Last week I told you how using a survey to get into the minds of your readers doesn’t usually work. If you’ve tried it, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I promised that I’d come back this week to give you my proven Steal This! guide to asking questions that will actually help your business.
When you ask the right questions in the right way to the right people, you get juicy marketing gems that will help convert prospects into paying customers. (And we all want more paying customers!)
To start off, let’s talk about the who, when, and how of asking great questions. Then I’ll give you my exact interview questions so you can steal ‘em.
When to Ask
Whenever you’re scheming a new service, product, or program, it’s time to interview past clients. If you don’t have direct experience doing what you want to offer, interview people who seem like a close match to those you want to target.
Please don’t ask random people on Facebook for input! Random people will give you random, worthless answers. You must personally ask people you think are a good fit to work with you.
Interviewing past and potential clients allows you to dive into their hearts and minds, thoughts and emotions. This is essential for two reasons. First, it ensures you’re creating an offer that will deliver the results they actually want. Second, it gives you the perfect marketing language to sell your offer in a way that will make them want to buy!
In the online world, it’s easy to get caught doing business the way everyone else does, as opposed to finding how you can serve your clients with your unique genius. When you mimic what others do, it doesn’t allow you to do your best work, and it certainly doesn’t get your clients the best possible results. And it’s all about getting results!
It’s also easy to get caught using industry lingo to describe your work. This is a problem because industry lingo doesn’t help you get clients! Instead, it confuses prospects and sends them away. When someone doesn’t understand what you do and how you can help them, of course they’re not going to buy!
When you use the words of past and potential clients, your sales language — whether on a sales page, in an email, or during a consult — will resonate with prospects. When your sales language resonates, prospects are 387% more likely to buy from you. And the best way to get this language is straight from their mouths!
Who to Ask
If you’re experienced in business and looking to refine your services or create new ones, interview your favorite past clients. They’re your best source of perfect marketing language since you loved working with them and they probably loved you. When you talk with them, write down every single word they say! Their words are GOLD.
If your new offer is targeting people just like you were a few years ago, interview yourself! The key is to transport yourself back in time to how you felt and what you thought before you learned what you learned and changed whatever you changed that you now want to help people with. (This will be more clear when you get to the specific interview questions below.)
If you’re brand new to business, survey potential new customers. Although it’s hard to know exactly who a good client will be until you interview or work with them, you’ve got to start somewhere! They’ll help you refine your marketing language and help you describe your offer more effectively. Always remember who gave you the specific advice, so you can use their input accordingly.
How to Ask
You must hold these interviews over the phone or in person. Nuances are impossible to notice via email or through an online survey. To get the best marketing language from your interviewees, you need to actually talk to them!
Individually connect with the people you’d like to interview and tell them why you want to interview them. If they’re one of your favorite past clients, tell them! Past clients are usually very open and willing to give their input, especially if they were pleased with your work. Schedule an hour to hop on the phone and interview them.
I find that the interview takes about a half-hour. I leave the second half-hour to give them free coaching or advice in return for the help they gave me.
As you ask them questions listed below, get really curious. Become a detective. See if you can get to the root of their thoughts, emotions, fears, dreams, and beliefs. The more you can uncover, the more juicy your new marketing language will be! I promise that if you dig, you will find the exact marketing gems you need to help sell your next offer.
These questions are the ones I used to interview past clients when I was designing my soon-to-be released secret, awesome new program. (Watch your email over the next week for details!)
The questions below were asked specifically as it related to business, since that’s my area of expertise and the focus of my new program. You should modify the questions as needed to target your unique offers.
If you’re brand new to business and don’t have past clients to interview, change the questions to focus primarily on what your potential clients’ frustrations and desires are. Also ask them what they would need to accomplish or achieve in order to want to make an investment in working with someone like you.
Let’s dive in…
Start by asking the interviewee to go back in time to two months, one month, or right before they hired you. They should answer these questions from that mental and emotional space; this is essential.
1. What was frustrating you?
2. What did you want? What did you believe was possible for you?
3. Why did you want that? How would your life be different once you had this?
4. What fears did you have about getting what you wanted, including the process of getting it and how things
would be once you had it?
5. What myths were you believing about what it would take to create or have what you wanted?
6. What characteristics did you possess that made you think you could or couldn’t create or get what you wanted?
7. How did people react when you told them you were hiring me? If you didn’t tell them, why not?
8. How did you feel about the financial investment?
9. What was included in our work together that made the investment seem worth it to you?
From where you stand today…
10. Looking back, what were you doing before we worked together that wasn’t working for you?
11. What are the best things you got out of our work together?
12. If you could tell your earlier self something you’ve learned that would make her feel hopeful about what’s possible for her, what would you say?
13. What else would you tell her? Would she believe you? Why or why not?
14. What do you believe is possible for you in the future? If I had told you this before we worked together, would you have believed me? Why or why not?
Questions Not to Ask
You’ll notice that I didn’t ask questions like these:
Would you like a 6 week or 10 week program?
Should I sell this as an ebook or a video series?
Would you like to learn individually and as a group?
The reason I don’t ask these questions and you shouldn’t either is because YOU are the expert. Your job is to help people get the results they want, and it’s your job to figure out what the best way is to get them those results.
When I designed my program, I knew what I needed to do to get great results for my people. I knew what to teach and how to teach and how to format the program to get the uncompromising results I’m known for.
Likewise, your people are here to learn from you, so you need to be the expert on how to help them get great results. The interviews are to help you ensure you deliver the results they want; they are also to help you find the best language to describe what you do and what those results are that you deliver.
What to Do With the Answers
Once you have answers from several past or potential clients, you want to pull out the juiciest marketing gems. Then you’ll put them into action!
Your clients words, emotions, hopes, dreams, fears, and worries should be used liberally throughout your sales pages and marketing emails. It’s these words that will resonate with future clients and help them see that you are the perfect person with the perfect offer to help them get exactly what they want.
First, if you found this post useful and plan to steal my questions, please tweet about it!
Next, I want to hear from you!
Have you used interviews or surveys before? What did you do, and did they help you how you thought they would?
Based on today’s post and the questions above, what have you learned about how you can improve the survey and interview process for your next offer?
What action steps will you take this week to start putting this idea into action in your business?
I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got in the comments below!