Setting the expectation right!

if the headline has caught your attention, you are already wondering what now?,You have already heard it enough..

You know it in the back of your mind every time you deal with your client, make new business pitches, deal with third parties. You have even cursed yourself on what you need to learn before you become a smart dealer and save yourself all the stress every time a third party asks you for something impossible.

Before you start looking out for an answer, have you analysed why it happens so often. It may not be something you have not said right or done wrong. Was your first meeting with your client all about creating a first impression and you thought it was impertinent to introduce your client to the reality.

Obviously you had a huge pressure on your superman shoulders, while trying to create a first impression on your client as you wanted to only impress and impress your client with your credentials and case studies. Obviously it was rude to tell your new client that his business model is different from the case studies that have got him weak in his/her knees.

Obviously it was nowhere less than losing a battle if the client chose other competitors above you in the pitch. So there is no point lamenting over what has happened.

Always remember in our line of business, nobody is wrong and you are never always-right. If you differ from the above statement, i envy you already. And if you chose to agree halfheartedly, lets together and try to find a solution to the problem at hand i.e. setting the expectations right:

Analyse: Lets try and analyse the situation first. Why are you being hounded by impossible tasks and unbelievable timelines. Is it because the first impression went a little too far and the client already thinks you are a super -man/woman? maybe, even if that is the case, all is not lost. A meeting with a client at a convenient time and a good day will help.

List down the impossible: So your client does not listen and is always threatening you with other options available in the market? It is time for a meeting again, this time with a sheet of recent achievement closely followed by a list of impossible tasks which you can not manage. One should remember that the client is paying a retainer for possible tasks, even the agreement on the stamp paper maintains the same.

Move beyond the regular:  Gone are the days when coverage in all newspapers would impress the client so much that you would be entitled to a mail with accolades. Now it goes beyond what content?, what size?, did it capture the main points?, which edition?, which day?, and if you still get an accolades mail, it means either your client is having a brilliant day at work or you are just plain lucky. So strategise and move beyond the regular. Control your own expectations and do not walk the same path every time, in fact try new tricks with every new job at hand.

Be on top of your game: Learn more about your client’s industry, challenges, competition and even their challenges. Once you have perfected your knowledge sharing session with the client, you may get surprised on the surprised yet thankful look at your client’s face.. but keep your emotions in check and do not get too excited to promise what you cant deliver.

Anticipate: Start anticipating on the business environment. It does not require a diploma in rocket science but asking few questions to the right people. Media has made the job easier for you as they can anyways anticipate everything before you can even imagine. So learn from them.

Consult more often: Always remember, as per dictionary a “Consultant” is an experienced professionals who provides expert knowledge (often packaged under a catchy name) for a fee. Since, most of the keywords here match with our job description, it is only pertinent for us to consult as much as possible.

Offer solutions: I have said that earlier and i will say it again, everybody can see a problem, you are no different unless you bring solutions to the table. So try and channelize your energies towards joining the dots and finding a solution to the problem that scares you the most.

Like somebody famous said it sometime, the best way to deal with your problems is to face them.