Start small. When pitching a new deal make the prospect your friend. Sell your new friend something small they can use and use to validate all your fancy promises.
Start well. If you don’t know who the client really is, what their relationship to you is or what their top 3 success factors are then stop and take the extra time to get those answers.
Remember who’s vision is paying you. The client is not always right but being right is over-rated. The client’s needs always come first.
Listen. You have 2 ears and one mouth. Use them in proportion. Not every similar sounding project should be solved in the same way.
Educate and Bridge gaps. As a consultant looking to become a trusted advisor in a long term client relationship you are usually being paid for knowledge, services and vision that the client is unable or not willing to address.
Start the relationship. Whatever the client asked for deliver that or the very first piece of that quickly.
Show value. Visually depict what you mean.
Be concise. People tune out of long winded documents and conversations.
Be proactive in exploring scope but tie future recommendations back to what the client originally asked for as well as what prompted you to make that recommendation.
Be strategic. The higher level conversation that solves the client’s overarching business problem in concert with regular tactical execution wins the day.