Just how well are you getting to know prospective clients?
Consider the example of the “D. School” at Stanford University, or what is formally is known as the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. According to an article in the NY Times, “At the heart of the school’s courses is developing what David Kelley, one of the school’s founders, calls an empathy muscle…students are taught to forgo computer screens and spreadsheets and focus on people” …and their real world problems.
Which in turn suggests the question: what is the shape of your “empathy muscle?” How well are you getting to know the challenges your prospective – and existing – clients face – as well as the clients or people they serve?
Do you understand their culture, the obstacles they are up against and how they define success? Taking that one step further, do you know what success is for the people they serve?
Your ability to empathize with your prospective clients – what they are about, how they function, the challenges they face and what their clients want from them – will bring you that much closer to clients seeing you as part of the team they need to succeed.