I noticed this morning that I posted a blog about John Wooden and mentoring that I had posted last week. I’m sorry about that.

Does the question in my title puzzle you? I feel I successfully “created a market” by identifying a problem and offering the solution before clients even realize a problem existed.

If you are a regular reader, you know I did this when the federal government first allowed federally funded projects to be built by the design-build method.

USDOT convinced Congress to pass an “Experimental Projects” legislation to open the door to the change. I immediately created 3 inch notebooks full of everything I could read on design-build. Then I created a guide and started giving presentations.

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I was reminded of the value of meeting unvoiced needs when I first joined Jenkens & Gilchrist. I had brought rolling bookcases of files and books with me. I spent the first two days of my tenure in orientation meetings. When I finally had a chance to return to my office, Mason, a young man from our facilities group, was there.

Mason looked at me and said:

Mr. Parvin, I know you need to be able to hit the ground running on Monday. I want you to know I would be happy to come in tomorrow (Saturday) and help you unload and organize your books and files.

I had not thought about the task of getting everything organized so I could work productively. He identified a problem and offered a solution before I discovered the problem.

Later the same year I had a big weekend planned to take eight couples from my largest and most important client to the Cowboys game on Sunday. The Monday before, Jan from marketing called me. She said:

Cordell, finding our parking area and then finding our suite at Texas Stadium is a challenge if you have not done it before (it was a challenge each time I went to a game). Why don’t I take you out there today and I will show you the exit off the highway, how to get to our reserved parking and then how to get to our suite? That way on Sunday, everything will go smoothly with your clients.

To be candid, I had not thought of the problem of finding where we park or finding our suite. Jan identified a problem and offered a solution before I discovered the problem. That is providing value.

What will happen in 2016 that will impact your clients? How are you doing at anticipating your clients’ and potential clients’ needs and offering a solution before they see the problem?