Monday, 30 March 2009

Your Value Is Not Always That Black & White

Don't assume that your client is always on the same wavelength as you. Whether you are an advisor, consultant or freelancer providing your services to a client, you'll need to be proactive in communicating your value; make sure they realise - and value - the contribution you are making. And the same applies if you are an executive working for an organisation.

Because sometimes value cannot always be measured tangibly. If your role is about sales and generating new business, then sure - it can be easily quantified. What difference have you made to the bottom line, what business did you win? But for some, value might be less black and white. We may have devised a marketing strategy with a longer-term return; we may have proposed a fresh market positioning, a new brand direction, mentored a staff member or team, or given advice on how the business can be developed. And that kind of value cannot be instantly measured. So you need to take the initiative to regularly sit down with your client (or boss) and pose the question 'did you got value from me this month?'. Don't assume they know exactrly what you've done, how you've done it, and how they'll benefit. You need to be proactive in outlining the deliverables you provided, the ideas you had, the positive difference you made. S p e l l i t o u t.

You may have had an idea or provided some advice that gave a small 'nudge' for them to adopt a new strategy or change their organisational culture. However small that nudge, the benefits of that change may be huge. And without you, they would never have embarked on that new direction or made those changes. Don't forget that.

When you're busy juggling, it can be easily overlooked. So don't assume your client knows your value, stay on top of the relationship, check they are happy and remind them about everything you've done for them.

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