Know, Like and Trust in Management Consulting


This came up in conversation recently and in fact there was a comment about it on this blog too.

Do your management consulting clients actually need to like you?  In my view, Yes.  Here’s why.

Trust is probably the number one currency in sales.  We buy from people we trust.  So if you are going to be selling consulting services and selling your advice, your clients need to trust you.  Trust is built up slowly via your profile, your manner, your past work, your methods, and so on.  Over time, if your sales and marketing are effective, your clients and potential clients will grow to ‘know’ you and trust you.


But do your Clients need to ‘like’ you?


Yes.  Because we buy from people we like.  It’s human nature.   It’s a given that you are a professional, with a great track record and offer great value.  But when it comes to a choice between you and another consultant with similar skills and experience, the client will often select the consultant they like.

Think about it.  If you have a choice between working with two people, with whom you’ll be sharing confidential information and working day to day very closely with, who would you pick?  If both are equally up to the task.  The one you like.

Liking is not about being fun, witty, or being invited to BBQs.    It’s about being approachable, easy to work with, and pleasant.

It’s whatever your type of client needs you to be.

What are your thoughts?