WIC Lessons Learned #3 – Leslie Smith

:: Leslie became a member of Women In Consulting nearly 20 years ago when she first took the leap to become an independent financial consultant. She had spent a number of years building a career at Bank of America rising to a V.P. of Investments for their Investment Services division working with the banks clients.  Having left the bank, she was starting from a blank slate as a consultant.  Another self-employed friend recommended she join the newly formed Women In Consulting group.

The Value In Showing Up

She’s been a member ever since and has this pearl of wisdom for new members, “There is a lot of value in just showing up, month after month. I learned from people’s successes and I learned from their cautionary tales.  This group provides a rich exchange of ideas and experiences with smart and successful women that has been invaluable to my business.”

Support at Key Times

One of those meetings helped Leslie frame a tough decision: when is it time to fire a client? At the time, firing a client was unheard of, but as her business grew she knew she had to make that tough decision on how, when and why to stop working with a client.

Words of Wisdom

“At the time, it was antithetical for a relatively new consultant to let go of work,” explained Leslie “But it was the best thing I ever did. “

“It came down to an honest assessment of the engagement. Does the client fit your practice in terms of your values and the way you do business?  Is it a healthy collaboration to serve the client’s needs, adding value that leads to their feeling well served? Or is it a relationship that won’t be beneficial to either one of you in the long run? “

While letting go of a client is never easy firing them may be the best thing for you and them.  It’s not just about whether they can be tough to work with; everyone has difficult clients. Sticking it out with a client who is never going to be happy, has different values, or is not a fit for the business you want to grow serves neither you nor them.

More About Leslie

Leslie A. Smith is Principal of Coronado Financial Group, LLC and independent Registered Advisor helping clients find their path to build wealth, protect their assets and income, save for retirement and achieve their financial goals.

About This Series

For twenty years, Women In Consulting has been helping consultants help themselves through an exchange of ideas, best practices, and networking.  In celebration of all those countless exchanges, this WIC Insight series hopes to show how members have applied lessons learned directly to their business. 



amyjhuson@gmail.com' About Amy Huson

Amy Huson is a new member of WIC who is just starting her marketing consulting practice. She's focused on marketing strategy reviews and go-to-market planning for small to mid-size companies looking to re-align their digital and traditional marketing practices.

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