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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #53: February, 2008

Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC

I'm changing Weiss Advice this year to focus on given topics each month. I'd welcome your response and will print it the following month with your permission. If you wish to respond and have your comment printed, please send it as a Word attachment and not embedded in email. (Remember, in modern printing, skip only one space between sentences, not two, which makes editing much easier.)

Topic: Delegated to a non-buyer

Cause: You never reach buyer Resolution: Insist to gatekeepers that your issues are for strategic consideration

Cause: Buyer feels you're more appropriate for HR consideration Resolution: Stress that your approach may threaten staff people who haven't done it themselves

Cause: Buyer legitimately wants feasibility advice from subordinates Resolution: Gladly accept, but require that buyer then meets with you to debrief and compare response to buyer's perceptions afterwards

Cause: You have a poor meeting/presentation with buyer Resolution: Return by mail or phone with added value that you did not originally bring up (to reverse a decision, you must use new information)

Cause: Buyer insists, nothing to be done Resolution: Convince subordinate that the best course of action if for you to jointly return to buyer with suggestions about how to move forward

The preventive action for all of this is to make it clear that you are a peer of the buyer, have dealt with the buyer's peers elsewhere, and that the issues are only appropriate for the buyer.

The best place to deal with this is immediately, with the assistant setting up the meeting, or with the buyer in the meeting. You will never become wealthy in consulting, because you'll never achieve critical success, working with low level people, including all of human resources.

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