If you walk into a meeting with a buyer oriented toward a “solution” or methodology, you’re going to default to it like a homing pigeon no matter what the buyer says about his or her needs. If you walk in with the intent to remain “present” and in the moment, you’ll be able to respond to what the buyer is expressing as important.
I’ve heard consultants respond to a buyer who says, “We need to improve our repeat business from existing clients,” with, “We should talk about a 360° assessment approach.” Really? Why would that be? I’d guess it’s because it’s what the consultant has on his or her mind and/or it’s the only reliable offering they possess.
A true expert can provide and express that expertise in any variety of ways—coaching, consulting, training, writing, mentoring, facilitating, and so forth. The means will depend on the ends. But a limited consultant will rely only on the means at his or command, irrespective of whether they are best for the client and the client’s current issues.
When you default to an arbitrary methodology or approach you are on the road at best to a limited, ineffective project and at worst to a quick exit from the meeting. The best projects, after all, provide maximum value to an appreciative client with minimum labor for you.
© Alan Weiss 2015