Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's

Today is the day when we commit hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, enemies, and neighbors, or sending them on a fool's errand, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. Traditionally, in some countries, such as the UK, Australia, and South Africa the jokes only last until noon, and someone who plays a trick after noon is called an "April Fool". Elsewhere, such as in France, Ireland, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Russia, The Netherlands, Brazil, Canada, and the U.S., the jokes last all day. The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392). (Thanks Wikipedia for that overview!)

Do you ever feel that the day is April Fool's Day and the joke is on you? Well, today really is that day and you might want to be sure you are not a joke in someone else's book! A few keys to ensuring the joke is not on you with a client:

1. Underpromise & overdeliver - make sure you have what you say you will do and focus on delivering it.

2. Communicate clearly - use the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle

3. Be efficient - Don't waste the client's time. Most likely you are being paid by the hour as well.

4. Don't be a "yes" man - The client is paying you for results in their business. These results are usually tied to financial performance. Do not be afraid to tell her a "no" and why.

5. Respect the work - Remember it has your name on it. It better be good!

6. Thank the client for the opportunity to work with them.

So yes, all of those points seem obvious, but all too often we forget one or more of them at critical times. It can devestate your cleint/consultant relationship if you do.

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