18 Oct Getting to the Root of Your Clients’ Problems
Getting to the root of your clients’ problems is goal numero uno.
Every client I’ve ever worked with had a deeper reason for owning their business, and I’ve made it my goal to get to that reason. If I can understand what motivates them the most, I can focus on that in our conversations and in my work.
But how do I figure it out? I ask questions. Lots of questions. I have to get to the root of client problems.
One of the biggest ones I ask is why. I ask why a lot. If I ask why enough times, I’ll sound like an annoying, snot-nosed kid, but I’ll figure out where their heart’s at. That’ll help me develop a brand that’s uniquely them, and consistent with their values and goals.
This only works if you’re focused on people rather than the money, though.
(Not a snotty nosed kid – this is a photo I took of my son at a birthday party.)
Here’s an example of a conversation I had with a boutique cupcake shop owned by a mother daughter duo, speaking with the mother:
Me: So why did you guys decide to start baking cupcakes?
Client: Well, my daughter’s really good at it, and there was nobody in our immediate area doing it.
Me: Ok! Cool, so y’all will have the market cornered in your neighborhood. That’s great. So if she loves it, why are you starting a business?
Client: I want to handle the business side and have her handle the baking side.
Me: Gotcha. So of all things, why cupcakes, specifically?
Client: Well, I want to be able to help her and my grandsons secure their futures. I guess it could be anything, but cupcakes feels right because of what I was saying earlier, about her being good at it, and competition being so low locally. Plus everybody loves a good cupcake!
Bingo! We have a winner. She’s not just trying to bake cupcakes. She’s not just trying to get rich. She’s trying to create a small business that’s got the potential to be successful and become a part of the legacy she leaves to support the generations after her. A super honorable goal, I might add.
Notice, I didn’t just say why, why, why like a little kid. I made her answers work for me to continue prodding without sounding like I’m prodding.
So now that I know the root of the client’s problems, how do I leverage that and make it really work?
(These are a photo I took of some cupcakes my friend Crystal made.)
I make it a part of my goal, and I weave it into my conversations with them. I have a family, and I want to leave a legacy too. Therefore, I can put 110% of my effort towards kicking butt for this client. Now that I know their true motivations, I’m more passionate about their project.
That passion will come across in the calls and the work, and boom, now I’ve leveraged it. Basically, I’m just being myself, and being strategic about it.
People are driven by emotions, and I’m no different. A client can tell when your heart’s in it, and getting to the core of their needs helps you put your heart in it. Nobody’s in business to not make money. Beyond that, there’s a deeper reason that they’re willing to work 80 hours to avoid working 40.
If you can get to that, everybody wins.
In the next blog, I’ll share my questionnaires that help me get to this why.