Tips for Understanding your Clients Better
Understanding your clients
3 simple rules:
Try to put yourself in the client’s shoes. What might they be thinking?
Try to work out the client’s priority of needs
How capable does the client think we are in solving/meeting their needs?
What the client is thinking …
Have they bothered to find out about my business?
Do they have any prior experience of the industry?
Are they replaying my knowledge or adding new insight?
What are they bringing to the party?
Will they need a long learning curve … at my expense?
Are they listening and learning, especially about local peculiarities?
Do they recognise and will they take into account culture, politics and scale in the
Are they making me think?
Are they showing unforgivable ignorance every time they open their mouth?
The client’s priorities …
Understands my business
Must be reliable
Will deliver working system on time
Knows the client management business
Has good reputation
Will use good people on the job
Knowledgeable project leader
Must be competitively priced
Must understand implications
Must be able to work with our people
Will negotiate over timing of invoices and discounts
Also using questions to uncover/understand the client’s needs
• Set the scene
“How much time did you spend on recruitment this year”
“How many customers complaints have you received since Christmas?”
Issue / Problem Questions
• Identifies difficulties, dissatisfaction or problems with existing situation and extent of them “What are the key issues facing the business?”
“Why are the positions difficult to fill?”
“Could you describe what the main customer complaints were about?”
• Clarifies the implications
“So what do you think the effect will be if you don’t solve that issue?”
“What effect would that have on your staff?”
“What do you think will happen if you don’t reduce the number of complaints?”
• Benefits to client of solving the problem
“So if you can fill that position the staff will give you less hassle?”
“So how do you think the Managing Director will feel if you can reduce the complaints?”
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