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Using the Power of Research

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Using the Power of Research

The Power of Research 

Once you’ve identified your ideal client, you need to find out everything about them. While most advisors and consultants agree they need to know about their ideal clients, the majority fail miserably by assuming they already know what they need to know. Nothing could be further from the truth. You learn everything by talking and asking your ideal clients fabulous questions.

Socrates was known for his ability to ask questions. Instead of telling someone what they needed, he would ask questions to help the other person determine what they needed. This ancient wisdom will serve you well.

When I was 16 years old, I worked for the first millionaire of my career. He hired me to survey people to see if they wanted a shopping mall in our town (we had to drive 50 miles to a shopping mall). When I asked him why he would pay me to ask people if they wanted a mall, he said, “How else will we know what people want?” He then went on to share that most people never take the time to ask and find out what their clients or prospects really, truly desire. Instead, they guess or give them what they think they want, which usually spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.

Asking is important because it keeps us from assuming or guessing the answer. When we ask, we get valuable insight and information. Part of asking is to never assume! We were visiting some of our friends who had just purchased a new Maserati. I asked the husband how he liked his new car. The wife said, “That is not his car, it is mine!” The secret is to ask – never assume.

The Power of Research

1. Determine which types of research you want to utilize.

Great options include polls, surveys, interviews, and strategy sessions. The best type of research will depend on your ideal client. Including more than one type of research can work very effectively.

2. Identify who you want to interview.

Great sources for interviewees include clients, ideal prospects, and referral partners.

3. Create your questionnaires.

The AskLearnRiches™ questionnaire is a process we developed to learn more about our target market. The primary sources you want to interview to determine valuable insight from your niche marketing include: interviewees (prospects that may never become your client), clients (new and existing), and referral partners (centers of influence and reciprocal referral partners). It is best to develop questionnaire for each category.

Begin by making a list of all of the information you should know about your niche market, including who, what, where, why, and how. Find out where they go, what they like to do, how they like to get information, which radio stations they listen to, etc. Don’t leave anything out! Once you’ve created the list, organize it into segments such as career, family, communication, recreation, finances, etc. In each section, identify the best questions to ask to get the information you desire.

For example, if your niche market includes affluent traditional women, you wouldn’t ask them about their career, or the business associations they belong to. If you get an interview with a non-traditional woman, make it quick and offer something of value in return for their time. A thank-you to your interviewees is also important.

4. Revise and edit your questionnaires.

Continue to revise and edit your questionnaires until you are getting all the information you need from the interviewees.

5. Create your script.

Create a message that focuses on the benefits your interviewee will receive. For example, if your ideal client is an affluent widow, you may offer them a free report such as, “The Best 7 Strategies to Achieve Financial and Life Freedom after a Major Life Transition.” Or if your ideal client is a dentist, you may offer a report, “Money Saving Practices of a Successful Dental Practice.”

6. Create a list of interviewees.

Create a spreadsheet to track your interviews from the three different sources: interviewees, clients, and referral partners.

7. Input the names into your database.

Once you have their names entered into your database and have identified them as a client, interviewee, or referral partner, you are ready to schedule your interviews.

8. Schedule time to make your calls.

Determine how many interviews you want to conduct each week. Then guestimate how many calls you need to make each day to get the interview appointments set (until you actually know the number of calls you need to make daily to achieve your goal). Depending on your results, you can increase or decrease the number of calls you make.

9. Track and tweak your results.

Success in this process requires that you track and tweak your results. Continue to test and try new strategies in your marketing plan until you find the perfect formula.

10. Tips and reminders.

Most people are happy to help you by answering questions. They are generally open to referring you to friends and relatives to interview, if you’re not trying to sell them. Don’t lose your credibility by turning your interviews into prospecting calls. If your subjects show an interest in your services, either invite them to a workshop, or set up a separate meeting to discuss how you can help them.

Related: Advisors: 3 Ideas to Get the Whole Kit and Caboodle

This is especially important for people who were referred to you by others. If the person who referred you to someone finds out that you are using these interviews to solicit business, they may never give you another referral to interview again. When you receive a referral for an AskLearnRiches™ interview, tell the person that you won’t discuss business during the interview. Let the referral source know that if the interviewee asks or needs help, you will schedule a separate meeting to discuss their situation.

On occasion, you’ll become privy to information that could prove harmful to your interviewee. Contact your compliance department or attorney to determine how you should handle the situation and always document the matter.

By following these 10 steps, you will have the information you need to dominate your niche market.

Originally published on PMA360.com

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