Cutting Through the Noise: 5 Questions We Ask Before Working With A New Client

Many businesses have been burned by the cookie-cutter solutions and impersonal methodologies of consultants, leaving them skeptical of the entire industry. 

Part of the reason is often because a consultant is a “yes” person working for your approval, not your trust.  

At Showpiece Solutions, we choose to do things a little differently. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions, generic recommendations, or simply telling you what you want to hear. We also don’t opt for low-impact projects; instead, we thrive on complexity, embracing the challenges that others shy away from.

That’s why, before diving into any project, we ask crucial questions to ensure we’re aligned and prepared to make not just a difference, but an impact. Here are five questions we ask to start redefining the consulting experience, one bold idea at a time.

1 – Do you have a vision?

Every successful business starts with a vision that serves as your North Star. When things get crazy (and if you’re doing it right, they will), your vision will be the glue that binds. It will be the unifying element that reminds you and your team what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what your favorable outcomes will be.

2 – If not, how do we build it together?

If the answer to “Do you have a vision?” is no, that’s not a deal-breaker, but you must be willing and prepared to build one with us. The vision will be the foundation of our work, and it’s a step that’s impossible to skip. If you want someone who will get to work immediately and start checking tasks off a list, then we’re not the right partner. If you want someone who will build a foundational strategy for your operations planning and not gloss over any details, then count us in. By working with a public relations team from day one, you collaborate on your foundational messaging and response strategy, which builds your reputation. As your partnership and business evolve, you can adapt accordingly. Working together from the ground up also allows you to align on what to say in a crisis rather than wasting time deliberating on a response.

3 – Are you willing to show us everything under the hood?

Complete transparency is vital in our partnership. You must show it all: the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. We promise no judgments, but there will be no fluff, either; we value radical honesty with our clients. The good news is that cleaning up operational messes (permanently, not just sweeping them under the rug) is our specialty. But, to find clarity in the chaos, we have to see what’s under the hood.

4 – What access to leadership and staff do we have?

We’re not here to sit on the sidelines. If we partner, we consider ourselves an extension of your team, and we need to know we can have a touchpoint with everyone, including the top-level execs and decision-makers; this allows us to work holistically rather than in a silo and achieve the best possible outcomes for you.

5 – What did we not ask that we should have?

You need to know what you want from us. We can ask all the questions in the world, but we can’t read your mind. This question starts the conversation that sparks our true collaboration. We’ve found this question gives us tremendous insight into core priorities, personal perspective, and general concerns. It helps us understand motivations, fears, and everything else along that continuum. If nothing comes to mind, then it might be worth considering what you’re looking for, and whether you’re ready to have us on board.

The Showpiece Difference

We ask the hard questions upfront so we don’t get stumped by them later in the process. We also need to ask them because we don’t have one standard playbook. With each new client, we create a solution from scratch, uniquely designed for their needs. 

Photo by Hadija on Unsplash