Often in the early stages of any profession, either we are the employee, a fresh entrepreneur or a freelance starting to get the subtleties of any profession, we are facing the client (external or internal) who is constantly looking for what is best in their interest.
As we are working our career start – so can be the client – but we will resume here at the talk on us being the fresh face and the client with the greater experience. The client will give all the needed details and waiting for the quotation to meet their expectations and even more, to get our promise that all will be dealt in due time, at the best quality and at the lowest cost.
Our dilemma: Is the client always right?, as what we keep on hearing even before entering the labor or entrepreneurship market is how to make our client happy while us being satisfied with the process and result.
Talking here from the project managers’ point of view, I can say it is quite a rough journey from the first projects until reaching that point where most of the answers come natural.
First of all, it is of the greatest importance to get familiar with the market/industry where we are starting fresh.
Knowing our company, the values, goals and principles, strategy and selling points, our competition with their success or failures, key indicators and last, but not least, the team, our colleagues whom we can rely on and turn to for advice and assistance.
Then trial a few projects – can be real or virtual ones – with the assistance of a senior in the role, to give us that extra know-how on how to deal with our first projects.
Learning the above-mentioned will give us the perfect base to start a project or a discussion from the early stages with a client or a potential prospect.
In time, the project manager gets the skills to propel one from junior to senior in several months up to several years, depending on a few variables, while also learning how to be an account manager or getting the skills of a sales person too, amongst other.
In my experience, as starting to get some projects and being keen into taking and delivering them completed, there are times when the client pushes for a deadline for an almost impossible task in a given timeframe, or pushes for a very low cost.
The tendency of an unexperienced person may be to say yes and accept some requests from the client. This can happen, for example, when a client calls directly and wants to get all the project details over that phone call or, when the client allows for a very short time to evaluate and get all the project details on hand. Here, the emotions are to be avoided, however very often they do play a big role and do not allow us the time for the best answers.
The solution is to give yourself time to answer and offer the best service/product to the client. That time can simply be taken by saying that you want that very short time to get back with what is best for both parties. Take that time to push the emotions away, get a very objective look at the matter and figure out the best solution to come up with.
In conclusion: The client is always right! Yes, with the mention that we can change that right to providing the best possible solution to -meet the real need of the client.