A good working relationship between a Consultant and their client is a vital component in all projects. As a Technology Consulting Analyst, working within a functional team on a global technology implementation, it is crucial that I build positive relationships with all of my client stakeholders. In doing so I can ensure that my clients are not only aware of the changes happening in their organisation, but feel excited to be a part of those changes.
As a Regional Lead on a technology project, I am personally responsible for managing ten or more stakeholders from over twenty different countries. A major part of my role involves ensuring these stakeholders are aware of the key project deadlines and complete the work that is required of them, as well as providing them with support if needed.
Here are some top tips when dealing with client stakeholders!
Global implementations present a huge learning curve for your client and will undoubtedly result in some faults and failures. Ensuring your client is aware of those failures, learns from them and heeds your advice is crucial to a trusting relationship. Don’t shy away from the errors that happen on a project, own up to them and ensure you are able to suggest a solution.
When meeting with clients I will often use the same slide decks, meeting formats and post-meeting notes for every engagement. In doing so I am able to create consistency in my work, manage the client’s expectations and steer meetings in the right direction.
Working as a Regional Lead for a large number of countries can present a lot of challenges in terms of time-zone differences and different working cultures. When working with a mixture of clients it is important that you plan times in the week for you to be available to everyone (given the time-zone differences). In addition, communicating your own working schedule with your client will avoid any complications that may occur when you get an unsuspected call and happen to be asleep!
Stick to these rules and you should be able to develop a strong, trusting relationship with your clients.