#25: Appropriate bag of tools

Over the past few articles, we have looked at how to retain high value clients and build trusted relationships. However, without the ability to maintain these you will find yourself back at square one.

It is very helpful to have a “bag of tools” of resources that you can draw on as necessary, which suit the client and the situation. Someone coined the phrase “if you only have a hammer in your tool bag, you will treat every problem like a nail”. I have encountered people who do this and are then surprised when they get a pushback from the client or prospect. So, the watchword is make sure you have a range of tools which you can apply, but don’t use them at inappropriate times or in inappropriate situations.

Areas where you might want to have tools at your disposal could include:

  • Focus Groups
  • Interviewing
  • Problem solving
  • Innovative/creative thinking
  • Relationship building
  • Communication
  • Strategy formulation
  • Strategy implementation
  • Managing strategic change
  • Project management
  • Performance management and measurement
  • Coaching
  • Counselling
  • Conflict resolution

There are many more that you could assemble, that would fit your interests, your experience, and your proposition. The key is to put together a toolkit that you feel comfortable with and which gives you the confidence to get the job done. Don’t include tools that you are not comfortable with. Stick with ones with which you are familiar, and/or you have been trained to use.

One tool that I use is PRISM, which I employ to help with:

  • Self-awareness
  • Teambuilding
  • Leading high performance teams
  • Team performance diagnostics
  • Recruitment
  • 360 reviews

Others which I have developed myself include the “one-page plan”, which I encourage all my clients to use, and a diagnostic to evaluate progress towards achieving strategic objective (in other words “how far have we come?”).

So, arm yourself with a mix of appropriate tools, either acquired externally or developed by you internally, and keep them ready for use as and when the situation calls for them. It could make a significant difference when undertaking client assignments, thereby creating happy clients!

Next time we will move on to address the tricky issue of Personal Branding.

Posted in: Consultancy

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