3 Comments

I'm in two minds with this one, Richard.

If you are an experienced operator, then it'll be easy for you to draw a line and strike that balance between "being easy to do business with" and "still staying profitable". In this sense, I certainly agree with you.

But if you're not operating at that level of proficiency, things can quickly get out of hands with extra requests, and the client can (and will) start to take advantage of it. I've seen one project where the PM was quite inexperienced and, before he could even realize it, he had accepted scope which was triple the size of what we had costed.

So, it's risky: make sure you are clear on the line you draw and, either way, document EVERYTHING!

Expand full comment

Yep, I agree on both sides, it highly depends on your situational awareness but I think that Richard is sharing great heuristics that can guide newcomers in the consulting world — and more experienced consultants alike.

I lately developed an additional awareness about cultural differences while working with clients of different nationalities: I'm Italian and I've worked mostly with Italian clients but every once in a while I get a taste of working with international clients.

If I were to borrow Richard's framework about handling out-of-scope requests, I would have at least two "branches": one for Italian clients and one for international clients.

Whether it be the need for over-communication while working in a mostly fully asynchronous and remote way with an international client, or the well-known blender of "creative chaos" that Italian people puts you through, I know have I have to be more or less forthcoming to requests depending on the national and work culture of who's asking.

If I use the same approach regardless of culture I put myself in a position of risk of being misunderstood.

I've had a few instances where the very same way of replying to a request brought a heartfelt "thank you" and the creation of a new opportunity with an international client, but a feedback of being cold and a little bit of a push-over from an Italian client — I laughed at your "document EVERYTHING!" (amen), whenever I do that with Italian clients I'm immediately marked as the crazy one 😅

Expand full comment

I think we should talk Davide, and I'll surprise you 😅

Expand full comment