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Notes on Freelance Camp 2011 – What Clients and Consultants Really Think? (Session#2)

This is a continuation from my previous post Contracts for People Who Hate Contracts (Session#1). The second session that I attended is about Clients/Consultants and what they really think.

What Do Client and Consultants Really Think? by Corwin Hiebert and Mark Shiah
In the presentation, Mark was the client and Corwin was the consultant. They re-enacted many things that we all go through when in a client-consultant relationship from introduction to project finish.

Some of the things I learned from the consultant side of things:
– Help client make better decision.
– Be the expert by diagnosing and analyzing the problem.
– Know your role.
– Caring for the client or the project.
– Don’t let clients chase you down.
– If you have multiple clients, make sure you manage and prioritize your time.
– Use online collaborative tools like “Smartsheet”.
– Make client feel that they are the priority. I got burned by this previously and I have more details if interested.
– Give your honest advice to the client, and fully believe the project will work.
– When it comes to money, nickel-and-diming is awkward for the next engagement. It’s better to send all your invoices ahead of time to the stakeholder.
– And finally, provide value-base project work instead of billing hourly. Corwin recommended this book “Value-based Consulting”, I believe the one written by Fiona Czerniawska. From the client side of things, the only thing that we as the consultants ask for, is that you do not carboncopy (CC) everyone in emails. Deal directly with the project manager who will distribute all correspondence to the project group.

For question-and-answers period, a question asked was: What is the difference between Contractors vs Consultants?
– Contractors are “yes” people. They will do what you tell them to do.
– Consultants will bring expert advice and give you options. They will talk themselves out of a job at times if they don’t believe a project will work.

This all I have for this session. The third session I went to is titled “How to Write a Book” by Katrin Lake. Stay tuned for the exciting details.

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