Your position, even with your best customers, is variable and at the whim of changes within your customer’s world that you don’t control.
New management, new business directions, new processes, and new philosophies at the account, all equal risk..
Understanding these risks can ensure you are not just “responding” to a request, but are also providing background context to understand the reasons behind the request.
It is important for you to learn & understand what is driving a customer’s request. Think about it as a skill or technique for getting to the “Heart of the matter.” This means that you ask specific questions that will lead to a holistic understanding of what is driving your customer to make this request, or at least to make a move in this new direction.
Think about it in these terms: requirements for a particular request for a new capability don’t just invent themselves. Why now? Why not Last Year? Why not Next Year?