Four Questions to Reveal Your Customers True Desires


Questions are the key to finding out the needs of your customers and thus give you the opportunity to better serve them. Without revealing their needs first, we are just playing “show and tell” with our product and hoping they’ll like something we show them.

By asking a couple of questions, we can have a clear understanding of what would be useful to our clients and offer them customized service and products.

The following four types of questions will uncover their needs, and your genuine concern for them will be evident.

1. Open Ended Question – When we ask someone a yes/no question, how often do you end up knowing what they really want? If you ask, “Would you like steak for dinner tonight?” and the answer is no, are you much closer to knowing what they do want? It’s important that you give either a multiple choice question or an open ended question, depending on what you have to offer.

Example – Cooking and Entertaining Supplies Industry

Imagine asking someone the question, “Do you like to cook or entertain?” For many the answer is probably, “It depends on the circumstances.” or “Sometimes.” versus a solid, “Yes/No” answer. Try asking, “On what occasions do you entertain on a yearly basis?” “How many times a week do you cook dinner? How often would you like to be cooking dinner? What are the biggest challenges to making that happen?” The answers to these questions will give you the ability to assist your client in accomplishing their goals.

2. The Positive Question – We like being around positive individuals; we trust them more and crave spending time with them. At the same time, we also like people who we can vent to and share our concerns with.

We want to uncover the needs of an individual, but that usually involves uncovering a negative feeling or frustration. There are two ways to uncover their needs, while sharing their concerns and staying positive at the same time. Asking a positivequestion fulfills both of these methods for connecting to people.

Example – Skin Care Industry

We know that many are unsatisfied with their natural look, thus they buy skin care products and makeup. A simple way to unveil their need is to ask them “Which facial feature do you like most and would you like to emphasize?” They might mention their eyes, cheek bones, or lips. Often, after they respond to your positive question, they will quickly tell you all the facial features they aren’t fond of. Bingo, need revealed and you were able to stay positive. Consider your product/service and formulate a question similar to this.

3. “If you could improve on just one thing…” Question – After asking the positive question, if they didn’t happen to instantly share a need they have with you, you then need to ask a question to reveal needs. Because we are only comfortable when we are talking about our problems, but we dislike others pointing out our shortcomings, we need to ask a question and say it in such a way that we are making the assumption that they don’t have many needs or challenges that need fixing.

Example – Health and Wellness Products

We know that a high percentage of our country struggles with their weight. We all know it’s simply not politically correct to state, “Hey, I noticed you have 30 lbs to lose. Can I share with you a great product I sell?” Try asking instead, with pure curiosity and desire to learn about the other person, “If you could improve in just one thing about your health, what would it be?” Make sure your tone voice says this with 100% curiosity. You may be very surprised at their answer. You may hear a long list of health concerns or you may be told they are completely content. Either way, you’ll know how to proceed with the conversation.

4. “On a scale of 1-10” Question – How often have you asked a child, friend or client a question that resulted in an answer, “Fine,” “Good,” or “Okay,”? Did you wonder, “But what does that really mean? Are they just being polite, or do they really like it?” Each person is a little different in how much emotion they show. There are those that that wear their hearts on their sleeves, and others that are very reserved. The following will help you reveal their true desires.

Example – Clothing and Accessory Industry

When a customer tries something on, whether it is clothing, accessories, or footwear, we often ask, “How do you like it?” On occasion we’ll get a reply that is difficult to distinguish its true meaning. “They are nice.” “I like them.” We are left wondering, “How nice do you feel they are? How much do you like them?” Follow up with the question, “On a scale of 1-10, how much would you like to add them to your wardrobe?” You’ll be surprised to find some people’s definition of “nice” is a ten and for others it’s a five. You now know where to go with the conversation.

For every product and service, specific questions can be asked that will reveal the needs. Use the four different types above and discover how much more you’ll learn about your client, how much more you’ll be connected to those customers, and watch your sales double and triple. As an added bonus, you’ll have an increase of referrals and repeat business because the trust between yourself and your clients will soar.

If you find it’s difficult to find the right question, please feel free to contact me and I’ll assist you in creating the perfect question for your business.

Alyson Wallace

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