By J.K. Lasser (ed.)
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Additional resources for Business Management Handbook
There will often be senior managers or executives with no direct involvement or interest in the work you do, but who influence the work indirectly by being concerned or even assessing the performance of the manager who engages you. This is the underlying client. The underlying client is important, as in the end this is the person or group your real client mostly responds to. There are budgetholders and approvers who need to be convinced before you invoices are paid. You are a commercial business and need to be paid for your work and therefore must be comfortable that such people will authorise your invoices.
If you happen to be working for a major international consultancy most potential clients will have heard of you - although even then, they may well not know your full range of services. On the other hand, if you are a small consultancy or an independent consultant most of your potential clients have no knowledge of your existence. Clients not only need to know about you, but to even get a sniff of real work you need to be perceived as potentially capable of fulfilling their needs. Simply put: are you a known and credible supplier?
Don't despair - these prerequisites are regularly met, which is proven by the vast volume of consulting sales that are made all the time. I have listed them not to put you off, but to enable you to align all your ducks in a row, painlessly. On numerous occasions, I have seen consultants (including, on reflection, myself) making epic efforts to gain a sale, only to end up wasting time as one or more of these prerequisites was not met. This cannot always be prevented, but frequently the wasted effort is avoidable.
Business Management Handbook by J.K. Lasser (ed.)