Danger Zone Guesswork

Even for similar projects, clients have different ways of measuring success.
Don’t take that on statement on face value, try this exercise out for yourself.

How do you know someone loves you? Since it’s Valentine’s Day soon, that’s useful to know.

Do you need to see it in some way? A card, a gift, dinner.
Or do you need to hear it? Be told nice things.
Or do you need to feel it? Being hugged and kissed.

Which modality matters most to you? And then there are your personal preferences. Confectionary, or biscuits? Spoken, or sung? Squeeze, or Flirty?

Watch out! It’s a minefield.

Back to consulting. You can’t deliver success unless you’ve agreed the client’s criteria for the project. It comes down to eliciting answers for these key questions:

  • What does the client want to achieve?
  • How will the client know when they have that result? What will they see, hear, and feel?
  • And, what does achieving this get for them?

If you don’t know the answers you’re guessing. And you will probably guess wrong. Then you risk having a disappointed Valentine who got a card … when they wanted a serenade.

The mini-mission.
Think of a recent meeting with a client.

What criteria did you set for the meeting’s success? (You do have meeting success metrics, right?)

What criteria did the client have for the same meeting? (Did you ask, or were you guessing?)

Knowing what you know now, what will be different in future?