Stay Ahead of Your Clients: Ask Why

As we go back to work after the summer, some people are facing the challenge of being busy, of “delivering everything I promised before the summer”, as one lady described it to me. Others face a different challenge, such as a worryingly empty pipeline or a contract renewal, or a crucial conversation with an alliance.

Time and time again, I find that most professionals can face any challenge, as long as they are crystal clear why they are doing it. The why is a rallying point: not just for us, but with clients, too. For example:

> Ask a new prospect: “Why are you making this investment or initiating this project?”
> Ask a difficult customer — perhaps one who is complaining a lot “Why are you dissatisfied?”
> Ask a worried or anxious colleague: “What are you concerned about?”
> When you yourself feel anxious (or bored, or low in energy) ask yourself: “Why do I feel this way?”

The “Why” becomes even more important when you want to get a step ahead of your client and be able to influence their thinking . By understanding the “Why” in their marketplace — the new imperatives of cost, or demand, or growth/decline, or opportunity — you are in a position to guide them to better decisions.

If your clients perceive you as one step ahead of them you are in a better position to build long-term relationships, to affirm your position as a trusted advisor and to charge more for your services. With that..

We’re excited to announce our VCO Autumn Series on “Value-Centred BizDev Planning for 2019” (3 free webinars and a masterclass). The first webinar covers “How to Stay Ahead of your Clients” on Sept 26: Register for Webinar

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