Explore over 350 articles that will help you grow your client relationships and improve your personal effectiveness.

Seven Relationship Lies—and Rules to Replace Them on Valentine’s Day

I usually write strictly about professional relationships, but today, I want to share seven Valentine’s Day lies—and the relationship rules to replace them. Our culture promotes many misleading ideas about what makes for successful personal or romantic relationships. Popular concepts like the need to “just be yourself” or “move on if your needs aren’t being […]

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Eight Cringeworthy Questions You Should Never Ask

I’ve heard this a hundred times: “There are no bad questions.” Sorry, but there are indeed bad questions. And, there are good questions that go bad when used at the wrong time. For example: “Why?” It can be a great question—or a critical, negative one if used improperly. Here are eight questions you should avoid: […]

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How to Dramatically Increase Your Impact and Satisfaction

Reframing Work and Life #6: The Personal Impact Matrix We would all like our work to be satisfying and meaningful. And to that end, there is an entire industry of books, life coaches, and assessments dedicated to helping people discover what they should really be doing. The dramatic story you may have read about the […]

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Choose Ambitious, Bold Clients

Reframing Work and Life #3: The Client Aspiration Matrix There is an unreservedly important but often ignored quality that you should always look for in your clients. It is called ambition. Boldness is another way of putting it. Many executives simply want to do a “good job” while maintaining the status quo. Usually, but not […]

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How to Reframe Client Problems

Reframing Work & Life #2: Putting client problems in a new light The physicist Albert Einstein reputedly said that if he had one hour to solve a problem on which his life depended, he would spend 55 minutes studying and defining it, and 5 minutes solving it. Often, a client (or, your manager or a […]

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Six Laws for Connecting with the C-Suite

By Andrew Sobel This article is drawn from the new book by Andrew Sobel and Jerry Panas, Power Relationships: 26 Irrefutable Laws for Building Extraordinary Relationships. (Anyone who purchases the book can download, for free, the 90-page Power Relationships Planning Guide the authors have prepared to help you apply the Laws to your own prospects […]

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Do You Offer a Truly Unique Client Experience?

How would you rate the overall client experience that you offer? Is it: 1. Below average (or perhaps very uneven)? 2. Competitive? 3. Truly differentiated versus your competition? Would you like your clients to say, “Working with you really is different”? How valuable would that be, from a retention and referral perspective? In the consumer world, […]

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Dealing with Client Unresponsiveness

Do these laments sound familiar? “I had three or four good discussions with a prospective client about doing some work with his company, and now he doesn’t return my phone calls or emails.” “They have our proposal but I haven’t heard a thing back from them. I’ve called and left several messages but gotten no response.” Advisors and other service providers are rarely satisfied with the level of responsiveness from the executives they are trying to sell to. But in the last few years the unresponsiveness seems to have grown into an epidemic. I’ve been a consultant for 32 years, and it’s the worst I’ve seen. Why is this happening? And how should you react?

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Is the Trusted Advisor Still Trusted?

“The market has changed dramatically,” a senior partner at a major law firm recently told me. “I’m beginning to wonder if clients even want a trusted advisor anymore. Much of the time it just comes down to price. It’s discouraging.” Another client of mine, a senior executive in a large global consulting firm, echoed this sentiment: “Selling cycles are much longer that they used to be. Procurement is usually involved, and they can be brutal at squeezing down the price. Sometimes, after you invest a great deal to educate the prospective client, they just decide to do it themselves.” Since 2008, many business professionals are feeling pummeled by intense price competition and ever-harsher client demands. They are asking:  Is becoming a client’s “trusted advisor” an antiquated aspiration in a world where clients seem mainly concerned with getting the lowest price? Is it still relevant when procurement routinely comes between you and your executive clients? Do relationships, in short, really matter anymore?

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