The Power of a Strong Client-Consultant Relationship

The client-consultant relationship is a long-term commitment that can bring many advantages to a business. When the client and consultant have a strong bond, the business leader can feel comfortable reaching out to the consultant for help with any issue, even if it is not related to the current project. This trust is essential for small businesses, as it encourages clients to engage in future projects and recommend the consultant to others. With the growth of the consulting industry, clients are looking for consultants who can provide maximum value by meeting their expectations and needs (26%).It is important for business leaders to understand the importance of managing the client-consultant relationship in order to avoid common mistakes and improve their overall business performance.

As a consultant, you were hired because of your expertise, but any good consultant knows that the client is the expert in their particular business. Consulting firms are increasingly seeking candidates who go beyond consultants' key competencies: technical knowledge and problem-solving ability. A strong client-consultant relationship is one in which, as a business leader, you feel comfortable calling the consultant when faced with an issue that may not be related to a current project or experience, simply because you trust their vision and value them as a partner. If a consultant only contacts you when looking for more work or a business leader only calls the consultant when they have a new project, neither of you is laying the groundwork for a good, long-term relationship. Customers who have used consultants will know that they need to help them understand this environment, but many customers are too busy and don't spend enough time during the early stages of a task dealing with these issues.

If there is no emotional connection between the consultant and the client, some firms will change the consultant who works on the task. I have spent 30 years in the consulting industry; 20 of them at KPMG and 10 at Bridgepoint Consulting. I am currently a full professor of Management at the University of Technology Sydney and regularly publish research on the relationship between consultants and their clients. Within a client-consultant relationship, human interaction is essential and emotional intelligence (EI) plays an important role in how this relationship is nurtured by both parties and managed through the consulting process. I believe that both consultants and clients need to facilitate this open flow of communication for an efficient exchange of ideas and perspectives, which will allow clients to make full use of the consultants' experience.

Ernest Oesterling
Ernest Oesterling

Certified tv guru. Passionate social media aficionado. Infuriatingly humble music buff. . Lifelong tv junkie. Professional food expert.

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