Reflecting back over the past 28 years as a consultant in the audiovisual community, in addition to a stint as an integrator (yes, me too) as well as time on the manufacturing side, I’ve come to find that the three elements—personalization, quality and responsiveness—are critical to success.
Personalization: It’s all about ME! Actually, just the opposite. The personalization is delivering a tailored solution to your client. Certainly there is an element of the individual designer’s thumbprint on the work, which is the uniqueness—the spin, if you will—on why a particular client may select one consultant over the other. The personalization of delivering that special and uniquely tailored solution to the client is what differentiates you from your competitors.
Quality: The project began and all the upfront talk was excellent, 100 percent focused on the client requirements, then came the deliverable and that sour aftertaste; budgets were inaccurate, infrastructure was not properly coordinated, and a perceived total lack of caring ensues. Quality of the deliverable and coordinated follow through is of equal if not greater importance than the initial contact.
Responsiveness: Communications and following through both internally with your team and externally with your client are the key ingredients to a happy client and successful project. If things are not going well, many people have the tendency to procrastinate. That is by far the worst thing to do. You absolutely must proactively manage the situation. One of my biggest pet peeves in business is someone who is not responsive. I expect my colleagues to respond to our clients, and to respond to me and each other, in equal measure.
Treat everyone as if they are your client and follow this simple advice and you will be successful.
Steve Emspak is Partner at Shen Milsom & Wilke. This feature is part of SCN's "Hush Hush" October print issue.