You thought you had it all figured out when the raw content came from the client. A straightforward solution; you could wrap up in five weeks. Luckily, you have a good team too! The initial calls went off fine and the client seemed eager to wrap this up. You send the first storyboard … and it comes back shredded to pieces by the SME. Proactively, you ask for a call, confident of sorting this out. But the client is now very livid and states that TIS has not understood the requirements. You try to reason, but the client would hear none of it. They have decided that the course should be scripted and built in a specific manner. The SMEs are calling the shots now! Despite several iterations on the deliverables, discussions with the SMEs, and late nights, the project continues to go south. Before you know it, the matter is escalated to the top management.
Another day in the life for you?
Is making ALL changes, requested by the client, enough to keep the client happy? Is that even the right approach? What could we do to ensure that client’s needs are understood and a product is delivered to their satisfaction? Is some debate with the client appropriate, or necessary? Or, just let it be? How do we get them to see our point of view? These questions always bother us.
Some of you might agree that barring a few cases, it might actually be possible to manage and collaborate with clients/SMEs, if we are able to gauge their needs better. This is achievable if we resist the temptation for ‘fight or flight’ and cultivate a mindset that enables better engagement with clients and discovery of their needs. In fact, a consultative mindset provides an effective path to generate positive outcomes. Again, this is not a one-approach-fits-all solution, but a general trend.
Here are few ingredients of, what consists of, a consultative mindset:
In the end, it boils down to finding ways to work with a client to achieve a common goal. And a consultative mindset enables you to be nimble, open, creative, persistent, and inquisitive. It cements your relationship with the client and makes you a trustworthy partner.
– By Srijit Prabhakaran, Vice President (Simulations) & Arvind Waghmare, Director (Modeling)