Does this scenario sound familiar? A prospective client comes to you with a set of specifications for a project they want done. You clarify the specs a bit, quote the project, hopefully win the work and deliver? What could go wrong?
Plenty. For starters you’re doing the client a big disservice by expecting them to know what they want, rather than you, as the expert, recommending a solution. And you’re doing your own bank account a big disservice as well, since simply executing work a client gives you turns you into a commodity labourer, instead of an expert. That means your rates and ability to attract high quality clients will suffer accordingly.
So what’s the alternative? Figure out what the client really wants and the problem they want to solve.
Eric White, from Think Motile, uses a fascinating framework called Jobs-to-Be-Done to dig out why someone is looking for a product or a service, such as consulting work. Eric shares some of the tools in this framework that you can use to figure out what a client actually wants, what is prompting the client to desire this project, and ultimately how that allows you to deliver much better results for your clients and yourself.