But when you have to negotiate hills, turns and traffic, you’re a disaster. You can’t stay in your lane because you don’t anticipate the curves ahead and react only when you are already in them. The kicker is that it’s not so much a problem for you because you eventually find your lane. But you irritate those around you because you didn’t anticipate and adjust to the different conditions.
The same is true with how you serve your clients. Don’t assume that once the project or engagement has been set in place and agreements have been signed, it’s going to go the way it is planned. So you chug along as if the road will remain straight all the way to the end. Did you forget that clients live in constant change and are pressured to adjust? You can be sure that their adjustments will definitely affect you.
You have to constantly evaluate the landscape. What has changed or been altered since you last talked or since the scope was defined? It is safe to assume something has. That’s why you should do things like open your meetings with a context statement: “This meeting was scheduled to review 2 things—your overhead rate factors and your personal plane financing. Which would you like to look at first?”
If you assume that the priority today is what it was the last time you met and you prepare accordingly, you run the risk of appearing to emphasize the wrong thing, confirming that you are unable to keep up with them.
This week, for every client interaction, use the opportunity to demonstrate your competence in your ability to anticipate and negotiate the twists and turns your clients put before you. You know…be a good driver.
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