Asking the Right Questions for Client Needs & Connections (Kaitlyn Halverson)

Kaitlyn Halverson

Asking the Right Questions: Unveiling Client Needs and Building Stronger Connections

In today’s competitive business landscape, engaging with clients, contacts and leads requires careful preparation and effective questioning techniques to truly understand them and build long-lasting relationships. One powerful way to achieve this is by asking the right questions. Before diving into meaningful conversations, gathering some background information and creating a dedicated space to keep track of important details is crucial.

By researching their background, industry, and challenges, you can demonstrate your genuine interest and ask informed questions that resonate with their specific needs. In this blog post, we will explore the art of asking the right questions to connect with your audience and uncover valuable insights that will shape your content strategy. By mastering this skill, you can tailor your offerings and create a remarkable customer experience.

I use Notion to keep track of all of my clients, contacts, and leads. Think of it like a digital rolodex however it’s so much more than a business card’s worth of information.

But wait! There’s more!

Notion has integrated AI right into the platform, so if you’ve played around with ChatGPT (I think you have :wink:), then you’ve got to try Notion’s magic text! It’s like having a team of people to bounce ideas off for you to polish the perfect one!

It can help you turn your data into something you understand. Tell the AI assist what kind of person you are talking to and ask it a question about that person. See what it says, think about it and use it when you take notes. In this blog post, I will give you some tips on how I integrate AI to maximize workflow.

“Your audience doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

– John C. Maxwell

Prepare for the Conversation

Before engaging with your clients, contacts, or leads, it’s important to prepare adequately. Make sure you have a dedicated space in a notebook or online so you can keep everyone’s information handy for quick reference.

Research their background, company, industry, and any relevant news or challenges they may be facing. You wouldn’t want to find yourself in an embarrassing situation and ask a question from the wrong person!

Jot down everything you love about that person or their business and note your observations. This groundwork will enable you to ask informed questions and demonstrate your genuine interest in their specific needs.

As I’m a huge Notion aficionado, I’ve created a social media content calendar just for this purpose! This all-in-one workspace allows you and your team to seamlessly keep tabs on all clients, contacts, and leads to curate and create relevant content that speaks to them.

Leveraging AI Capabilities in Notion

In addition to traditional preparation methods, you can also harness the power of AI within Notion. ChatGPT, an AI language model, has taken the workspace by storm! This integration allows you to have intelligent and dynamic conversations within the AI, providing an additional layer of support and insights for your content creation process. Try and ask some of these prompts to help prepare your initial questions:

  • “I’m looking to target a new audience. What are some insightful questions I can ask to better understand their needs and preferences?”
  • “What are some open-ended questions I can ask to initiate meaningful conversations with my target audience [describe, in great detail, the buyer persona] and gather valuable insights?”

Start with the Right Questions

How you go about asking questions will make or break your efforts. If you know the person well, your question will naturally be more tailored because you feel comfortable.

You have no problem asking Jim-Bob how many wrenches he can sell in a week. You also have no problem asking which sells better, the Stanley wrenches or the Craftsmen wrenches.

Yet, a total stranger, a lead! What do we ask them? Start with open-ended questions. They may feel bland, but they do get the ball rolling.

Begin the conversation by asking open-ended questions that encourage detailed responses. These questions allow the client to share their thoughts, challenges, and aspirations more freely. Examples include:

  • “What are your main goals and objectives for your business/organization?”
  • “Tell me about the biggest challenges you’re currently facing in your industry.”

Jot their answers down in your notes! Keep track of who said what because later on, you will use this information to tailor your content and offers.

Harnessing AI for Dynamic Conversations

Notion’s AI capabilities can be a powerful tool to enhance your questioning process. By utilizing AI within the platform, you can have dynamic conversations that go beyond static questions and answers. ChatGPT can provide valuable insights, suggestions, and even help you brainstorm ideas, all within the context of your workspace. This integration enables you to leverage AI to stimulate new content ideas and explore different angles based on the information gathered from your clients, contacts, and leads. Try some of these prompts to see if AI sees something that you don’t:

  • “Based on the initial conversation, what are some additional probing questions I can ask to gain deeper insights into my audience’s motivations and pain points?”
  • “I want to uncover specific unmet needs or areas for improvement. What are some targeted questions I can ask to explore these aspects in more detail?”
  • “Based on the initial responses, are there any patterns or themes that I should focus on? Can you suggest follow-up questions that will allow me to explore those areas further?”

Dig Deeper with Follow-up Questions

Don’t let the conversation end there, though! If the conversation has fallen a little flat, reach out again and ask some follow-up questions.

Once you have received initial responses, delve deeper by asking follow-up questions. These probes help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of their needs and provide valuable context. Some effective follow-up questions include:

  • “Who is your target audience, and why did you choose them?”
  • What specific ways can I utilize your services to address the unique challenges and goals of your audience?”
  • “How does your value proposition directly contribute to fulfilling your mission and providing tangible benefits to your customers?”

We are businesses that serve our missions and value propositions, am I right? So are they, and if their websites aren’t clear or you can’t find that information on their social media platforms, reach out and ask these valuable questions.

Utilizing AI-powered capabilities in Notion can assist you in crafting insightful follow-up questions. With the integration of ChatGPT, you can have dynamic conversations and receive real-time suggestions and prompts to guide your discussions.

If One Had This Problem, I Know Others Do Too, So Utilize Empathy and Active Listening

During the conversation, practice empathy and active listening. Show genuine interest, validate their concerns, and make them feel heard. This creates a safe and trusting environment, encouraging clients to share more openly. Reflect on their responses, paraphrase, and seek clarification to ensure you fully grasp their perspective.

Take into consideration how they like to be communicated with. Not everyone is going to check their emails; some you may talk to in person, others over the phone. Everyone is unique in terms of their communication habits and style.

Try to be open to their perspectives and current habits; this builds a bridge of communication. Their follow-up questions will facilitate as well; you just need to relax and enjoy the conversation you’re having with someone. Enjoy the new things you learn, and start thinking outside of the box.

When in doubt, don’t forget to utilize the AI capabilities in Notion to enhance your active listening and empathy skills! You can gain real-time insights and suggestions based on the conversation, helping you navigate through complex discussions and ensuring that you address your client’s needs effectively.

Tailor Questions to Individual Clients

While there are general questions that apply to most situations, it’s essential to customize your questions based on the specific client or lead you’re engaging with. Consider their industry, role, and unique circumstances. Craft questions that resonate with their specific needs and goals, such as:

  • “What specific outcomes or results are you looking to achieve through our collaboration/partnership?”
  • “How does your target audience or customer base typically respond to your current products/services? Are there any unmet needs or areas for improvement?”
  • “Are there any specific requirements, constraints, or limitations we should be aware of in our collaboration?”

Remember to adapt these questions to fit the context and specific needs of each client and contact you engage with. The goal is to foster open and meaningful conversations that provide you with deep insights into their unique challenges, goals, and preferences. As you progress in your conversations, don’t forget to jot down new things that you thought of, new observations, and new important details.

Here is where AI can really shine for you! Use AI to generate suggestions and prompts tailored to the individual client. Use prompts like:

  • “My buyer persona [describe them in detail] struggles with finding clients in a new market [describe the market]. This is their positioning [provide a link]. What are some questions I could ask to gain further insight about their goals?”

This can help you uncover deeper insights and address their unique challenges effectively.

Go Beyond Surface-Level Questions

To truly uncover client needs, go beyond surface-level questions. Dive into their motivations, pain points, and desired outcomes. Some thought-provoking questions to ask include:

  • “What are the top three factors you consider when making a purchasing decision?”
  • “How do you envision your business/organization evolving in the next few years?”
  • “What would success look like for you in this project or engagement?”

Notion’s AI capabilities can assist you in going beyond surface-level questions by providing intelligent suggestions and prompts. These AI-powered insights can help you ask thought-provoking questions that elicit deeper responses and unlock valuable insights into your client’s needs.

As you engage in conversations and ask questions, make sure to take detailed notes. Document key insights, pain points, aspirations, and any specific requirements mentioned by the client. These notes will serve as a valuable resource for tailoring your offerings and delivering personalized solutions.

Client needs can change over time, so it’s important to continuously refine your questioning techniques. Analyze the feedback you receive, identify patterns, and adjust your approach accordingly. This iterative process ensures that you stay in sync with your client’s evolving needs and preferences.

Evolving Your Questioning Techniques

Asking the right questions is a skill that evolves with practice and feedback. By starting with open-ended questions and actively listening to your clients, you create a safe and trusting environment for meaningful conversations. Digging deeper with follow-up questions allows you to uncover hidden needs and opportunities.

Remember to tailor your questions to each individual client, considering their industry, role, and unique circumstances. Documenting insights and continuously refining your questioning techniques will ensure that you stay aligned with your client’s evolving needs and deliver personalized solutions.

By engaging in these conversations and using the insights gained, you can fuel your content creation and provide valuable content that resonates with your audience’s needs and aspirations. Take the first step in building stronger connections with your clients by asking the right questions and unlocking the potential for collaboration and growth.

Get Kaitlyn’s social media content calendar here

Kaitlyn Halverson @moderncommerce2022 Kaitlyn Marie
Social Media Manager. Expert in designing social media workflows and campaigns; driving organic growth and data-driven decisions. Passionate about creating impactful digital strategies.

Tell Us Below:

What questions do you ask your clients? Are you a Notion user? Share in the comments below! :point_down: