Having the guts to ask the important questions can really pay off. In the case of one of my clients, it recently dramatically increased his importance to a referral partner.
My client had done a small project for a PR firm. He had known one of the owners of the firm for some time. After the small project, he continued to see the owner around town at various events.
A year or so after the small project, the owner called my client up. "I could really use your help," he said.
"With what?" my client asked.
Turns out the PR firm had just signed a new client, despite already being at capacity. The owner thought the project would be a good fit for my client's skill set, so decided to reach out to him.
My client agreed to go to a meeting with the owner and his new clients. At the meeting, the topic of their target market came up. They had come to the table with a lot of demographic data on their target market. But as the meeting went on, my client realized that they'd done nothing to actually determine if the target market was the right fit.
Finally, he stopped them. "That's all great, but what tests have you actually done to make sure it's the right target market?"
The clients looked at each other, the said, "Well, I guess we'll need to have you guys do some focus group testing for us."
My client had the guts to ask a question that immediately turned into additional revenue for the PR company.
It's amazing how powerful questions are. If you ask the right questions, to the right people, in the right way, it can be of huge benefit.
In this case, that meant extra revenue for the PR firm. And while it may not benefit my client in the short term, you can be sure they'll remember who asked the question and got that additional revenue for them.