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Good Client, Bad Client. Good Consultant, Bad Consultant!

The relationship between a buyer and seller is always a complex one and is clouded with feelings of insecurity on both ends - Clients feel consultants will ask for too much money v/s Consultant fear Clients won't pay on time ; Consultants feel clients will try extract more work than what they pay for v/s Clients fear consultants might not able to solve their problem completely.

To solve this challenge it's important for both sides to know when to say YES and when to say NO.

Yes Scenarios:

1) Most commonly, I get contacted by clients who understand their industry very well, but have limited knowledge of Digital and acknowledge this fact (which is great). In this scenario, we begin with understanding each other's domain and then develop a vision and strategy. The key thing here is to have mutual respect and understanding – On my part, it's super critical to understand the organisation and industry and to know what we are trying to achieve - and on the client side, it's critical to acknowledge and accept that they have hired an expert, and the project has highest chances of success if they trust and listen to him.

2) I am also often hired by digitally savvy organizations, who want to optimize their budgets and get more returns per $ spent on digital. This relationship works best when we begin with audit and reports and then identify key levers which can be pulled to accelerate their growth.

3) The third and most exciting type of clients are those who have everything going their way, but still want to disrupt before somebody else does. I enjoy taking up this challenge and come up with out-of-the box ideas to leverage the strength and power of digital.

No Scenarios:

1) I am honest, polite and direct in turning down projects for which the timeline is too short; the request is morally or ethically questionable; or when i'm asked for more time than I can commit. But i always try and keep the relationship open by either recommending someone else from my network who is better suited for the task or suggesting a better time from my calendar to take things up.

2) I also avoid working with clients who are looking for a 'yes' person. The most critical thing about digital transformation is to be able to challenge the status quo. Instead of a waterfall approach to project management, there needs to be an Agile approach keeping customer at the center of all activities.

3) Since change is at the center-stage of the digital world, it's a No scenario when an organization reaches out to me but is resistant to change at a broader level. Digital cannot work in Silos, it requires a collaborative approach instead of hierarchical.


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