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Before providing the “A,” have you asked the right “Q?”

How well do we really know our clients? Employees? Family? What was their favorite toy as a child? What was their worst haircut? What was their first job? – All questions that, upon first thought, may not seem to have much impact on your task at hand – whether that’s business or personal… But how do you know until the right question has been asked?

It’s through questions and honest communication that strong relationships are built. And through open lines of communication and discovery, true understanding of your clients’ needs can be revealed. Sometimes a client may have deeper reasons for not subscribing to your “innovative” marketing plan simply because they were bitten by a dog when they were seven… How could you have known?

Ask questions. Learn and listen.

I recently read a story in the Business section of the Des Moines Register about Mitch Mathews, a business coach and entrepreneur that has created a game that provides a new twist on an (very) old relationship-building concept. It’s a game that he calls, simply “Q.”

Astoundingly innovative in its simplicity, “Q” is a collection of random questions written on a stack of cards bound together in sets with a pin. In a fan-like mass, similar to an oversized Gin-Rummey hand, each player takes turns asking and answering questions that probe past the casual weather-related openers and uncomfortable stock questions about careers and kids to deeper, sometimes more revealing topics like “what did your bedroom look like when you were 15?” or “Where were you when you had you first kiss?”

Mathews’ “Q” game has become such an inspirational networking tool that companies ranging from business coaches and consultants to Fortune 500 juggernauts like Principal Financial Group and Whirlpool have used them for business retreats and team-building programs. The results and testimonials he has received are inspiring and sometimes humbling. But any way you look at it, “Q” gets the answers…

How do you learn about your clients? And for that matter, how do you learn about your employees or your family? Mitch Mathews has given us all a simple ($13) tool to deepen our discovery process. I plan to go out today to find a set. If not just to play with my family.

Are you asking questions before giving answers? How do you “get to know more” about your clients, employees, family and friends? With the speed of business/life screaming by, sometimes a simple game is what we need to catch up…

My favorite color is green… Why? It matches my eyes.

How well is your discovery process working? How do you discover your clients’ (employees’, family’s) needs? And how well do they know you?

Keep Cooking!

Photo credit: http://www.doyouq.com

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TheBrandChef is about as well rounded marketer as you can get. He can design, strategize, analyze, and execute on any size marketing project from web to video and more. Andy Brudtkuhl

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