Consultant "Kills" With A Borrowed Knife
|Remember, when you were a kid, you’d usually ask things from your daddy. If your daddy would say NO, you’d go to your mommy. Once the mommy says YES, the daddy’s NO does not count any more. Remember that?||
by Jin T
I do not remember it, but my kids constantly remind me of it. It is well known winning stratagem – “Kill with a borrowed knife“:
Attack using the strength of another (in a situation where using one’s own strength is not favourable) – Wikipedia
I use the stratagem very effectively in consulting.
Customer Wins Self
I am using this technique with each and every customer I work with. It works better than any technique I have used.
There are usually two reps I work with -a decision maker and field guy at customer’s. The decision maker sets the goals and the field guy works with me to solve the problem at hand. During the problem resolution I actively engage with the field guy – it helps building trust relationships (both personal and professional). When wrapping up the gig I consult with the field guy about how to better present the findings and recommendations. Then I wrap it up and hand out the report. During the final meeting I get the spotlights and everyone in the room looks at me.
“Ehm… Danny [the field guy] and I were working together. We tried to identify the most significant issues under a tight schedule… ehm… Danny, won’t your elaborate what we have found?”… “Sure, no probs”.
I sit quietly and let the guy explain his managers the results of the gig. His is fluent with the report as I was engaging him throughout the whole cycle. No black magic.
- Danny’s managers are more trusting of him than me, so my report is more credible when presented by Danny.
- Management is happy as they see that not only that the issue was resolved but also the knowledge was transferred – next time they can do it themselves, saving on [not] calling me.
- Trust has been established unconsciously. They WILL call me next time. They usually do. They trust their hunches…
Practice This – Get Results
- When with customers, seek allies – build your network to support you when you need it.
- Build your network. Period.
My Related Posts
- Consultant Besieges Wèi To Rescue Zhào
- Consultant Deceive The Heavens To Cross The Ocean. And Wins.
- Consulting – What’s The Deal?
Editor in chief – Jimmy May18 February 2009