I'm not usually a fan of “what if” questions. That's because most of the time, those words (“what if…”) usually precede negative prophecy about something. Negative prophecies like, “What if nobody comes to our new store? What if nobody likes the new product? What if none of our salespeople makes a sale today?” Those are probably not productive questions that will put you in a resourceful state conducive to getting things done.
However, I think it is useful to ask a totally different kind of “what if” question. Think of this as the “proactive what if” question. Here are some examples you might like to try:
- What if we had the best customer service of our entire industry? What would that look like? What would it do for our business?
- What if we found a way to do everything for half the cost, at double the speed, and double the quality? How would we do that? What difference would it make to our customers?
- What if we discovered a way to not only solve our customer's main problem, but solve several other problems at the same time? What ways can we improve our product that would have that effect? What would that do to customer loyalty? What effect would that have on repeat purchases?
- What if we had to totally reinvent our business from the ground up – tomorrow? What would be the very first thing we would do? Why would that be the first thing we would do?
- If there were no limitations, and no risk of failing, what is the one thing we would do that which had pulled our business to the top of its category? Why aren't we already trying to do that? What if we did?
You get the idea. I bet you could make up some of your own. What if you gave it a try today?