One key to engaging with anyone – a client, a potential client, even your partner or kids – is to help them realize you value and respect them during your conversations with them.
One way to ensure they realize you value them is to actively respect and respond to the questions they ask.
And the best way to be sure they know you respect and value those questions is to tell them – with this simple response to their question: That’s a great question!
Being assured they have asked a good question goes a long way toward eliciting a favorable response. They will be relieved they are on the right track. They will be assured you have heard them. They will be far more open to your response because you have acknowledged their wisdom for asking such a good question.
I have seen this work dozens of times! I’ve seen it work in person, during TV interviews (when the interviewee responds to a reporter), on the radio – anytime I’ve ever observed a conversation between two people who must respect each other to further the goals of both, that simple response “That’s a great question!” always works well.
That’s a great question!
Why does it work well? (That’s a great question, by the way! 🙂 ) Let’s look at how, and why its important, for this to work well for potential clients – meaning – it’s also a great sales / marketing tool for you to use to encourage a potential client to sign contract with you.
How it’s perceived by a potential client
When a potential client phones you to discuss their needs, they are in some state of FUDGE (fear, uncertainty, doubt, guilt, or exhaustion.) They are not only dealing with a health scare, and possibly a financial scare, but they are now having to deal with choosing the right professional to help them weather those challenges. They are worried they will need to spend a lot of money, and they realize, even if only subconsciously, that they may not know the right questions to ask you.
If you respond to any question from them with the words “That’s a great question!” you go a long way toward not just easing their mind and reducing their stress levels, but additionally assuring them that you have LISTENED to them. Listening is HUGE. It tells them that they can trust you to hear what their concerns are. They will hire you based on their perceived ability to TRUST you.
How it’s perceived by an existing client
An existing client’s need to trust is no different, but may be arrived at differently. They’ve already hired you, so there is already a level of trust. But as time goes on during your work with a client, there will be many sources of stress and questions, that client will be called upon to make (sometimes quite difficult) decisions, and they will need you to give them reasons to continually trust you during that time.
Assuring them that they continue to ask good questions will further cement that trust level. That’s great for your relationship with them, and, it will be one of the factors that encourages them to recommend you to others.
I’ll leave it to you to test this out on your spouse or partner, your kids, your neighbors, or anyone else you want to have a good relationship with… Just keep it in the back of your mind and pull it out as needed.
The magic words “That’s a great question!” will always serve you well.
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