Our Role as a Guide in Professional Services Client Management

Client Management does not “just happen”… it must be deliberate and proactive in order to be effective. For those of you reading this and our other blogs, by now you are likely not surprised by seeing and reading that statement.

Professionals in our industry – whether you refer to it as Consulting, Advisory Services, Professional Services, etc. – play many roles and wear many hats. We also must sell work, manage work, manage people and of course deliver on the promise to drive successful outcomes for our Clients. This requires a broad skillset and a personality motivated by managing our Clients through it all.

In previous blogs, we have discussed a few key roles needed for success of a PS business (Account Lead, Delivery Leader). Regardless of your specific role, there is an overarching role that is important for every consulting professional: your role as a guide. This role is more of a mindset, and we often find it is helpful and valuable to think of PS as a guide to communicate to others why Client Management skills are necessary and how they get applied in the real world.

Consider the best guides you have personally experienced over time. They might be professional in nature such as mentors, teachers, and business partners. They can also be more personal – a tour guide or a white-water rafting guide. The best and most impactful guides all have the same commonalities. They:

    1. Build Rapport
    2. Provide Vision
    3. Embrace Problems
    4. Grow Accounts (i.e., expand relationships)

Possessing this mindset provides the foundation for what it is like to be a “consultant”. In coming blogs, we will discuss each of these four characteristics in more detail.

Written by: Mark Slotnik and Sarah Cushman

About the Authors:

Mark Slotnik has spent nearly 20+ years advising clients in the areas of designing and taking to market high-value business solutions, solution portfolio management, talent development, resource management, business process re-engineering and commercial software.  

Sarah Cushman is a Manager with McMann & Ransford and has experience working with Fortune 500 companies to solve complex challenges, drive differentiation, and create long-term value.

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