About the Author:

With a career that has spanned advertising, production, technical services, and project management, Michael is able to articulate the wide range skills and professions that make the Internet work. This eclectic understanding and his desire to shine the light on those hiding behind techno babble has brought success to a wide range of projects.

Twitter @bissell

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Past Postings:

Using Dissent To Enhance Your Social Influence Online

Industry Profile - Author

Industry Profiles Ė Full Time Employees - Professional Writer

Some Thoughts On Freelancing

Building Your Online Brand

Marissa Mayer and the Change in Yahoo's Remote Workforce

LinkedIn for Professional Writers

Fake Republican Twitter Accounts

"Did you mean?" -- Google's chiding nanny of search results

Branded Technology

Sharingspree.com -- Stealing more than GroupOn's Idea

The Internet Isn't Entertaining Enough

It's not your bank... It's Apple's and Amazon's

Violated by Madison Avenue

Google+ Scares Me

"We need to..." Internet Marketing Myths

Facebook's deal with the Devil

My cool new phone is a little too cool.

You are never alone

Promotion vs. Distribution... You'd think they'd know that one...

Publishing Industry Watch

Content for Social Media

Social Media Slot Machine

Anonymous vs Me

News from the Twitter Follow Campaign Trail

The art of Indiscriminate Twitter Following

The Cloudy Meaning of The Cloud

The Demand For The Loss of Creativity

Alien Technology and Government Conspiracies

Time for a New Reality

The Death of Email

Protecting Free Speech... Anonymously (and geekily)

Amazon Shouldn't Have Shut Down WikiLeaks

The Superpowers of the Hive Mind

Time for New Ideas

Comcast, Netflix and the Mystery of the Modem

The Great Technical Disconnect

New for the Sake of New

A Retail Store Built Like the Web

Disposable Personas

When did Google Start Policing the Internet?

Getting back to HTML basics, thanks to Apple

Inspecting my Navel Base

A shoebox vs. an online backup

Is Your "Resume" Website Recruiter-friendly?

iBooks -- Creative Epicenter or Gatekeeper?

The Failure of Success

The Economy is Going to Get Worse, but that's okay

Time lost on Twitter

Client Vendor Relationships

Twitter's back alleys and dark places

Social Media is NOT Advertising

Microsoft Courier

Form (designers) versus Function (geeks)

PDXBOOM -- The power of social media and the portland pipe bomb

China and Apple -- Different organizations, same management

The volume of screens


Google Adds Biking Directions to Maps


That magical little tablet

How your website can be in two places at once

Masterpieces created by sheer volume

Suing over lack of originality

A Primer on Internet Fame -- dancing babies, hamsters, numa numa, and more...

Checking my messages

Rules are made to be broken -- in a reasoned, systematic way

So many accounts, so few passwords

Who really uses Twitter? 60% of Twitter's traffic isn't on Twitter

The Web is a Jerry Rigged Kludge

Twitter: Asleep at the Mouse Wheel

Where regulation is good: Google Voice and Vonage

How Facebook is (unintentionally) forcing programmers to piss off users

The Twit Cleaner

Perfect Secretary's pitch for @Adbroad (and the Youtube API)

The Emotions of Text

The Shorty Awards Scandal -- Manual Spam is still Spam

Google Analytics, the cloud and missing numbers #fail

Helen Klein Ross & Michael Bissell Interview at Adweek's Social Media Strategies Conference

The Internet is the New 60's

Cougars from New Zealand (and I don't mean big cats)

Adding facts together, or why you can't charge your cell phone from wifi

Social Media and the Destruction of the World

Rabid Fans vs Passive Viewers -- The Coco vs Leno saga

How to tell someone to retweet (without using up your 140 characters)

You can't buy social media

A book unopened is but a block of paper

Building the LOST: The Final Season Sweepstakes

Holiday SPAM (or the lack thereof)

Archiving Twitter

Too Many Toolbars

Random Censorship with Google Adwords

Accessibility and Shopping Online

Twisted path to customer service

Flash: Shiny objects blinding your audience

Twollow and other gold rush scripts

GPS in a Laptop computer

Thinking outside the box... There was a box?

Twitter was designed for Text Messaging

It's not the corporations, damnit

Entrepreneur or Dreamer?

Adweek Social Media Twitter for Brands Presentation

Socializing is more than Social Media

Generational Marketing is a Myth (or Who's your Daddy?)

Social Media is Just the Way We Use the Internet

Twitter Followers Don't Matter (ask the porn sites)

The Internet is Gooder than Books

Sometimes you don't want your campaign to go viral

Best Twitter Branding Campaign

Like flies to crap, Spammy Twitter Followers don't really go away

iPhone SMS Security Hole

How Flipmytweet works

Cell Phones as Microscopes

Digg is not the Hijacker -- You Are

Steve Ballmer -- the walking dead?

Twitter as an open mic poetry reading

Automatic Social [un]Awareness

First splash for United Against Malaria

New Media/Old Media and the CLIO Awards

Interview at SXSW: Mad Men Twitter And Tracking

We've got an App for that -- it's called the Web

Understanding Google To Get Your Resume Noticed

The trouble with Wordpress and other templates

Wayward Words with Baggage

Speaking at SXSW March 17th

The fleeting Memory of the Internet

It's okay to say 'I don't know'

Nike Takes Over Conquent

Facebook owns this title

Excuses, excuses

A little on Social Media

Feeding on Content

Attack of the Bots

Web 1.0

Net Neutrality

Getting clever with data feeds

The Other Credit Crisis

The Broadband Inauguration

T-Mobile owns Magenta and Other Patent Stories

The Risk-takers, Doers and Makers of Things

The noise of 20,000+ Twitter Followers

30,000 feet, 500 MPH Suburban Strip Mall

Cellphones, toilets and the Inauguration

The End of Days (of song): Microsoft Songsmith Example

Browser Bigotry

The Death of your Soul: Microsoft Songsmith

Creative Development or Developing Creatively?

The Myth of Wikipedia (or the Wiki-1400)

Online/Offline Sales -- is it really that bad?

Is PayPal Tacky?

Old School Web Design Still Works

Domain Squatting

Green Chri$tma$

QA 101

Portland Snow

Get some return on that web traffic

I think they have a backup...

I'd love to have that problem

The [un]importance of statistics

Don't be a tool of viral marketing

Emails, discussions, blogs, wiki and web content

You Designed for Print First

You let someone else register your domain name

You figured .biz, .info, .us would work fine

What's after the Integrated Circuit?

Intelligent life is out there (but it's bugger all down here on earth)

Subject Matter Experts Talking Other Subject Matter

The Totalitarian Regime of Apple

Oversimplifying how people work


Creative Services for the New World

Reverse Anthropomorphism

The End of Time

Better Living Through Twitter

Lessons Learned From Apple

It's the Brand, Baby

Business Architecture vs. Web Construction

On Truth

Inverse Peter Principle

Random Knowledge

The Hive

RSS for this blog
Client Vendor Relationships
Posted: 2010-04-20 20:12:41
Shortcut URL: http://t.conquent.com/jA00

I am a consultant. I belong to professional consultant groups, and I read articles and blogs about consulting. A common thread in these discussions is how awful and disrespectful our clients are. But in all the complaining I see that most consultants donít understand what is expected of them, and they donít understand what the clientís goals and motivations are. In short, you have to do your job, and you have to expect the client to do his. You donít get to complain about the client when you donít do yours, and he does his.

Hereís what I mean. We consultants see our job as performing a particular service. So we complain that our clients donít know what they want from us. They donít understand their projects. They try to bend the project scope and get us to provide extra services. They force lower prices. We complain that the client does not understand all these cool things that we have done, and the client cannot see the value in the work weíve done.

All these things are true. However, to complain about these things shows our lack of understanding and empathy for our clients. We need to understand several things about the client and their job. First, of course they donít know what they are doing; otherwise they would not have hired the expert who does.

Second, their job is to make money. Everything we do for them must add value. They donít care how cool the work is. They care how much money the work you do will make for them. Since they donít understand the details of what you do their first approach is to try to get the most for the least, so they nearly universally see it as their job to push the scope, and to get extra things done for less money.

The client is planning to spend a lot of money on something he does not understand. Therefore, the client is going to distrust you, and is going to test you.

So now that we understand the client, the really hard part is: what do we do with that information? Some of the answer to that question is in how the client pursues their goals, and the rest of it rest entirely on the consultant.

First you really have to understand the clientís goals. Second, you must make some very clear decisions as to what will further those goals. Do you need to do some really cool stuff? Is this simple and straight forward with no real obstacles? Do you need to work some miracles for this to work? Only do work that adds value. Donít do work that does not. Know the difference.

Donít categorize the work into A work and B work noting that this client only wants to pay for B work. This client only wants to pay for value added work. That is his job.

Now itís time to talk to the client. You have to find a way to explain the project to the client without scaring him. On the one hand, you have to let him know the risks of what he is getting into. Risk is scary, so the client will be suspicious.

Now with all this being said, some clients are problems and will cost you money and reputation. Part of your job is to find this out and fire the clients that will hurt you. Remember, you are also in business to make money. A client that cost you money or reputation fails in the business plan. How to recognize the wrong client is another story

Time lost on Twitter
Twitter's back alleys and dark places

Isaac Duke: Re: - Client Vendor Relationships
2013-08-14 11:34:06

Another WOW! I love when people stick up for clients. I am a salesman, so I am constantly hearing how bad customers are. I wouldn't be able to buy the house I live in, have the children I have, or do any of the things I do if it weren't for my customers. I am thankful they want to do business with me, and I want to work with people who are demanding, because those tend to be the ones that can afford my services. The easy customers tend to be low-budget customers.

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