To get the best outcome from your projects you must get to the heart of what your client is trying to achieve.
They may come to you saying that they need a logo, but that's not the real reason... It's not the goal.
What does the right goal look like?
This is a great question, and a good rule of thumb is that the right goal is nearly always attached to value... Or to a metric that can be quantified and measured.
The key is to make your client delve deep during the discovery process... Ask the right questions.
If they say 'I need a new logo' or 'we need to re-vamp our brand image'... The next question you should be asking is 'Why?'.
Your client may say 'Well, we feel the current logo is dated and doesn't appeal to our target demographic'.
You're now getting closer to why your client wants to work with you... But you need to keep digging.
Ask why again, and your client might say 'Well, the market is changing, things are slowing down, and we don't think that our audience is picking up on our core message'.
You can see already that asking 'why' and 'how' can help you uncover information that your client wasn't going to share with you. Information that will give you a better chance of helping them to achieve success. Keep asking 'why' until the answer stops changing... This is when you've found the real reason they need your help.
You'll be able to talk to them in terms of their goals and demonstrate the measurable value that you can add to their business.
Great clients will welcome and embrace these type of questions, bad clients will be resistant.
This is a great way to filter out the type of people who aren't going to be a good fit for you. You must be willing to turn down the projects that are setting you up to fail.
When you apply this method, you're going to uncover information about your client that you won't expect... This is the best kind because it allows you to glimpse the core of their business and find the best ways to create the most value.
It's going to help you to produce better work, deliver more success and work on more rewarding projects.
You must view the relationship between you and your client as a partnership and demonstrate to them that you see it this way.
You'll be asking questions and getting answers that other designers simply don't uncover - It's like a superpower, so keep it to yourself, yeah :)