Expertise, experience, and empathy are assets that can turn into liabilities when we listen to prospective clients. Expertise can get in the way of hearing what the client wants from his or her point of view. If we start solving the problem or explaining how we can fix things, we may not hear the client out.
Experience means we see the world differently than a prospective client does. If we forget this, we can slip into lecture mode or make assumptions that aren’t true. We may not answer questions fully.
Misplaced empathy can lead to second guessing clients and to trying to reduce discomfort or urgency. That’s usually about our own discomfort, not the clients. A certain urgency is natural and appropriate when there is a need to be met.
Use your expertise, experience, and empathy to serve folks when they become clients. Until then, focus on listening and really hearing what prospective clients have to say.