One tip we were taught as students was to ask questions when we don’t know the answer to something. If we didn’t know something in class we were encouraged to ask. A good teacher encourages that element of inquiry into their students. When students ask rich questions and then find the answers, their education benefits immensely.
For many students though, this was daunting. As adults it may still feel like our knowledge is inferior if we are seen to be asking too many questions. Or we think we are coming across as nosy. But that lesson we got taught as kids is still crucial in what we do now, especially for entrepreneurs.
It’s important to ask good questions constantly to our clients. And then of course we need to listen to their answers.
I like the idea of having big ears and a little mouth….
Asking questions is also highly beneficial on your end. It will constantly narrow the focus of what you can produce for a client so that the solution you provide is as close to perfect as possible. When you don’t have enough information on what you are providing a client, there’s far greater chances the end product won’t meet their standards. This of course is through no fault on your end, but we know how that story goes!
The questions you ask should always embrace the ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘who’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘if’ will all get answered when you know the clear answer to your client’s ‘why’. Asking these questions will continually narrow the focus of what you need to do and make the picture far clearer.
When we think of what we provide to people, we are always providing a solution to a problem they have. The client in turn is buying something to help their future. They are investing in something to make their future brighter. People always buy a better future.
The answers and solutions you provide to them must do this for them. The investment they make in you to brighten their future is incredibly important to them.
Your clients are very unlikely to see this as you being annoying or clueless. In reality, they’ll see you as attentive and caring. Be interested, and interesting. This will compel them to return and spread positivity about their experience with you, to others.
This article was written loosely based on my conversation with Adam Adams on the Simplifying Entrepreneurship Podcast.