I love my daughter. She does have a slightly different style in asking questions than I do, though. She has this habit of asking, “May I ask your opinion on something?” After receiving an affirmative answer, she starts at about the time of her birth with background information. Some of it is needed, most is extraneous. As much as I’d love to have her ask the question first so I can digest it, this is her style (Note – I’ve allowed this with her. Don’t allow it in business conversations. Get to the point quickly).

After she’s done, I work to frame her problem. In other words, what is the real issue or question? It should be about one sentence and no more than three points. Once you’ve done this, you can begin to figure out a solution.

Your clients need your help. Sometimes their issues see overwhelming. That’s why you need to frame their problem and offer solutions. Peel away the onion and concisely state their angst. That helps them to be more clear, and you to be more valuable.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved