When a customer brings you into the room, they are looking for a new point of view. A new opinion. An outside expert’s advice and insight into the situations being faced by their company.
When a salesperson, customer service representative, consultant, graphic designer, or other outside contractor experiences self doubt and pulls their punches by trying give the advice or opinion that they think the customer wants to hear it does a disservice to themselves and to their customer.
What the customer is currently doing is no longer working, that’s why they’ve gone in search of expert advice.
If a customer trusts you enough to share the problem they are trying to solve or the opportunity they are trying to pursue, it is your duty to pull no punches in sharing your opinion about how you would go about the mission to accomplish those things.
You owe it to your clients (and to yourself) to propose the right solution to the challenge they shared with you. Even if you think the solution might be over their budget, or it’s something outside their comfort zone.
It’s up to the customer to then decide if they can put together the appropriate budget or overcome their insecurity in order to implement your advice.
- You don’t get to decide what a customer can or cannot afford to do.
- You don’t get to decide whether a customer is willing to try something new.
Your job is to layout your best advice to accomplish the goals your customer said they wanted to achieve, and it is your customer’s job to decide whether or not they believe the solution will help them and if they should move forward with it.
The customer may decide to put your plan into action exactly as you described it to them, or they may ask your for the next-best solution (one that costs less or feels less risky), but you owe it to yourself and your customers to always offer your best advice when called upon to do so.
Because you never know when someone will want to take you up on your offer.