I hope you found last week’s conversation about tactics that can generate online leads to be useful. Compared to in-person ways of finding prospects, the online methods I suggested: provide evidence of our credibility – while we share glimpses of our personality – to our desired audience – across the US (if not the world) – simultaneously – in less time – at less cost.
On to this week. How are you doing? Or maybe I should ask: How do your clients think you’re doing? You don’t know unless you ask. Because knowing what they want and then giving it to them is the easiest (if not the best) way to stand out.
And if you’re new to the blog, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
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This week’s topic builds on my post from two weeks ago, Being Different Is More Profitable Than Being Better and your emails that responded to that post.
Towards the end of the Being Different post, there were some suggested questions we could ask clients that could, in fact, help us be different than our competition. They were:
- Why did you choose us in the first place?
- Why do you stay with us?
- What do we do that others don’t?
- What could we be doing for you that we currently don’t?
Note the open-ended nature of the questions … and preferably ones that you would ask in person over coffee or a meal – where you pick up the tab in exchange for the feedback.
Here are five questions to consider asking, some of which overlap the ones above … so it’s not like I’m asking you to, you know, ask almost ten questions.
Also, ambiguous responses like “you provide good service” are not acceptable. Gently force your clients to be specific with their answers and to provide examples, where possible.
#1 – How did you find me?
This is a great leadoff question. It’s not too invasive or thought-provoking. And it can give you insight as to which marketing channels are working for you and which ones aren’t.
#2 – Why did you hire me?
This goes right to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it? You’re asking for the one thing that tipped the scale in your favor, especially for first-time clients. Hopefully, the answer isn’t “price.”
#3 – Is there one thing I do better (than others you work with)?
This question might help you uncover the competitive advantage you didn’t even realize you had … something that truly differentiates you or your practice … and that translates into a tag line.
#4 – Is there one thing I could do to create a better experience for you?
If you’re looking to grow/build/improve your practice, ask about the one thing that your clients experience in the course of working with you that you could make better/easier/simpler.
#5 – Do you recommend me to others? Why or why not?
Yep, I saved the hardest question for last. This is the litmus test of your expertise, personality, and service. Will your client risk her reputation by recommending you to someone else? Why or why not?
I know, I know. You dread talking to clients about this stuff. But if you ask these questions, just the action of doing so might differentiate you from your competition from your client’s the perspective.
So while your busy being comfortable, your client is thinking: Wait, you’re asking me for feedback?! About how you can improve?! You care what I think?! Holy cow, so few of the people I work with take the time. I’m gonna remember this.
And if you’re not landing a significant chunk of new business via referrals, these questions might tell you where to plug the holes in your leaking dike of professional service.
Reading that can help
Book Yourself Solid Illustrated: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling – I have the $33 paperback version because it includes tools and exercises.
PS – I’m a fan of actionable ideas that move you forward, so I hope you find this content useful. If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, you can email me or schedule a call with me!
PPS – If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn. If you like my blog, please recommend it to a colleague.