When advising your clients, there are some mistakes you can make that impact their satisfaction with the process and their willingness to consider you as an advisor/consultant going forward.
According to McLaughlin, Merron opens with "Rules behind the Rules" -- some tactics he apparently feels are employed by consultants all too often:
- Rather than offer unique solutions, listen to understand the problem in such a way that you can prove your predefined solution fits the client's problem
- Proclaim specialized knowledge, even if it is not well developed nor unique
- Convince clients that they are in trouble if they don't use you and come in like a hero to save the day
- See change management as something you bolt on to the process, rather than the greatest challenge in the process
- Leverage young talent at high margins to make a lot of money
- Collect your fee, regardless of the outcome
I concur with McLaughlin that many consultants do not exhibit these traits. However, 2 and 6 occur regularly in professional service firms. Both are customer satisfaction nightmares.
Number 6 is the antithesis of value billing.
The fifth one (about leveraging young talent) would happen a lot in firms if partners/managers were better at letting go of work (perhaps if they didn't have those high billable hour requirements!). And I'm not sure I see number 5 as a terrible problem, anyway, as long as the client understands who is doing the work and has agreed to the price.
The first one is primarily the sales faux pas of an untrained advisor.
Think about these "don'ts" and consider how your firm's processes might be encouraging them as well as how your clients might feel as the recipients.