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Progressing a Relationship with a Client

 
#1 Progressing a Relationship with a Client
11/04/2016 10:47

Deusextra30

I have known this person for around 5 years now and they have recently been made COO of a large company that is undergoing a business transformation. The COO is responsible for overseeing this business transformation.

I'm currently working as a contractor for a small consultancy (approx. 50 people) who have expertise in the relevant areas of business transformation. I've had informal discussions with the COO and have suggested that they use the consultancy I'm working for to assist with the transformation.

I'm 29 and my position within the consultancy is not as senior as many of the other consultants. Ideally I'd like to win new business for my consultancy with me being the key consultant as opposed to one of the Directors / Senior Consultants (with 20+ years experience).

I'm currently thinking of proposing a short piece of work (2 days) that would demonstrate the potential benefits I could offer in assisting with the transformation, then hopefully this would lead to the COO signing off a much larger piece of work.

What are the best ways to go about these sorts of things? My career to date has mainly been on the delivery side of things as opposed to business development.

Any pointers would be appreciated

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#2 RE: Progressing a Relationship with a Client
11/04/2016 12:21

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Deusextra30 (#1)

If you're a contractor, why not work directly for this COO?

The way to deal with this however is to speak to your line manager and say you know of a potential client and ask them what you should do. Be cautious about taking too much initiative, get your manager involved. And expect also to lose control of the relationship, this is normal and not to be feared.

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#3 RE: Progressing a Relationship with a Client
11/04/2016 13:42

Deusextra30 to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#2)

I would love the opportunity to work directly for the COO, however, I only have around 7 years experience while my consultancy has expertise in business transformation and a strong track record with clients. If I were to work directly it could possibly be seen as a case of him 'doing a favour for a mate' and potentially lose him some credibility internally.

I'm not downplaying my value as I think I could do a great job contracting directly I just think that perhaps starting off initially through my consultancy and then once established perhaps consider going direct?

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#4 RE: Progressing a Relationship with a Client
11/04/2016 14:51

marsday to Deusextra30 (#1)

This all looks like a lose/lose to me. A COO, no matter how well you know them, is going to run the political risk of signing off a services spend on someone with relatively little experience and (critically) as a contractor no accountability. In the same instance, the best you would achieve is to win a piece of work (2 day proof of concept) which would be too high on cost to serve to have any margin, so now you look bad at your current company. I could go on. This is a truly bad idea.

Take Bushy's advice - get your manager involved.

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#5 RE: Progressing a Relationship with a Client
11/04/2016 15:17

Deusextra30 to marsday (#4)

OK well there is currently a dip in invoiced work so I'm doing a lot of internal non-invoiced work. There is also a big marketing push going on to attempt to win new business. There have also been a number of new recruits taken on with the aim of winning more business.

I'm on a fairly long term contract (relatively low contract rate) and have no line manager so to speak. I lead and assist on assignments and when I am invoiced to a client it's 3 times the day-rate I charge the consultancy (I contract directly and not through an agency). I am also unaware of what will happen when my contract is up whether they will offer an extension or even a permanent position.

Baring this in mind I can't see it being a lose/lose situation even if unsuccessful? Surely with the marketing drive the fact I'm even contemplating this would be seen positively. I've not mentioned anything yet and am unlikely to do so until I've at least had further discussions with the COO.

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#6 RE: Progressing a Relationship with a Client
12/04/2016 16:28

Rollercoaster to Deusextra30 (#5)

Am I the only person that read the thread title and was disappointed with the content? I though it was going to be all Bravehearted and Travel lodge suggestions.......

http://forum.top-consultant.com/UK/81369/141/Personal-Crisis-V-Work/

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#7 RE: Progressing a Relationship with a Client
14/04/2016 12:24

Frio to Rollercoaster (#6)

Same here....I'd thought from the title that the original poster had fallen in love with their customer and was seeking advice on how to "move things on".

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#8 RE: Progressing a Relationship with a Client
26/04/2016 09:57

Bravehearted to Rollercoaster (#6)

Haha sweet baby Jesus - I thought if I laid low long enough the fruits of my misguided Marriott (not Travel Lodge!) adventure would had dissipated.

Admittedly travel lodge does add a certain "unfortunate-ness" to the whole thing making it a better experience.

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#9 RE: Progressing a Relationship with a Client
26/04/2016 16:54

Rollercoaster to Bravehearted (#8)

That's the trouble with consulting, it is a small world; and one largely populated by elephants!

Well done on possibly the most entertaining thread on here though.

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