Dealing With Client Amnesia

Imagine this scenario:

You present an idea to a client and it goes nowhere. Months later, they tell you all about their “new” solution for streamlining processes, combatting turnover, or integrating new enterprise software into the daily workflow. And, surprise! It’s your idea from a few months ago. Your client just couldn’t remember where it came from. 

According to long-time management consultants, Bill Casey and Wendi Peck of the Executive Leadership Group, Inc., it happens all the time. They call it “client amnesia.”

“When you’ve been hired as a consultant to be an advisor, it’s so easy for clients to forget what you said and the ideas you offered,” says Wendi. “The value associated with some of the advice given can be worth a lot of money and yet the client may not always remember where that advice came from.”

Clients are busy. They may forget what you told them last week, let alone three months ago. That’s why it’s up to you to remind them. Peck and Casey do it by creating tangible products for their clients.

“It sounds so obvious, but we weren’t doing it at first,” says Bill. “Now we put everything in writing and creating useable products for our clients” more often than agreed to.

For instance, they offer reports summarizing thoughts or research conducted, high-level checklists, summaries of decisions or issues, and transcribed meeting notes with in-depth editorial comments.

Conversations are easily forgotten. But for Bill and Wendi, these “products” give their clients something to reference again and again. They also remind the client of the very real value that the pair has been adding over time.


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