The Secrets to Asking Great Questions
(Find Out What Your Client "Really” Wants)
An Evening With Richard Smith, CME
When you ask a client or prospect what they need out of a consulting project or proposal, do you get clear answers? Do you find yourself coaxing and coaching to gain clarity? Did they clearly describe their problem? Were you left guessing to fill in the blanks?
Why didn’t they provide you with more useful input and feedback? Did they just not know?
Or, could it be that you failed to develop and present them with the right questions?
The topic of IMC NCR’s May program is developing and asking great questions. Richard Smith is a Certified Master Facilitator, and an industry leader in "facilitative consulting” − a highly participatory approach to engaging clients. Expert facilitators demonstrate a seemingly innate ability to ask powerful questions. Similarly, facilitative consultants develop purposeful questions to gather information, build consensus, and produce implementable outcomes, using techniques that prepare, initiate, focus, and support groups and projects.
In this meeting we will discuss approaches used by facilitative consultants, beginning with "starting questions” to initiate discussions with direction and purpose, and to engage individuals and groups right from the outset. We will demonstrate and practice starting questions that generate the reactions, insights, observations and thoughts you want and need from clients and prospects. We will also discuss "reacting questions” that acknowledge, clarify, confirm, probe, and challenge initial responses.
The concepts, skills and methods we take away will improve our consultant-prospect communications, strengthen our consultant-client relationships, and generate more and better client engagements.
About Our Speaker:
Richard Smith, CMF is a Certified Master Facilitator™ and Principal with Leadership Strategies, Inc., providing (1) professional facilitators for needs analyses, strategic planning, process improvement, and issue resolution; and, (2) leadership training in group facilitation, consulting, strategic planning, project planning, team building, and management.
Prior to Leadership Strategies, Richard was an executive in the software services’ industry, delivering, training, and supporting complex systems for customer relationship management, finance, human resources, and enterprise requirement planning. In these roles Richard facilitated sessions to design, implement, and support mission critical projects for clients, vendors, partners, and staff, and led the training of over 10,000 professionals and administrative support personnel.
Richard has worked with clients that include The Southern Company, Coca-Cola, Georgia Power, Novartis, M&M Mars, federal and state government agencies, and early stage companies. While with Andersen Consulting, he earned his CPA. He received his B.S. from the U. S. Naval Academy, and his M.B.A. from The Ohio State University.