Why you should utilise your specialist Delivery consultants in client meetings.
Client meetings are one of (if not the best) ways to build the foundations of a strong relationship, win roles, and create a “little black book” of top-tier clients you can partner with to grow your desk.
I know a lot of subscribers to this newsletter will be 360 consultants and you may well have a team of delivery consultants to whom you’re managing and passing roles.
You also may be operating in an organisation with a 180 model, where you have set business developers and key account managers/delivery consultants.
Regardless of your opinions on a 180 or 360 model, it’s pretty clear that you won’t always deliver on the roles you fill and that’s ok!
What you need to focus on is building strong client relationships with the right people who fill the roles (if it’s not you) – and that’ll be your delivery team.
Some organisations do encourage delivery consultants to attend client meetings, but there is also a large portion who don’t.
And my question is why?
Sure, there are times when it’s more appropriate for a delivery consultant to not attend due to time constraints or perhaps being too junior, but on the whole, you should be making a conscious effort to connect your client/hiring manager with their delivery consultant from the get-go.
What are their strengths?
Their strengths are candidate management, networking, and finding incredible talent – this is all very obvious.
But, really dial in on what your delivery consultants’ strengths are.
Let’s say you recruit within Life Sciences and you have a delivery consultant who has worked in industry and has the academics to back it up this can be such an advantage in a client meeting if you’re meeting with a very technical hiring manager.
Common ground is already there an understanding of the science is already there, and you already have an advantage over other agencies.
If they’re a brilliant presenter and you know that their personality and rapport would be received better by the client than you (yes, this is possible!) then you need to put them, forwards. It should be about everybody winning.
And finally, if your delivery consultant is incredibly niche, they are going to have tons of knowledge which should be at the client’s disposal.
It’s not your job to retain all of the information, let them put themselves forward and engage in a conversation that could help you to win the client partnership.
Don’t speak on behalf of your team.
If you are attending a client meeting whereby you’re looking to win 3+ roles, you should absolutely be doubling up with a delivery consultant to represent the delivery team.
Bringing three consultants? Probably a bit too excessive.
But, two people at a client meeting is way better than one.
Try to avoid speaking on behalf of your team especially if you’re not the person who is physically going to be delivering on the roles.
Having a singular point of contact is important if you’re running a delivery team, and that should absolutely be you.
But, in the early stages when the client is figuring out who they want to partner with allowing them to understand the team structure and meet one of the delivery consultants can be incredibly helpful for them to answer any questions that you may not be able to give a comprehensive answer on.
Especially if you operate purely as a business developer for your agency it is physically impossible for you to have specialised knowledge of each vertical.
So, bring a specialist delivery consultant and team up instead!
Collaboration is so powerful.
You want to showcase to your potential client how cohesively you work as a team, collaboration is such a valuable tool and you can only do this if you elevate your delivery consultants and make them a part of the conversation.
Unless you have worked in a 100% delivery role, you won’t know all of the ins and outs of what it really takes (even if you’ve been in the industry over a decade).
It’s about recognising the importance of variety and also showing the team dynamic.
People buy people, and not every single client will be bought into you the first time you meet them.
But, they could be bought into your delivery consultant because of their knowledge, how they present themselves, or simply because of their personality and how they handle themselves.
Collaboration is powerful, so utilise it.
You are upskilling them.
Whether your delivery consultant has aspirations to move into a 360 role or not.
Client meetings are a vital part of development regardless of the path they’re looking to take.
We all remember how scary our first client meeting or BD call was, so removing the fear, creating opportunities for learning and also upskilling your delivery team on how to interact with clients is invaluable.
Ultimately, your clients are your candidates and your candidates are your clients – so try to not have rigid thinking that because someone works in a delivery role they shouldn’t have access to showcase their knowledge and talent at a client meeting!
The world of recruitment is changing and we are entering a year which has the potential to be challenging.
Don’t underestimate collaboration, and ensure that when you’re selling a service or a solution that you have the right individuals alongside you to make it possible and win that business.