When the sales rep is giving you the specs on the steel pipes or the consulting services, challenge him. Ask hard questions. Figure out what he knows. If it’s worth you having him come over, it’s worth discovering what he knows.
When the sales call is over, tell the truth. Don’t say, “we’ll get back to you,” unless you intend to. If you’re going to meet with your boss on Friday, tell him. If it’s not your decision, tell him.
So says Seth Godin on Going to Meetings. Just like Aretha sang, it’s about RESPECT.
Blogging is about being open, exposed, or naked, and so is any long term business relationship. To keep things open, I’ve used a form, built on the Performance Technologist’s code of ethics and guidelines in Strategic Planning for Success, to try to start business relationships on a common understanding of responsibilities. Sometimes it opens up conversations, other times I get blank stares and am told to stick to the company’s contracting guidelines.
Here they are, and feel free to modify them to your own circumstances.
My Responsibilities, as the consultant
- Base recommendations and actions on an objective needs assessment conducted in partnership with the client.
- Define, justify empirically, and achieve useful results that can be aligned with both the client organizationâ€™s mission,
objectives, and positive contributions to society.
- Focus on results and consequences of the results. Measure performance based on results, not on procedures performed for the client.
- Set clear expectations about the systematic process to be followed and about the expected outcomes.
- Add value by serving the client organization with integrity, competence, and objectivity.
- Respect and contribute to the legitimate and ethical objectives of the client organization.
- Help the client organization move to where it needs to be in the future.
- Prevent problems from occurring rather than solve problems that could have been predicted and avoided.
The Client’s Responsibilities
- Provide adequate expert knowledge on the client organization.
- Arrange for direct access to the information, people and resources necessary for the project.
- Make no changes to the procedures recommended without taking over responsibility for the results.
- Have the final decision on implementation.
- Make explicit the turnaround time for approval and/or negotiation of any changes to the project plan.
- Not insist on any solution, process, intervention or method when there are no performance data to indicate that these will not measurably add value to what the client organization uses, does, produces and delivers to external clients and stakeholders.
- Publish or print all reports regarding the consultantâ€™s work in full, and not omit any parts without the consultant’s consent.
- Be willing to terminate the contract with the consultant if there are any deviations from this conduct agreement that the consultant cannot, or will not, remedy.