All the work, all the effort, all the workshops, configuring, testing, revising, re-configuring, customization, and now the client wants to panic because there are several more things that were forgotten in the process. Sound familiar?
Every client does it. This should be nothing new at all, yet every time it seems so unique and different. The system isn’t the same as it used to be and there are always several important people who haven’t been involved in the process that now want to change everything.
“What if”, becomes the mantra. Fingers and attitudes become pointed. Suddenly, your ability is questioned because of the little things that pop up. This is where your coolness and true leadership should come out.
Address the clients concerns. Document and address issues. Work through contingency plans. But, at every chance, reiterate that this has been a team effort and all the work is about to pay off. The big picture is finished and beautiful, but some color changes are being made to the detail. Sure, there’s this part that works funny, but look at these other improvements we’ve made! Always throw in one or two positive remarks, at every opportunity.
Their jobs could be riding on this project. Your reputation and referrals are certainly part of the equation. There’s plenty to be concerned with. But look at all that’s been put in through the process. How many problems have already been worked through and redesigned. They have shared the inner working of their company. You have given them as much of your expertise as you can.
There’s so much that has been done that people want to forget in the light of last minute frustrations. Be the friend, the cheer-leader, the calm in the storm. Stay heads down and focused on the issues, yet smiling and confident of the result. Seek opportunities to transfer more knowledge and work through new processes again and again with the client. Build their confidence by reminding then of the new tricks they’ve inherited.
“Face piles of trials with smiles.”