Erin Sanchez always raises her hand when we ask for expert advice on the how-to's of being an incredible consultant, and we loved learning her advice on how to end a project on a high note (to keep that referral engine chugging along!!).
From Work, Your Way by Lisa Hufford:
“How you start is how you finish, remember? Now that you are in the end of your contract, continue to deliver value and conclude the project with positivity and professionalism. Be consistent in your delivery to ensure client success and create raving fans."
Video Transcript: As a consultant, it's incredibly important that you end every contract or project on a high note. In fact, that's one of Lisa Hufford's rules in her book, Work Your Way. I'm Erin Sanchez, and as someone who's been consulting and working my way since 2014, I can attest to the importance of this rule. For example, I like to make sure that when I'm rolling off a project, I leave really thorough documentation to make the transition as smooth as possible. That document includes things like current projects, items that are in flux, various tools I've used along the way, and different contexts for different parts of the project. Now, why do I care? I'm leaving anyway, right? The reason I care is because the easier I make that transition for my client, and for the next person stepping into the role, the better the impression, I leave with my client and successor, and that means they're going to think about me the next time they need help with a project. And it's going to make it a lot easier for them to refer me to other people too. The more people you leave with this sort of lasting impression, the more potential referrals you have at your fingertips. And don't stress about the bumps or hiccups along the way. We've all experienced those and will experience them again. But if you end on a high note, that's what people are going to remember. That's why Disney World has a 20 minute fireworks display at the end of every single day. When people leave Disney, they aren't thinking about the long lines they waited in or the $10 Pretzels they bought. They're thinking about those peak experiences. That's what they're carrying with them long after they've left. So if you want to elevate your consulting career and build a network of really strong references, I highly recommend you follow this consulting rule. Wrap up your contracts on a high note and stick in people's minds in the best way possible.