Tip #149: What NOT to Do When Interviewing A Potential New Client:

two black businesspeople

1. tell them what they’re doing wrong
2. push them to do more than they are ready to do
3. get lost and be late to the meeting
4. put on hand cream just before you shake their hands
5. turn the interview into a training session
6. assume that you are the only consultant being interviewed
7. firmly suggest that the client consider his or her culpability for the issue under discussion
8. terrify the client that sensitive issues will need to be discussed
9. ask the client to betray their loyalty to management, no matter how poor the management appears to be
10. exhibit a sense of humor when the client is humorless
11. lose articles of clothing or jewelry during the interview
12. flirt with the client
13. think out loud when asked about a potential approach to an issue
14. neglect to do research on the client, so that references and examples are relevant to their industry
15. do lots of work for the client in good faith prior to receiving a signed contract
16. make assumptions that the fee is understood rather than explicitly stating the fee upfront
17. bidding on work without getting a clear idea of the context and extenuating circumstances that may affect the time involved
18. take personally the personality traits of the client when under duress
19. get blindsided with additional issues or processes that the client neglected to mention and you had no reason to expect or inquire about
20. go into the situation as the crusader rabbit, ready to take on the establishment and protect the employees when you are actually hired by the establishment and have no real control over the situation
21. promise confidentiality when you have no control over what people say
22. use extreme examples to make a point, thereby distracting and derailing the client’s attention and comfort level
23. humbly minimize your expertise and competence
24. neglect to check with references ahead of time, to ensure that they are willing and available to provide positive support
25. inadvertently misrepresent yourself, your expertise, or your experience

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