Five Tips for Structuring Meaningful Conversations

Uncovering the wants and needs of your clients is an important part of building relationships and winning business. The key to this process is in asking a few preliminary questions before rushing into your sales pitch. When you invest time in getting to know your clients, you can better position yourself as their problem-solver.

“So, what’s been keeping you up at night?”

Think about the last time you asked someone this question. The scenario probably played out one of two ways. Either your client mentioned one problem and you responded with your list of services offered, or the client started a 20-minute monologue without giving you the chance to really answer the question. Either way, a lot was said, yet neither of you learned much.

You can avoid falling down either of the aforementioned rabbit holes by strategically building a conversation around these five tips:

  1. Get a quick list of all the issues by asking your client some key questions.
  2. Make sure the list is complete.
  3. Find out what matters most and prioritize.
  4. Go into depth (evidence, impact, context, constraints).
  5. Summarize.

Commit these tips to memory and use them the next time you are working with a new client. The overarching point is to listen critically and manage the direction of the conversation.

“What Else?”

Before you can offer a solution, you need a quick list of your client’s problems. Your goal is to get everything on the table before talking about any one issue in depth.

When you ask about specific issues, you’ll get one or two right away. Don’t fall into the trap of immediately going into depth on those. Be patient and gently push for underlying issues.

Keep asking, “What else?”

In addition to gathering information, you are building rapport. This is absolutely essential to a well-tuned relationship. You will both relax and open up. Your conversations will take a more meaningful turn. Once you have the full picture, you can show off exactly how you will comprehensively solve their biggest headaches. Check out this article for more tips on developing rapport.

The next step is to remember what you discussed so you can follow up later. You need a solid system in place to keep track of these conversations and your proposed solutions. Regular and personalized follow through will increase your chances of winning the client engagement.

Let us show you how successful firms use ABLE to track and answer their top client and prospect pains. Contact us to schedule a demo and learn more.