04 Nov Craving Questions
Ask yourself why you don’t ask more questions
I recently read a fantastic book authored by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. The One Thing focuses on the power of asking the right questions and shares with its readers “the surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results.”
The authors focus on a simple, yet underrated concept: The power of the question. Most of us constantly seek out answers – we crave it like someone starting the Tim Noakes diet craves carbs. We forget, though, that answers come from questions. Simply put: the quality of any answer is directly determined by the quality of the question.
Why the question of questions in the agency-client world? For the simple reason that too often we don’t ask enough, or worse we don’t ask them at all.
Stakeholders push for “marketing to happen”. There is the panicked phrase “we need to spend this budget ASAP or we’ll lose it.” Someone says: “we’ve always done this or that, so we will continue doing it.” These scenarios sound familiar, no doubt.
When I talk about questioning, it’s not in the dark, smoky police interrogation room style. Rather, it’s about understanding what you’re trying to achieve. Again, a frighteningly simple concept. If you ask the right questions – throughout – you will receive the answers that will drive success. I’m not only referring to the briefing stage. Questioning should be ingrained in the client-agency relationship. It should be incorporated as a way of doing.
Has your agency asked you what you expect of them? What success would look like? Or what your key performance areas are? Where your business needs to grow?
I encourage you to adopt a questioning mindset – it will change the way you look at your marketing efforts. Most of us are programmed to seek out answers, like we are programmed to indulge in carbs.
I’ve quit the carbs and now focus on a diet rich in focused questions!
About The Author
Jacques-Philip Hansen is the founder and director of HANDEL, a specialist marketing agency focusing on business-to-business marketing. He became a Noakes advocate and has been carb-free for two months.