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A Systems Approach > Prepare the Contract

Prepare the Contract

The initial phase of business-related consulting is identifying and understanding a client's needs to develop a contract. Contracting simply involves establishing a clear agreement of both parties' expectations and definitions of how to achieve the desired results. This first phase is critical because a contract clarifies expectations and deliverables and provides a baseline for tracking changes and shifts in project parameters. The basic steps of setting up a contract include initiating a relationship with a client and defining project parameters.

Initiate the Relationship

To successfully provide consulting services, you need to establish a relationship with your client. The first meeting with the client is an excellent opportunity to do this. The purpose of the first meeting is to explore and identify the client's needs. It is not a time to sell specific services, but to seek further understanding of your client's issues and expectations. Because this meeting sets the tone for the relationship overall, preparing for the meeting is critical. The sidebar Prepare for the First Meeting asks some questions that you should be able to answer before the meeting.


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