“What if a prospect asks why I need to know the value of the project?”

Sent by Jonathan Stark on November 28th, 2016

Thanks to everyone who sent in replies to the Dish Soap Experiment! Y’all have provided a bunch of thoughtful and unexpected angles. I’m looking forward to synthesizing the results and sharing. It’ll take a few days, so if you haven’t replied to that email yet, there’s still time. 

In the meantime, here’s my answer to a reader question related to The Why Conversation. Specifically, what to do if the client is confused by your line of questioning:

> What if the prospect asks me why I need to know the value of the project? 

I never use the word “value” with the client. It can set off alarm bells. I just ask the why questions that I’ve outlined before.

If a prospect pushes back on my line of questioning, I explain (honestly, by the way) that my goal is to deliver 100% customer satisfaction. To do that, I need to understand their desired outcome for the project. I’ll say something like, “We can’t hit a homerun if we don’t know where the wall is.”

If they are still not convinced that my line of questioning is in their best interest, I’ll explain that having this information can change the fundamentals of the undertaking. Once I understand the desired outcome, I might offer an approach that they hadn’t even considered. Something more effective, less risky, quicker to market, etc... 

Yours, 

—J


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