How To Learn Something From Every New Client

April 4, 2016By
Ask New Clients Questions

New clients can provide a wealth of information…if you ask questions and listen.

A weird aspect of life to me is the number of times it takes to hear something until it finally sinks in.

It doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes I’ll hear something and it’ll hit home right away. But other times it seems to take many repetitions over years until finally the cogs in my head click into place and the lightbulb goes on.

It kind of happened with Ghost Blog Writers. My senior year in college I was in an Entrepreneur Program. The summer leading up to that year we had the task of keeping an Idea Journal where we had to write down business ideas every day.

I filled that journal up with all kinds of ideas, but none of them were really that good. Then a few years after college I was curious about blogging and started writing and publishing posts every day. After some time a business owner I knew through my wife, then girlfriend, asked if I wanted to write weekly posts for his business website.

I figured that seemed easy enough. Getting paid to blog? I’m on board.

Then some time later I noticed another business owner on Twitter asking if any of his followers was a blogger looking to write weekly posts. I figured I was doing it for one business so why not do it for a second. So reached out and started blogging for that website.

Click.

Finally it hit me that this was a potential business.

Ask New Clients Questions

Later on as the business started growing a little bit I would read business blogs, articles and listen to interviews with entrepreneurs and some would mention the value in asking new clients questions. That advice would really go in one ear and out the other for some time until finally…

Click.

I finally realized that these entrepreneurs had discovered the value in asking new clients questions as a way to learn more about what they need and how the business might provide a solution.

I’m still working on this, but over the last few years I’ve tried to make it part of our process to ask new clients questions.

It’s A Good Time To Ask

When a new client comes on board it’s usually a happy moment for both parties. The client is happy because they’re looking forward to the new product or service. They’re excited about taking their business or life to a new level of enjoyment or success.

The seller is obviously happy as well. They have new money coming in and the business is growing.

So you have both parties in good spirits, but what also is happening is that the situation is fresh. The client is really in-tune with the reason why they needed this product or service.

And that why is so important for a business owner to understand.

If you know why customers come to you and buy from you then you can take that information and use it to market to new clients and to close the deal.

Questions To Ask

So let’s get into some good questions to ask new clients. And the time to ask these questions could be at the first point of contact or it could be right after the ink has dried on the contract. That entire time is good for learning about your business.

You can ask these questions or variations:

  • What are you struggling with?
  • What are you looking for?
  • Why do you need our service?
  • How did you find us?
  • What questions do you have?
  • What hesitations do you have?
  • And more…

You might not want to ask all the questions at first. That can be overwhelming, but plan on asking a few of these questions and possibly others.

You can learn so much from the answers.

The first one we added to our inquiry process was the one about how clients or leads found us. It’s a simple question, but you can learn so much.

You may have read or heard about attribution and it’s important in regards to your marketing efforts. You want to know how your clients find you. You can try to find software that does the tracking for you and that’s great, but ask every inquiry that comes in and keep track. It doesn’t have to be difficult.

Sometimes you have to alter the questions. A question we could ask to see if our blog is working is to ask the question, Have you ever read our blog?

The reason to ask that question would be that a lead might say they found us through Google, but it might not be their first time on our site. It could be, but sometimes they’ll have read a post in the past and then a month or so later they’ll search for “blogging services” or something like that.

Conclusion

The big takeaway here is to ask questions to every new client that comes on board or every new lead that comes your way. An age old life lesson is that it’s better to listen than to talk. Sometimes you might not even need to ask questions. Simply sit back and let the client tell you their story.

You might have to read between the lines, but you can learn quite a bit.

For example, people that come to us often say they don’t have time to blog. That is certainly true in some cases, but sometimes the real case is that the person doesn’t like blogging. They see the value, but they don’t like doing it. And that’s totally fine. It’s one reason that GBW exists.

Get in the habit of listening to leads and new clients. And ask them questions.

I’m trying to more of it because with each question I ask I learn more and that leads to a better business.