Tuesday April 26, 2016
When you’re having a conversation with a potential client, it’s important to quickly identify whether or not they need you - and if they do need you, to help them talk themselves into signing up.
Here are five types of questions that will help you to identify good leads, and to smoothly and easily turn them into clients:
1. Do they have the problem you solve?
This is the first and most important thing that you need to find out. There’s no point in offering your product to someone who doesn’t need it, so rather than launching straight into a presentation, start by exploring the other person’s situation.
Try to segue into this exploration naturally. Don’t just abruptly change the topic – that can make them feel like your agenda for the conversation is more important to you than they are.
Instead, pay attention to the hopes, concerns and activities they discuss, and look for ways in which they dovetail with your area of expertise. One way to do this is to say, “I’ve noticed that a lot of people who (activity, hope or concern they expressed) struggle with (problem you solve); has that been your experience?”
2. Do they strongly desire the result you create?
While it’s important that they have the problem you solve, it’s equally important that they desire the result you create.
For example, if you specialize in helping tenants to purchase their first home, but the person you’re talking to is fine with renting for their whole life, they may have the “problem” of not owning their home, but that doesn’t mean they want the solution you offer.
So take a bit of time to find out what they want in your area of expertise. If they’re happy the way they are, then it’s not worth spending a lot of time or harming your rapport in order to convince them to sign up for something they don't want.
3. If they have the problem and want the solution, are they motivated to take action?
One question that will help you to gauge their motivation is, “What have you tried in order to solve this?”
If they’ve tried a few things, help them to explore why those solutions didn’t work. If you believe your solution will work better, ask if they’d be willing to hear about something that can get them better results than what they’ve experienced so far.
If they haven’t tried anything, it may not be that important to them, or they may be the type of person who won’t actively seek a solution to their problems. This doesn’t automatically mean that they won’t take action and sign up with you, but it is a cue to ask them if this problem is something they really want to solve in the near future.
If it is, tell them how you can help them, and invite them to take the next step. If it isn’t, explore what it is that’s holding them back.
Do they have a lot of other things on their plate, or a lot of other expenses? Can you give them ideas to free up some time or money that would enable them to work with you, or would it be better to set a date to follow up in a couple months?
Remember, just because someone isn’t ready to work with you NOW doesn’t mean that they won’t be ready later.
4. Is the problem costing them more than the price of working with you will?
How much time is their problem costing them each week, either by slowing them down, or through the ineffective and time-consuming solutions they’re attempting to use?
How much money have they spent trying to fix this problem, and how much would they be making if they were getting the results they desire?
What is it costing them in the areas of health, peace of mind, fulfillment, self-esteem, lifestyle and relationships?
When you help them to explore the real cost of their problem, you help them to understand just how important it is to get that problem solved.
5. What obstacles could keep them from signing up with you?
While encountering objections may be uncomfortable, it's important to address your potential client’s concerns during the enrollment conversation.
If you do this, they won’t be held back from signing up by doubts that were not addressed, and they’re less likely to cancel after they make a purchase. It also helps them to trust you more, because it shows them that their concerns matter to you, and that they aren’t just obstacles for you to push past on the way to your goal.
So before you end the conversation, ask them: “Are there any concerns or questions that could hold you back from doing this?”
Chances are, they’ll be relieved and grateful for this invitation to voice any worries that they might have had, but were too shy or polite to express.
Do you have any questions about how to use these 5 questions in your business?
What are your favorite questions to ask your potential clients?
I look forward to reading your comments.