The Magic Words

That is interesting.  Tell me more.

Q: Why are these words magic?

A: Because you have someone who is interested enough to want to talk to you and learn more.


OK, good… but how do you progress the conversation?

Many people make the mistake of going into full on “Fire-hose mode”.  That is deciding to tell the customer EVERYTHING about the product without taking a pause for breath.

Fire-hosing is a BIG MISTAKE!


Because you don’t know enough about the person situation yet.

  • What is their situation? What do they want? Why?
  • What are they trying to do? Why?
  • What have they tried before? What worked and what failed? Why?
  • What budget do they have?
  • and so on and so on.

Do you have your standard questions prepared?

If not… what are some good questions that you like to ask?  How can you use these questions to help the customer move forward?

Q: How many questions do you need to ask?

A: Enough, until you are clear about the customers’ challenge (from multiple angles), and are clear in your own mind that you can actually help them.

  • If the answer is no, or not yet, then ask more questions.
  • If the client does not want to answer questions, then you cannot help them and they will need to go elsewhere.
  • If you are not clear about how you will help them, ask more questions and do some creative thinking.

What will you offer?

Will you offer a standard product or service?

Will you adapt or modify what you already have?

Or come out do you need to create an all-new offering?

Each level has its risks and likely different pricing points.

Are you clear on what they want?

Look at the diagram.

If you don’t know what they want… you are on the top row.

If you are clear about that they want… you are on the bottom row.

How easy is it for you do deliver what the customer wants?

If you are clear about what they want AND if the work is easy or averagely difficult… then go for it or adjust your scope.

However, if the work is hard or averagely difficult then be very careful on scope and consider walking away.  Are you setting yourself up for a very hard time, by taking on work which is too hard?

Green – Yellow – or Red.

The colours, like traffic lights, guide you to do something.

Green – Go for it.

Yellow – Ask more questions.

Red – Walk away or be very careful about scope.

The amount of money you make…

… will depend on how well you understand what the customer wants and how you can help them to achieve what they are looking for.

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Steve Wood is a management consultant who helps business owners to achieve their own roaring success.  > Read full profile


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