One, easy-to remember question quickly identifies consulting projects for your consulting firm.
When you encounter prospects—whether entirely new to your consulting firm or existing clients in which you could expand, you ask questions designed to surface potential engagements.
You probably turn to a handful of staple questions, from the banal (“What keeps you up at night?”) to the subtly effective (“If you could spend your day eating either dark chocolate or milk chocolate… why would you do anything else?”)
Strategically-focused queries elevate your consulting firm’s discussions with prospects and reveal higher-value activities. These include gems such as, “What are your major initiatives for the coming year?” and “How does <current topic> tie to the overall mission of your company?”
However, no matter what prompt you use to initiate your discovery, the key to immediately spotlighting potential consulting projects is your follow-up question:
What’s in the way?
You can vary how you ask the question, of course. “What’s preventing you from achieving success?” or “Why haven’t you been able to accomplish that goal?” or “Muggsy Bogues played basketball professionally and was only 5’3”, so what’s your excuse?”
No matter how you phrase the question, you’re focusing your client’s attention on obstacles.
Obstacles are where consulting projects live.
If your prospect isn’t sure what’s in the way, then identifying their mysterious roadblock—either on-the-spot or through a consulting engagement establishes your consulting firm as a trusted advisor.
Conversely, if your prospect knows the barrier intimately and has struggled to overcome it, then the need for your consulting firm is obvious and you won’t waste time floundering around in search of a high-value consulting engagement.
In both cases, you’ll identify easy-to-close projects for your consulting firm faster by directing your conversations with prospects to the barriers, hurdles and obstacles impeding their progress.
Has asking “What’s in the way?” worked well for you?
Text and images are © 2021 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.