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    Working as a Consultant: "They" vs "We" in Talking to the Customer’s Customer
    James Nagy
    / Categories: Management
     

    Working as a Consultant: "They" vs "We" in Talking to the Customer’s Customer

    In our last article, we shared the importance of distinguishing between “I” and “We” when consulting for a company.  When you’re speaking to your customer/client, you want to be sure to use “you”.  Why?  In a nutshell, it’s not your company, it’s not your business, and it’s not your end goal.  So, in those situations, it is important to say “you”.  “You” should be focused on this because, at the end of the day, “you” do need to do this stuff not “me”.  This is not my company, it is yours. Now that we’re wrapped up in pronouns, what about when you talk to the customer’s customer as a consultant?

    This is where the tables totally turn.  The question now is whether you should say: “they” are presenting this or “we” are presenting this.  The answer? We.  Always we.  Why?  Well, when interacting with your customer’s customer –you want to show a cohesive front.  As a consultant, you need to be aware of the shift that has to happen when you have a change in audience.  When dealing with a customer, “I” am doing this for “you”.  When dealing with the customer’s customer, “we” are doing this for “you”.

    Why is it important?   When you are working with a customer you want to stress the fact that, as a consultant, you are not a part of the starting lineup.  Rather, you are a special team that is being called in.  There is a clear division there.  You are there to help with a task or project, but you are a completely separate entity.  When speaking to the customer’s customer though, you need to be one team (in that moment) to present a consistent and solid foundation.

    Being adaptable to different situations, projects, and audiences is an extremely crucial component in being a successful consultant.  You have to be adaptable to present yourself differently in different situations.  You have to know when it’s time to be a part of the team and when it’s time to highlight the division between yourself and the team.

    As a consultant, you are working for the success of your clients.  This has to always be in the back of your mind when you are interacting with your client’s clients.  “We” are putting a lot of effort into the success of your project.  “We” are looking forward to working with you.  In these situations, using “we” instead of “they” is very beneficial.

    What situations do you think a consultant should become a part of the team and what situations do you think a consultant should remain a separate “special team” coming in to help?  Do you think that there is importance in the distinction between the two?  What is the value to your customers?  Comment below!

     
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    James Nagy

    James NagyJames Nagy

    Looking for a business consultant, how can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs, I have three decades of experience and expertise to share with you and help your business, product, or idea thrive.

    Other posts by James Nagy
    Contact author Full biography

    Full biography

    As a strategic leader and entrepreneur, James Nagy has a record of generating growth by leveraging the latest technologies to drive sales, marketing, product development, and profitability. He is known for identifying and capitalizing on market trends, developing effective tactics for implementation, enhancing operating performance, and serving as a trusted advisor and business partner. Skilled at working across operations, James builds strong, cross-functional relationships and communicates complex technical information to diverse internal and external stakeholders.

    A big picture visionary, James identifies and reacts to market trends, providing disruptive strategies that go beyond IT to include sales, marketing, and product portfolio management. Building on his experience as Director of Software Development with premier companies Midas International Corporation and SXC Health Solutions, Inc., James launched two successful consulting companies, Sprocket Websites Inc. and J&S Tech Designs. As the Managing Director, he provides innovative solutions to clients in small- and mid-cap companies.

    When he is not advising other business leaders, James lends his expertise to a variety of organizations. He is a Founding Member & Committee Member of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce; he serves on multiple teams and committees for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce; he is a Founding Member of the Chicago Area DNN User Group, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the New West Symphony. In his free time, James enjoys Sci-Fi, coin collecting, traveling and wine tasting.

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