Deeper Relationships = Greater Client Loyalty, More Business, and More Referrals

question markThere are 3 kinds of questions that will help you take a client conversation deeper.

1. Clarifying questions: “What do you mean by __________?”

ClarifyClarifying questions provide more detail. Imagine that you’re on an airplane, and you strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you with the comment, “Tell me something good that’s happening in your life today.” She answers, “My kids are going back to school!” A follow-up, clarifying question could be, “What do you mean by going back to school?” She tells you that her twin sons have been working all summer, living at home, and she’s looking forward to them getting back to college to start the next chapter in their growth and, as much as she loves having them at home, she’s also happy to have more time for herself. The clearer you are about the context, the easier it will be for you to go deep. Based on her response, what question would you ask next?

2. Expanding questions: While clarifying questions elicit detail, expanding questions provide a wider range of information. Great expanding questions include, “Tell me more about _______________?” “What else?” Continuing with the example from paragraph 1, you might say,  “Tell me more about having more time to yourself.” She might tell you about how she’ll get back to her normal fitness routine, expand her business, and invest more time doing her favorite charity work. What kind of question would you ask next?

3. Impact questions: Impact questions take what you have learned from the conversation thus far and bring it to a crescendo. Here are a few examples:

ImpactQuestionsB-R•  “What impact will doing more charity work have on your life?”

•  “How does that affect your life and the lives of your family in a positive way?”

•  “Once you have achieved ____________, what will be the result in your life?”

Notice the level of emotion being expressed. Every time you ask a question, imagine that there’s an emotion meter above the person’s head, and notice where the emotion went higher, where it was flat, and where it was lower.

The more positive the emotion, the deeper the relationship which means greater client loyalty and referrals.

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