What would you do when a client refuses to accept your project plan?
Client's leadership assessment indicated that he does not like to plan. Business planning is critical in order to successful achieve goals.
When you say Project Plan do you mean a full blown project management plan or are you talking about a Gantt chart/schedule?
One option is to show the client the success/fail rate of businesses that used VS. did not use planning thru project management.
Just as you indicated in your details - "Business planning is CRITICAL in order to successful[ly] achieve goals." This is what you need to make clear to him.
Try to convince him to accept the first [or first couple of] milestone[s] and to review the situation after that. It's a piecemeal approach redolent of the well known maxim by Gandhi "each thousand-mile journey begins with a single step". If there are no problems after the first milestone, you will do the review quickly or even skip it, and you might be able to plan for another review after another milestone. If there are problems, you should be able to show that the review was indeed useful. You might even stick your neck out and say that you will only invoice for the effort spent on those reviews if the client finds them useful!
Hi Robert, I don't quite understand, here. You have both asked the question and then answered it!
Ask why and to point out the reasons they are not accepting. This opens the door for any further negotiations if cost is the issue or damage control if any problems were pointed at your project plan drawn up or put together by you.
A client's approval is essential to your business. If you're plan was rejected, it's better to know what are the expectations of your client. With that, you'll be more challenged. And who knows? You might even discover more abilities you can do for your job. Unaccepted plans result to better ones. Let your unaccepted plan be the source of your motivation to build a new stand.
Discuss client's leadership assessment with him. Probe client with questions regarding his capacity for change and how he would like to move forward. If he is unwilling to accept the path forward, then discuss this issue again and let the client know that you cannot continue.
Make sure you have tried every possible means to convince the client. If the client still refuses, move on to the next one..
Robert, when specifically did 'like' enter into your acceptable behavior vocabulary, as received from your client for your plan?
When you both agreed to spec out this project, pre-acceptance of the plan, you did ensure they secured your plan-phase work with commitment in time, energy and dollars. That way they had trust and skin in the game to bring honest review for a go forward position. Or what is needed to get them to approve a go forward position. In this scenario, everyone agrees 'refusal to accept' isn't an available option, is it?
If however what you labeled as 'refusal to accept' is actually more like 'needs more supporting information to confirm' or 'has changed priorities since' then you have many more positive outcomes available than you implied.
How soon will you let me know how I can be of further service to you now?