As an OBM our clients come to us with various projects and strategies to implement, and most of us assume that our clients are 100% clear and purposeful on why they are doing something. That may not always be the case – and chances are if YOU aren’t clear on why something is important or how it fits into the big picture it’s one of 2 things:
1. Your client hasn’t shared their thinking behind the strategy or project – you simply aren’t aware of what is going on yet
2. Your client may not actually be clear themselves, and is doing something that they think they *should* do, or maybe something that someone else told them to do without thinking it through.
Regardless the key is for you to simply ask “Why?”. As an OBM I believe that it’s our responsibility to stay plugged into the big picture and to ask questions or share concerns if/when we don’t feel like we are clear on the why. Just simply asking something like:
“Just so I’m clear, can you let me know why this is important?” or “How does this fit into the big picture of working towards X?” or “I know you want to accomplish X, I’m not clear on how this will help do that… do you mind explaining it to me?”
I believe that if we don’t see the “why” ourselves and simply move forward anyways that can actually be a disservice to your clients. It could lead to wasted time, energy and spending had we been willing to speak up and simply ask. Asking questions might bring up some stuff that needs to be considered, and our clients are looking for us to do this as part of “thinking on behalf of their business.”
So don’t be shy, just ask why!