Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat


We worked with a consultant who was leading a critical piece of work with a global telecommunications company. He had failed to establish trust with one of the key stakeholders and their relationship was going from bad to worse. The consultant had to make the relationship work – his company would not tolerate losing this account and it was his responsibility to get it back on track.

He had done everything he knew to understand and meet the client’s needs, but this one stakeholder seemed never to be satisfied. Working together was starting to seem impossible.

We helped the consultant identify strategies for pulling the situation back from the edge. He noticed how he could trip himself up by feeling frustrated with the client stakeholder’s apparent intransigence. He started to focus more on the stakeholder’s agenda and planned how he could listen more effectively and ask incisive questions which would add value to their conversations. His aim was to get them both on to common ground.

He identified the areas where the client stakeholder and he triggered unhelpful responses in each other, and those where they would be most likely to establish genuine cooperation. His relationship with the client stakeholder improved so much he sold £400K of services — surprising himself and exceeding his target. But most important he positioned the account for a long term, productive relationship.