Clients Don't Care About You

Remove this assumption from your mind.

Due to the nature of specialized consulting services - where you work closely with the client through an extended period of time - we often develop an intimate relationship with the people we serve. You learn how your clients think, what they fear, and who they look up to. You start to see the world with their lens.

While this trusted partnership helps us explore needs and implement the changes they need, sometimes it leads consultants to fall into a trap: You think they care about you.

I'm not saying that this never happens. Some of your best clients might be curious about your life. But taking this assumption as true is dangerous, and will hurt you and your consulting business.

Clients don't care if you have a mortgage to pay. Clients don't care why you needed to delay part of the project. Clients don't care what you like, where you got your diploma, or what you do when you're not working with them.

The only thing they care about are themselves and their problems.

Your clients chose to hire your services because they believe you might be able to improve their situation. That's why you were invited to their party. Not because they care about you, but because you're useful to them.

That's why rainmakers don't talk about themselves after the initial rapport has been built. They understand self-orientation will take them nowhere. Great consulting partners say "you", they don't say "I".

You focus on asking the right probing questions. You listen to the client. You clarify. You summarize what they say. You find out if and how you can help them solve the root cause.

Repeat to yourself every now and then: My clients don't care about me. This will avoid any sense of entitlement to creep in, turn you into a more professional consultant, and make you win more businesses at higher fees.

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