Is there a ‘Ghost Consultant’ in your client’s past?

During this time of Halloween, the kids and perhaps some of us adults dress up in haunting costumes.

Unfortunately, ghosts are not exclusive to Halloween when it comes to our clients.  “Ghosts” can show up with our clients in various forms and various times. The one that we should uncover and get out of the closet is the ghost of the former bad consultant. Our client’s experience with a previous bad consultant can come between you and your client. It might show up as skepticism or very close scrutiny of every move you make.

Your relationship might start out from a place of mistrust instead of complete trust.  The noise in our client’s head might sound like this :“Okay—you better show me you can do better than the last consultant—before I completely trust YOU!”

Here are some steps in dealing with this “Ghost Consultant”:

  1. Uncover the ghost role.  You might ask something like this, “Have you worked with another consultant in the past on a similar project?”
  2. Define the impact. “In a scale from 1-10, how would you rate your satisfaction on your interaction with this consultant?”
  3. Unravel the issue/problem.  “What were some of the things that you feel could have been done better?”
  4. Reassure your client that you will make every effort to see that mistakes or issues are avoided in your interaction with them.
  5. Follow up with your own tools and processes that will make them feel confident that you are providing them the service they expect.
  6. Have check-ins with your clients to assure that the ghost role is not showing up and that your clients are feeling a higher level of satisfaction with working with you.
  7. By NO means, criticize or put down the past client. Empathize with the client, hear them out and never argue with their perspective.
  8. Remember that the ghost role of the past consultant will show up in different ways for the client.  For example, you might see them micro-manage the project closely.  Keep reassuring them that you will deliver, meet and maybe exceed their expectations.
  9. Be patient…ghost consultants are sometimes difficult to BOO away!' About Angel Rampy

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