I was at dinner last night and noticed the detailed feedback my friend gives the server between each course: ” I liked this part best…”, “I thought it was going to taste like this but really it tasted like this”. I just jump in with comic relief “when you serve a porcupine, you have to poke it first to get the bitter out”. Anyway, my friend can really talk about food. This is a gift to restaurants. And companies too if they ask for feedback between courses.
I recently had someone do this for me; ask for feedback on my behalf from clients. It was surprising to me that what I thought I was selling differed from what my clients felt they were buying (words like creativity, drive and relief came up several times and I never would have thought to use them to describe what I do). Even down to the specifics of deliverables that were particularly helpful, which I just saw as by-products of my process. They saw them as key components of the value I offer. It really changed how I thought about what I do.
I you ever have, or can find, the opportunity to have someone do this for you, you should. Or do it yourself. You may worry that it will sound self-serving, asking clients or co-workers for specific feedback on your work and how it has helped them. But people like to be asked for their opinion. Seriously, it only takes a “how was that?” from our server and my friend offers up all kinds of detail on flavor profiles (I swear).