In my previous life I was known as one of the most "transparent" client service guys in my field. I did not attempt to push the client around, but rather made every effort to adapt my skills to the client's requests. Other suppliers would tend to "tell the client what they needed", and often, that worked (for them), but my success was derived from advocating FOR the client. A brilliant post from The House of Innovation entitled "Four effective Innovation strategies in practice " puts it this way:
The key is to move you out of the reactive relationship with a customer andIt is possible to get past an adversarial relationship with your client. And I believe it guarantees more repeat business.
to have them participate in creating a vision, or even a solution. People
typically don't resist the ideas that they helped create.