I came across this line recently – Prescription Before Diagnosis is Malpractice. I don’t know who the originator of the statement is (I suspect a lawyer), but I thought it to be accurate. And by the way, it is true in so many professional areas besides medical. Specifically, I believe it can be applied to a few business applications in our (yours and mine) sphere of influence.
Think, the sales process in particular (discovery, product demos, etc.). Other aspects of our businesses such as training or implementation are valid examples as well. Here is the deal: There has to be some missionary work on the front end before you can provide or offer the solution. As a business, you have to diagnose your customers ills, problems, and needs before you unveil your product features and benefits. Even those can be incomplete without validating a key result or two that addresses your customers concern. What they want to know is if you can actually help them. If you can, how?
This may require you to have a meeting before the big presentation. Do a little discovery work. Ask your prospect or customer some questions and then listen to them. Talk less; listen more. Diagnose the issue(s) at hand. Verify them. Then (and only then) can you go and prepare yourself for the delivery of the rational solution.