Having the gumption to approach clients takes some practice. Confrontation is typically not a strong suit of folks in IT (and before I get flamed/yelled at) let me explain.
In any IT shop, go in and see how they handle conflict. They don't and when IT departments try - they don't do it well. The ones that actually have a plan in place for conflict resolution - are not only great places to work - they're typically voted Top 100 Managed.
This shouldn't come as a surprise. They invest in their people because what's the alternative: keep hiring a warm body to fill a position until you miraculously find one or send that person/department for training?
IT consultancies (non-evolved ones) typically lack the following:
1) Assertiveness training: definition (taken from the freedictionary) assertiveness training instruction and practice in techniques for dealing with interpersonal conflicts and threatening situations in an assertive manner, avoiding the extremes of aggressive and submissive behavior. Such training has as its goals enabling the learner to express personal feelings freely, speak up for his or her rights, communicate disagreement effectively, accept compliments comfortably, persist in expressing a legitimate complaint, and negotiate mutually satisfying solutions to interpersonal situations in which there is some type of conflict."
Assertiveness training works hand in with conflict resolution and mediation.
Conflict resolution and mediation: is essentially learning and fostering the behaviors such as diplomacy, tact and neutrality when faced with potentially volatile situations.
With what happened to Chip and several others mentioned, is it possible that the client wanted to see just how badly you wanted their business or they were being pressured to use 'the new guy' - and they themselves didn't know how or couldn't say no? I understand this might fall under the 'what-if' or 'coulda -woulda-shoulda' category - however, I have to ask.
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