The 2 pieces I remind myself about often are very closely linked:
It’s about the CLIENT, not You (or me)!
Its’ so easy to get carried away with ourselves and our own need to demonstrate our competence or importance, especially when we work alone and don’t get as much feedback as we might want.
At the Discovery conversation we may go in with our own agenda, models or solutions based on what’s worked before, and attempt to force fit our clients problems to what we are offering because “we know better and of course we have the solution you need”. Alternatively we may be just plain poor listeners and have the answer in our mind already rather than listen for what may be different and call for another better solution. If we do this, we may miss what they really need and end up giving them what we think they need which misses the mark.
The Solution? Ask good questions & listen with a clear and open mind so we can truly provide what the client needs. Focus first on building a sustainable relationship based on trust and secondly on getting a great outcome. Make it about them, NOT about YOU (or me).
Keep it Simple;
Those of us who’ve been in business for a while may find ourselves getting bored with what we do everyday, so we go looking for the latest and greatest fads which may be quite complicated.
Alternatively some of us are fresh out of our last Corporate job where we had plenty of resources, and we’re bursting with knowledge and Consultant speak with which to impress our clients.
In that situation its so easy to fall into a trap of over complicating our solutions, rather than using the simple, tried and trusted solutions (as long as they’re still valid). The problem with this is, that nothing ends up getting done or changing because it’s too hard, too complex or too involved for our clients to employ someone to do or to implement themselves on top of everything else they do. Our flash, latest whizz-bang comprehensive kitchen sink solution …. becomes a waste of their time and money and ends up giving our profession a bad name.
Solution: Look for and consider what simple but effective solutions will do just as well and don’t oversell or over-complicate our recommendations unnecessarily based on our need for change rather than their need for something that does the job well. Avoid overwhelm and provide our clients with just what they need.
I encourage you to look at what you can strip down and how you can listen better to our clients for the best results.