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Hello .

Welcome to client engagement mastery. I’m Malcolm Sleath, your guide on this course.

Client engagement is not just about new clients. It applies equally well to getting better outcomes with existing clients.

This course is about bringing value to new and existing clients in a way that benefits you, your firm and your client.

In preparing this course for you , I have made three assumptions.

You want your work to be successful

Successful work is satisfying and leads to repeat business, good reference sites and referrals. You need clients to collaborate with you in the right way. They need to trust you and be prepared to take your advice.

You want your work to be financially rewarding

You need clients to value your contribution, so they pay for the value you are contributing not the number hours that you work.

You want your work to be interesting

Work is a big chunk of your life, and it helps if you enjoy it. To learn new things and push the boundaries a little, you need clients who trust you, want to work with you, and even tolerate the occasional mistake.


This course will enable you to make better use of your skills by focusing your attention on the right things at each stage of your interaction with clients. You will find it easier to:

  Engage a new client from scratch so they commission a successful, interesting and rewarding assignment.

  Persuade an existing client to modify an assignment or stick to an agreed plan

When you follow the principles we set out, existing and new clients will be more likely to take your advice, appreciate the real value you contribute and want to work with you.

The approach you will learn

The 12boxes framework

The 12boxes framework is at the heart of the approach you will learn. It is your guide to thinking about, planning and carrying out the process of client engagement. It is like a map that you will continually update in the light of your interaction with your client. It provides the framework for a narrative that will persuade them to buy into the value you are bringing and gives you the framework to prepare compelling proposals in a shorter time.

Elsewhere in Module 1 you may occasionally see the 12boxes diagram with highlights corresponding to the topic we are speaking about. It’s to signal this is something we will return to in more detail and maybe stimulate your curiosity.

Shaping your interaction

Satisfying human interactions tend to follow a similar path. There is a time to reassure the client, a time to challenge them, a moment when everything becomes clear, and a lower-key phase when a new phase in the relationship is established. The colour coding on the shape reflects that on the 12boxes framework and suggests how you and your client will be feeling at each stage.

What you say and how you say it

While having a sense of the shape of your interaction with the client will help you manage the pace, what makes everything work is the attention you pay to what you say, how you say it, and how you respond to what your client says. Small changes can make a massive difference to the climate and outcome of your meetings.

To summarise, the 12boxes framework sets the agenda for your interaction with your client. Thinking in terms of the shaping your interaction will help you to pace your interaction effectively. Paying attention to your what you say and how you say it will ensure that the client feels that you understand them and creates a climate where they are prepared to explore the value you can deliver.

From any of the units in this module you will be able to click on a bar at the bottom of the window to view a summary of the client engagement process.

Navigating the course

There are x modules, each of which contains several units. You will be able to keep track of your progress, move about the course, and see the overall course plan by using the drop-down concertina menus below.

You are in Module 1, Unit 1. This module focuses on:

    • Bringing value versus acting as a contractor.
    • How to be clear about the value you bring.
    • What you need to do to move a client from an initial discussion to a commitment to buy.


In the next unit we’ll explain why this course is about bringing value to your client and not just about being a contractor meeting a client’s requirements.

Click below to review the engagement process, ask a question or check where you are in the course

The client engagement process

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Click on a unit title to go to another unit.
Module 1 Bringing Value
Unit 1 Start here  - Preview
Unit 2 Bringing value to clients
Unit 3 Your value proposition and the vision of success  - Preview
Unit 4 Setting up your value conversation: agreeing a resolution  - Preview
Unit 5 People create a narrative when they decide to make a change
Unit 6 The narrative structure for a consulting opportunity
Unit 7 Converting your client’s interest in your proposition into a firm order