The Three Clients

There are three clients in every professional service firm engagement:

  • The first client is the “client client”–the person or entity for whom the service is being performed.
  • The second client is the “firm or company” that is providing the service. It is important to note that the interests of the “client client” and the “firm or company” that is providing the service may not be the same. The “client client” wants the best possible service at the lowest possible cost. The “firm or company” providing the service wants to provide a level of service that will please the client, but also will result in the maximum amount of profit to the firm.
  • The third client is “you”–the actual person providing the service. You are your own client, and often are charged with the extremely difficult task of balancing the needs of the “client client” with the best interests of the firm.

Until you understand this–that you are your own client, that you need to exercise your professional judgment on what is best for the client paying the bills and for the firm that employs you–you will never be a true consultant, but will just be working for a consulting firm.

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