Are You Asking Questions?
Attract the Right Job or Clientele:
Although many personality types exist, without a doubt, most everyone prefers doing business with the person who brings a consultative approach to the table. The reason is we each have knowledge unique to us that translates into multiple questions needing to be answered.
The same is true for job interviews, questions that provide needed insight are to be asked of the hiring manager. Without the answers, it will be difficult to make a persuasive case for why you should be the one to be hired.
Misunderstandings arise when questions are not presented from either side of the table.
For every new business relationship, I attempt to build a returning and referring client over time. The process begins with baby-steps comprised of questions designed to get to know one another.
The next round of questions focuses on why the person is seeking help. Answers should speak to why the effort is in progress to implement a change of service providers. Now the consultant has an idea of the best path to take to provide insights to their expertise.
Due to moving, I have experienced a number of advisors for an annual service through the years. All have operated as suggested above and I was always a repeat client. On the other side of the picture, someone recently sent me a complicated checklist instead of personally asking questions. I was expected to understand the new terminology and categorize a multitude of items. Boy, did he have the wrong person!
Time is Money
Blame was laid on me that I was wasting his time because of the need to refine the answers. If the person were to behave as a consultant and ask the appropriate questions upfront, plus provide indicators of acceptable answers, time would never be wasted. From my perspective, the next time I will consider purchasing software for a fraction of the price as compared to the fee being charged unless I am able to find an actual consultant.
Loss of Future Revenue
The attitude of laying blame versus finding a solution did not sit well. And the second issue is wanting to quickly obtain a fee without doing the work. This sounds and I dislike saying it, like most salespeople.
When service providers are out strictly for the money, they almost always lose the sale. I certainly will never be a returning or referring client.
Should you be in the sales profession, your numbers will tell you how well you are doing. As an entrepreneur, you may wish to ask your clients how they view the experience of working with you. But intuitively you should come to terms with what is working well and what might need improvement. The best thing you can do is to review your past transactions.
Answer these questions:
Did you attempt to learn about and consult with your clients? Do you routinely receive returning clientele and voluntary referrals? If you answered ‘no’ to the first two questions, what may you change to improve performance?
There is no easy route to business or life. It’s all one grand learning journey. Those who are committed to doing their best each and every day, to include learning from errors, are the ones who eventually come out at the top.
Be the consultant, not the money grabber. Get to know clientele personally and professionally. Inquire as to how things are currently working for clients. Inform clientele of new strategies in your industry. Provide bonus tips that will make a big difference whenever applicable. Ask returning clients, ‘what’s new?’ to update your notes and gain better insights. After a sale mentally review conversations to recognize what works best. After the loss of a sale or a client, evaluate your meetings to come to terms with what needs tweaking. Come to terms with where and how you may improve. Celebrate success!
Following these guidelines will lead you to the Smooth Sale!
NOTE: We will be away for six day – Enjoy the Week – and we look forward to more blog entries upon our return!