Do you get frustrated that some clients do not enthusiastically rush to apply your professional business advice? Are they slow in recognising the value of your recommendations?
Why your clients don’t always listen to you
It’s true! Your clients or staff don’t listen to you at times because you forget how much you know. We are all guilty of it at some point in time!
What happens is simple:
- we make a quick, internal, mental assessment of a few facts or pieces of information; and we draw a logical and powerful conclusion,
- our client, or staff, can’t keep up on that fast-paced invisible journey.
So, you feel that they “just don’t get it”? Don’t let the frustration get to you and damage the client or the employment relationship! First let me explain how it happens and what you can do about it.
Not everyone can see beyond the every day routine
Last year I attended a conference where a fabulous international speaker used the life story of Vincent van Gogh as the theme of his message. It was powerful and visually appealing (as you’d hope given the royalties paid for the images).
There was a time when van Gogh was too poor to pay models to pose for him and too poor to travel to paint incredible scenes. He turned his ordinary into something extraordinary by painting a chair, his mirror and room and the church near where he lived.
His ordinary, and the way that he painted it, became extraordinary in the eyes of others. Including us to this very day. It was his talent and his eye that enabled him to paint ordinary items in a way that was beautiful and compelling. Others would have and indeed walked past those items and places because they failed to see what van Gogh did.
The Impact Of Being “unconsciously unskilled”
Your professional business advice makes perfect sense to you, because of your experience and your skills. Have you heard the phrase – “people don’t know what they don’t know”? There is a model of learning and awareness that sets this out brilliantly. It sheds a light on why your clients don’t instantly see and hear the value of your recommendations.
Unlocking The Uptake Of Professional Business Advice
You need to remember how much you know, and how you learned it. This is the learning journey that you undertook. And part of your role as a consultant or adviser is to take your client on a journey to learn and develop. Sure your expertise is what they are buying; but you need to help them to understand two key things
- That there is a problem
- You can be trusted to support, assist and enable them to solve that problem
There is at least one other reason why your message may not have the desired immediate result:
People are “wired” to be task oriented or people oriented. If you take a “task” approach to outlining a situation to a “people” person it will be unlikely to go well.
On top of that, people also tend towards being “passive” in their approach or “assertive”.
This is not about whether any style is right or wrong, more about providing an insight to how your style may match far better with some clients with others. It’s also about providing you some tips – in addition to the skills you already have and the fabulous training provided to all new members to The NCP.
3 Simple Tips To Get Heard
Tip 1 – Use The Network Resources
Remember who you are and what your style is. The beauty of The Network Of Consulting Professionals is that we have members with different styles who can and do complement each other when working with clients. We also take your success personally which means that advice, sounding boards and help is always available.
Tip 2 – Speak Their Language
Notice how your client describes situations and how those mannerisms either match or differ to yours. It’s then about “mirroring” key words and phrases of the client to help them feel that you really understand them and their situation.
Tip 3 – Practice Connecting
Practice using a range of ways to describe what you have noticed and observed. Your intention is to help the client isn’t it? That means putting the effort in to reach a common understanding.
Remember that you have experience and expertise that your client doesn’t have – yet.
As a consultant who is genuinely here to help a client – and other members of The NCP – these reminders may help you to better connect with your clients and smooth the path of your consulting engagement.
To know more, have a chat with Pam Macdonald the next time you meet at an event organised by The Network Of Consulting Professionals; or use our contact page to organise a meeting with Pam.