“Wait, your sales team promised xyz. What you’re saying now is not what I am expecting.”
If you hear this at your project kick-off, then something went wrong somewhere.
Either your cheeky salesperson has miss-sold to the customer, or you didn’t get a proper handover. In any case, you’ve got off on the wrong foot.
In the consulting industry (and everywhere else) your integrity matters. Including that of the company that you work for.
If the sales team promises something but have sold something else, then it signals to the client that your company does not do business in good faith.
As a project manager, I insist on a thorough sales-to-delivery handover, and I try to make sure a member of the pre-sales team is present at project kick-off.
That way, every party is in agreement as to what is going to be delivered.
Some tips on reducing conflicts:
- manage expectations
- keep your word
- be respectful
- be conscientious in your work
- understand Emotional Intelligence (EI)
Project kick off with customer is the first face to face meeting for both sides of the project team.
If your client feels that you’ve “led them on” at this point, you’re probably going to be in for rougher ride than necessary.