These questions deliberately alternate between helping you bring out the strengths in you and your proposed business offering, and challenging you on possible weaknesses. You can work on the questions in any order – they are there simply to stimulate your thinking.
1. Your core interest / passion / specialism
- Of your own skills and activities, what inspires you most and expresses your talents best?
- What kinds of clients and client needs might these serve?
- What key learning / understanding do you want to pass on through your work?
2. Problem / question
- Describe the client situations / problems / questions that will be addressed.
- Define them in terms of the agenda / interests / needs of the client.
- Your clients must be convinced these are significant areas to be addressed, and that you understand why.
3. Solution (your Big Idea)
- What is the essence of how you intend to address the client agenda, and what they will specifically define as the benefit?
- What makes the market ready for your solution?
4. Why you?
- Ignoring official politically correct or diplomatic answers, what do you believe makes you, personally, particularly well suited to offer this to people?
- If you weren’t concerned about having to ‘say the right things’, and there was nothing at stake, what would you really like to say to clients about what you offer, and how you go about it?
- What could stop you saying this?
- If you had to create an eye-catching ‘newspaper style’ headline for what you do, what would it be? (e.g. ‘Bug Kill’ is a good name for a insect spray.)
7. Impact and memorability
- Stories, anecdotes, examples and physical objects you hand out are memorable, and metaphors, images and analogies are effective. What’s your central image/story that will anchor your offering in people’s minds?
- What gaps in your knowledge, skill or experience do you feel might weaken your business offering, or make you privately doubt your suitability?
- What else could threaten the success of your business?
9. Uncomfortable truth
- What do you hope the client (or your coach) won’t ask you about, or notice in your proposal?
- What could put a client off a) your business offering, b) you?
11. Free up energy
- Are there activities that pull your energy away from where it could be better spent?
- What are you going to let go of? When?
- What concerns or questions do you have that you would like us to cover?
- What would you like most help in when we meet?
13. Objections and questions
- What questions do you anticipate from prospects / clients? Brainstorm possible questions and client interests.
- Consider likely criticisms of your ideas, and be ready with responses to these.
14. Blowing your own trumpet
- What your piece of work stands out in your mind as something you’re really proud of?
15. Shift happens
- Name up to three key insights or ideas that have come from working through this questionnaire.