When approaching a client meeting, we have a tendency to view things from a very limited and rather egotistical perspective. We’ve spent countless hours plotting out a course, developing technology solutions for our clients. Their side of the equation, though, frequently goes unconsidered. We think we’ve created a program precisely designed for them, and while that may be true, we also don’t always approach the project with our client’s understanding in mind. Lets look at a few ways we can look at our client’s side of the equation.
Many plans end up losing the core concept in the grand scheme. Especially when presenting your plan, keep in mind the idea of the specific actions that your plan will require of your client. Maintain an eye towards simple explanations and actionable content. Don’t lose yourself in the elaborate pros and cons, let the client know the actions they need to take and move on.
Make sure each of your steps informs a clear goal, either established by the client or one that fits an outline you may have created for them.
Numbers. Numbers. Numbers. Give your client numeric ways of understanding clear progress, both predicted and proven. Numbers are easy to understand, they can quickly give someone without knowledge of a subject a visual way of understanding what they’re improving.
Educate your clients very simply. They don’t need to be experts, but be sure the information you present doesn’t assume that they possess even 1/2 your IT knowledge. Assume they don’t have the time to learn it, but that they might need the knowledge. It should be latent and available for them, but should not take up their time.
Have a realistic expectation of what kind of ability your client has. They may not be in a position to execute your plan. They may change their mind at the last minute or be intimidated by the scope of the project. There are many very real reasons why a client might not be able to follow through with your plan. Realize this isn’t in your hands. Don’t take it personally.