Is it true that questions can create business opportunities? Yes, our experience tells us it is.
Customers, Clients and Buyers
The questions have to be asked of the right people. The right people are customers and clients, people who have paid you money in the past 18-24 months. Asking them the right questions will turn them back into buyers–people who pay you money again, now or in the near future.
You’ll optimize their return to buying by staying Top of Mind with your customers and clients. Being Top of Mind means that when a need or want arises, your company is the first one (perhaps the only one) that comes to mind.
Top of Mind marketing is typically a years-long business development effort. If you have been doing Top of Mind marketing, you will reap the rewards these days. If you haven’t done it, now is the time to start.
Start with Questions
Before you design a Top of Mind marketing campaign, ask questions of your current customers and clients. There’s nothing worse than marketing that doesn’t appeal to any needs or wants. Don’t guess!
There are 3 types of questions: closed, open and high gain. Each type has its value in the right circumstances. Use the answers to design your Top of Mind marketing. It’s only through ongoing and deliberate connection that your company will emerge from the coronavirus era still in business.
Simple closed questions include “Are you open?” “Do you prefer email, phone or text?” “What is the best time to reach you?”
Be sure to ask these helpful closed questions. You want to know if your customers and clients are open for business and how and when they want to be reached. They’ll likely have a mix of preferences. When you connect to them via their preferences this enhances your Top of Mind position.
Open Ended Questions
Open ended questions typically being with “What.” Here are just a few examples of strictly open-ended questions.
“What are you doing to keep busy?” Or “What are your business goals for the next 2 weeks?” “What are your kids’ favorite video games?” Use open ended questions to get a conversation going.
High Gain Questions
High gain questions are open ended questions that ask the responder to analyze, evaluate or speculate. Use high gain questions to find areas where there are business opportunities.
Many high gain questions begin with “What” or “How.” Follow up questions begin with “Why”
“What are you doing to replace revenue?” Listen carefully. As the conversation continues, ask “Why did you choose that option?” (analysis) and then “How did that work?” (evaluate). You could continue with “How long do you think it will produce those results?” (speculate)
Variations on revenue-related questions include:
“How are you generating revenue?”
“What marketing activities have you stopped or ramped up?”
“How are you staying Top of Mind with your customers and clients?”
Every services firm needs to know the high gain questions that work best for their clientele in the current situation.
- A CPA should ask their business clients “What do you need from us to help you apply for the PPP program?”
- A subject matter expert should ask “What projects in your pipeline require our expertise?”
- A consultant, advisor or coach should ask “What are the top 3 changes you’ve experienced in the past 4 weeks?”
- A marketing expert should ask “What has changed for your customers and clients and how are you helping them address these changes?”
Avoid the Temptation to Disappear
Implicit in this discussion of questions is that your company is in fact working to stay Top of Mind. Do not disappear, even if immediate revenue is unlikely. When your customers and clients are ready to buy, they’ll gravitate to those who asked the right questions.
We’ll Help You Help Your Customers and Clients
We will help your company with questions, Top of Mind marketing, and all other ways to make more money—after we talk and understand your company. Every company is different, and our services are customized to your needs and aligned with the way the Owner or Chief Executive spends their time. You’ll find the details on our Services/Options page. Give us a call to get started. 703-801-0345.