A business is an abstraction.
A business is a legal entity on a
piece of paper in a ﬁling
cabinet in Companies House.
Your clients aren't pieces of paper in
Companies House; they are the individuals that
represent the pieces of paper.
The proﬁt motive
Business motives are easy to understand, because they’re
always the same: the objective is always to increase proﬁt,
via increased revenues and reduced operating costs.
There are other objectives, such as increased market share
or reduced churn. But they are strategies that drive the
over-arching purpose: to make a PROFIT.
The people motive
People’s motives are difﬁcult to understand,
because they’re never the same:
we are complex beings.
The human brain is the most complex structure we
know of. We don’t even understand ourselves.
You can’t teach chemistry*
*Unless you’re a chemistry teacher
So what does it mean to build a relationship with a client?
You need to be their most trusted ally,
and they need to be your biggest advocate.
We want… everything.
(achieving individual potential)
(from self & others)
(being part of a group; love and affection)
(shelter, clothing, health, vitality)
(breathe, drink, eat, sleep)
An Imperfect World
“If only this world was a clean board of lines and
intersections. If only time was a sequence of
considered moves and not a chaos of slippages
From The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet
• We underestimate how long things take
• We overestimate our own competence
• We suffer from cognitive dissonance
Solving problems head on
What do you two when two clients from the same organisation - at the
same level of seniority - have conﬂicting objectives?
What do you do when your primary client’s manager pulls rank, and
disrupts a project at a critical moment?
What do you do when your client says one thing and does another?
What do you do when you suspect your client doesn’t care about the
project and wants you to tick boxes for them?