Knowledge Center

Articles

Article -> Caring Questions for Customers

Date Added: September 2019

There seems to be a lot of discussions about how to get and retain customers. Given so much has been written on this topic, it did not seem to be worth any additional words; although, clearly this is still a struggle for many.

Let us first acknowledge that some people are simply more personal and engaging, and enjoy interacting with others. These individuals will speak with anyone at any moment, and we view them as great at client interactions (which is not always accurate). There are others who do not like this interaction and prefer being by themselves. These individuals are more fearful of client discussions; however, they need not be if they learn to focus on their strengths.

Regardless of which type of individual you and your team are, the process is similar. First, have a good value proposition or story explaining your organization and products/services. Why do clients do business with your organization? What problems do you solve? How are you different? All stated in less than two minutes.

Second, end the statement with humility to demonstrate you are not trying to push yourself on the client. A statement such as, our approach and services are not for everyone because we base things on a long-term partnership vs. a transactional relationship and quick fix. If this is something you are interested in, I am happy to discuss things in more detail.

Long-term partnerships are always better than short-term transactional relationships. The clients will pay their bills, appreciate the value of the service/products you offer, and not be pains in the butt. These are the best types of clients.

Third is to ask a series of questions. The questions vary slightly for a prospect and an actual client. After each question, take time to really listen to the response, take good notes, and be prepared for follow-up questions. You will be amazed what people will actually share and what you will learn. You can then modify your value proposition to fit their specific need. Here is a list for a prospect.

• How are you dealing with today? This helps clarify if they have an issue or problem you can help solve.

• Have you ever considered other possibilities for this which may better for your business? This assumes all is good based on the first question and you are opening their eyes to other alternatives and helps them understand the importance and impact of their issue.

• How do you measure success and/or measuring results? This helps you understand if they are measuring anything so you can communicate how you can do it better, or helps them understand what they are doing may not be as successful as they think if they are not actually measuring it.

• Who else is impacted by this issue and who else is involved in future discussions? Provides information on others involved (employees, other offices, clients, etc.) and if this is the actual decision-making so you can ensure you are speaking with the right person/people.

There are follow-up questions for each based on a response; however, this provides a basic framework to engage in a dialogue. Other questions are: What do you like about the group you are currently working with? What would you change and why?

When speaking with current clients, having consistent communication is important for a good partnership so your competitor is not meeting with them with the above set of questions. This set of questions can be:

• How are you doing? How has your year been thus far? You would be amazed how much this opens someone up to discussing the good and bad. Your follow-up can zero in on employees, clients, processes, markets, financials, anything. All which may lead to another issue you can help solve.

• What is occurring in your industry? If they do not know the answer to this, you should have done some research to provide some valuable insights. This a large difference between a partnership and relationship if you are demonstrating value.

• What are you hearing about your competition? Another insightful question which you may provide value if you are hearing anything.

• How are we doing for you? This can be a scary question because you may not want to know the actual answer. Leaving this for last creates an atmosphere that you are more focused on them based on the first three questions vs. you.

In summary, while the questions are beneficial, if you invest the time to ask questions of others so they talk about themselves and demonstrate this is a genuine and caring format, you are more than halfway through the battle and doing more than most others. A caring/genuine person is very valuable.

David Yeghiaian is committed to inspiring others through faith and leadership. Reach him at david@unique-solutionsinc.com.
HTMLgraphic Designs