This goes well beyond listening to your client. It’s about what you do with what they tell you. If you don’t take hold of your client’s ideas and illustrate clearly to your client your inclusion of those ideas, they end up on the outside looking in.
Actively bring clients into your work process. Take the time to review how their feedback influenced:
- Your proposal
- Your approach to the work
- Your presentation
If you’re about to walk into the room to give a presentation and the decision-makers—your allies—don’t know in advance what you’re going to say, then you’ve already lost. You’ve missed the opportunity to give your client a voice—to show them you’ve taken their ideas and incorporated them into the project.
By inviting your client to have a hand in the process, you will end up with better outcomes, new business, and avoid the mold problem.