I think providing creative services for clients starts with asking good questions—questions that get you into the mind of your client, to see what they see, with clarity enough to create it. And nail it.
I try to understand a few key things in the first ten minutes of conversations with potential clients: 1. The fundamental need (type of project, scope of work), 2. Catalysts for change (why now? what do you have currently and why are you dissatisfied?), and 3. The driving hope (what are you hoping the completion of this project will accomplish for you/your brand or organization?).
I think within that initial conversation, there’s an art in striking the balance between communicating competence and confidence, and asking good (also read: FEW) questions that get you to a place of understanding. Without that understanding, how can you be sure you can deliver? I see proposals as our opportunity to internalize a clients’ need and articulate a creative vision.
Along the lines of good question-asking, Charlie Rose is quite possibly, in my completely worthless opinion, the Best Interviewer Ever. This interview with Jamie Dimon (also brilliant…and CEO of JPMorgan Chase) is one of my new favorites: