I know so many clients who wished they could wave a magic wand and have all their goals and objectives met. They want a simple solution that fixes their motivation issues. They always ask… “what structure is the best structure?” or they will ask “which program design gets the biggest bang for the buck?”

Tough questions.

Some charlatans will try to answer with well-rehearsed, prepackaged quips about merchandise versus cash awards, quote stats about goal-choice programs, or even suggest sweepstakes and lotteries.

They want (actually more of a pathological need) to answer the question the client asked.

They don’t have the intellectual chops to say, “it depends.”

“It Depends”

Those two words are the scariest in the world. No one wants to hear them and fewer want to say them. On the surface, it sounds like you don’t know the answer. It sounds like you don’t know what you’re doing. Experts have answers, right? Without an answer, you’re just a smart person with no real job.

The fact is “…it depends”, isn’t really an answer.

It’s a starting point for co-creating the answer.

“It depends” requires a follow-up statement like: “It depends on x, y, z. Do any of those impact your situation?”

That is how dialogue starts. That is how you get the root cause of the client’s motivation and incentive/influence issue. I know I could BS my way through and answer almost any question the client asks. But the client doesn’t really want me to answer their questions. The client wants me to ask better questions than they do. And that’s what I do.

I work exceedingly hard to peel back the onions that are program designs to see how the pieces fit together and how those pieces fit into the unique characteristics of the client’s culture, their channel dynamics, their tracking system, their talent, or the product/service vertical.

I ask the question the client “thinks” they have the answer to, but I know they don’t. I know they don’t because if they did, they wouldn’t be doing what they are currently doing.

In other words, experts know the best questions, not the best answers.

Experts use great questions to find the answer that … wait for it… is the best answer in THIS PARTICULAR SCENARIO.

Experts ask questions because they know the answer that worked for “ACME Anvils” isn’t the same answer that will work for “ACME Roadrunner Seed”.

Trust me… Experts is smart that way. 😉

Talk to a real expert by smashing hard on this link and challenging me to 30 minutes of conversation where I will refuse to answer any of your questions.