The following represents maior fears and concerns clients have about using professional service firms. Use the space provided to note how your professional services skills and talents can help prospective clients reduce and eliminate their most common contracting anxieties.
- Fear that the professional seruice firm representative is incompetent – Discerning managers feel some professionals talk a good line, but may not have the know-how to back up their talk.
- Fear that the professronal seruice firm is incapahle of being properly managed or directed by personnel of the client organization – Some clients perceive professional service firms as being competent, but too controlling, too self-directed. Those respondents are concerned that they will lose control of their management prerogatives from a too take-charge professional.
- Fear that the fee charged by the professional seruice firm is too high – While more than 80% of managers shop or compare fees, many are concerned that they may be paying too much for the services that are being provided.
- Fear that the professio nal seruice firm r.s foo busy with other client work to expend the time required or provide the resources necessary for doing the job right in the time allotted – Some managers perceive professionals spending a great deal of time in the marketing stage of the professional-client relationship trying to impress the client with how busy they are and how important their client list is.
- Fear that the need for a professional service firm is an expressro n of the client’s own failures or limitations – In some fields it is fashionable to use outside professionals. In others, needing a professional service firm is still viewed as an admission that something is wrong.
- Fear of loss resulting from the disclosure of sensifive proprietary data to someone who is a relative stranger – There is a serious concern, especially among small corporate clients, that outside professionals will not be discreet with the information obtained as a result of interaction with the client organization.
- Fear that the client’s own diagnosr.s of the problem is incorrect – Normally, it is not the professional’s diagnosis that overly concerns managers, but rather their own. Managers (clients) are more concerned that their incorrect or incomplete sharing of information will result in the professional spending a lot of expensive time without producing results.
- Fear that the professional seruice firm will not be impartial – Clients may believe the professional will have some priority other than their interest, which will color the outside professional’s objectivity. True professionals, being ethical and disciplined, never allow their evaluations and decisions to be governed by any purpose other than the client’s best interests. Avoid making bias-based solutions, particularly in terms of more consulting and recommending unnecessary add-on work.
- Fear of developing a continuing dependency for the outside professional’s services – Managers worry that the support services will replace them or even worse, they cannot perform at optimum efficiency without them. Others feel they would be spoiled and unable to rid themselves of the need for the professional’s unique service.
Note: Although it is imperative to know about your prospective client’s concerns and fears, NEVER play on their fears or catastrophes in a way that appears to be manipulative. lf you do, it will push them away from considering your firm, and can cause irreversible damage, preventing the potential of you ever getting close to that client again.
Use your responses to fhese fears and concerns to identify the negative consequences of not having your special services. Practice communicating your responses in a way that is vivid, but not exaqqerated.
The chances of solving a problem decline the closer you get to finding out who was the cause of the problem – in other words, don’t point fingers or place blame on specific people.