Bye bye baseball season. This is my last baseball analogy until spring training. (Congrats to the SF Giants and their fans.)What happens when you have a face-to-face assessment meeting with a potential client? You should keep track of your batting average: divide the number of qualified prospects you have a free one-on-one consultation with (an at-bat) and by the number who become clients (hits). By learning to ask the right questions and listen, you can dramatically increase your batting average (new client sign up rates).
Questions should be your secret weapon. Questions persuade more powerfully than any form of verbal communications. Are you regularly practicing the right use of questions? If not, then you are making one of the three biggest mistakes that consultants and consultants make trying to attract clients.
Questions allow you to fully understand the prospect’s pain. Pain is the difference between what prospects have and what they want, and as such can be classified as pain (things are bad and need fixing).
You need to ask open-ended questions to know the following:
- Does the prospect’s motivation come from a problem that needs to be addressed today (pain), a problem that might arise in the future (fear), or simply an interest in getting more information?
- How does the problem impact the organization?
- How does the problem personally impact the prospect?
- How committed is the prospect to taking action to fix the problem?