As a consultant, we spend a lot of time in client meetings. Coffee houses and cafés is where you will find most consultants with clients seeking to work through how we may be able to assist.
When in these catchups and meetings, the challenge lies in listening well but also being able to ask the right questions. The right questions lead to getting truly to the heart of what the clients challenges and problems are. Without this true understanding, it is very hard as a consultant to write a proposal that will secure the work and really give confidence to a client that you will assist them in solving their problems or that you get the challenges they are experiencing.
Some of the questions that I have found work well in client meetings to really get to the heart of the challenges that clients are experiencing are:
- what are the challenges that you are currently experiencing in this area, project or team?
- where is the team, project or organisation currently at?
- how does this project or initiative fit in to the bigger picture?
- what does success look like with this project or initiative?
- what are the key outcomes or deliverables that are required from this engagement or project?
- are there any key stakeholders or people that need to be taken along for this journey?
- why is this project or initiative important?
- why are we in the situation we are in?
- who needs to be involved in this project? To what degree?
- where are the gaps? What is critical now?
I would love to hear other peoples thoughts on what powerful questions they have used successfully to really engage with clients. I really believe the key to successful engagement with clients is asking great questions. Look forward to learning off others in terms of what has worked well for them.