Have you noticed how so many of us are hardwired into offering solutions to our clients before even understanding what their real needs might be? It seems like we have a knee‐jerk response—the client requests something and right away we’re offering our latest and greatest. In fact, it’s a mutual conspiracy between client and consultant to fall into the “solution‐talk” much too soon.
The most effective business conversations happen when we’re able to put solutions to one side, and instead generate a conversation around specific business issues the client has at hand. Remember, solutions don’t have any inherent value—they only derive value according to the problems they solve or the results they create. Two good questions that help us move off solutions are:
What are some of the business problems you’d like to address by…?
What are some of the results you’re expecting to generate with…?