One of the things I was most proud of when I worked for the Yellow Pages was that they genuinely care about the success of their customers. We all should. In most cases when our customer’s needs are met, everyone wins. Caring about and understanding the customer’s needs weren’t just part of the culture at Yellow Pages. It was also incorporated into the sales process to ensure the best possible results for the business and the clients. They call it the B.N.A. (Business Needs Analysis). Questions to determine how you can meet your customer’s needs. Asking the right questions lays the foundation for success and better questions lead to better results.
Understanding your customer’s needs isn’t a sales strategy. It is a fundamental requirement for long term business success. As Seth Godin says: Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.
So what kind of questions will help achieve the outcomes that will be beneficial for your business and your customer? Here are three types of questions that you should be asking to ensure that you are servicing all of your customers needs and offering the best possible solution:
What are your customer’s goals and objectives?
This sounds like an obvious question. However it is surprising how our busy lives can distract us from what we’re really aiming for. By identifying the key objectives you will remind your client of what’s most important. You will also be able to ascertain how your offering can meet their needs and recommend a solution that works for all parties.
What does their ideal client look like?
I can’t tell you how many times I have asked this question and the reply has been: “The ones that pay on time”. Sure, all customers aren’t created equal and sometimes the worst payers are the best spenders. But that’s not what we want to find out with this question. We want a clear idea of your customer’s target market so that your offering can help them attract and do business with their ideal customers.
What are their client’s problems?
We all have problems that need solving. Some of us more than others. The problems of your client’s customers are opportunities for them to do business. By understanding how your client can best solve their customer’s problems you will get a clearer picture of how your business can help facilitate the solutions required.
The most important part of asking the right questions is actually listening to the answers. These questions aren’t just to help build rapport (however they will if asked with genuine intent). The answers to the right questions will form the basis of your recommendation and ensure that the customer actually ends up with what they need.
There is a real opportunity for your business and your clients to gain a competitive position in the market place by asking the right questions. Better questions lead to better results and we all want better results. With a clear understanding of your clients needs you will develop a better relationship, gain their trust and be able to make solid recommendations.
Are you asking your clients and prospects the right questions? Please leave a comment below to let us know what you think. If you have found this article helpful please be social and share it. Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing.