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You Can Lead a Client to Water…

In the past few days I’ve had several conversations with PR folks about clients who don’t listen to their advice. Sometimes no matter how many times you tell your client what you think, they do whatever they want anyway.

I have a theory on this. One of my close friend has been a business consultant for many years and he says most of his clients pay him to tell them what they already know. Most of my clients are experienced business people and they got to where they are by making decisions and trusting their instincts. So they use advisers like me as sounding boards, but when push comes to shove they do what they think is best.

I’m okay with that. My friend also likes to say that you can’t love a company because they won’t love you back. Most of us get so close to our clients that sometimes we forget we don’t actually run the show. At best, we can offer our advice and try to convince our clients that we know what we’re doing. If they don’t listen it’s not our fault if things go wrong. Obviously, nobody wants to see a client make a mistake…but they always will and there’s really nothing we can do about it — except accept it and move on to the next issue.

I try to remember to separate myself from my clients just enough so that I remain independent yet feel like a part of the team. Of course, if you have a client that consistently ignores your counsel it’s definitely time to move on.

What’s your take on this…. Do share your opinion

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