Because I’ve never met a data point I didn’t like, I do a lot of research. Transforming those data points into something meaningful involves significant effort and a hefty dose of patience to complete the very detailed analysis.
So it’s ironic, at best, that the one thing that gets the most positive response in our studies has nothing to do with data at all. I ask participants to share their ‘one-best idea’ on a particular topic and act as little more than a conduit to share those ideas back with participants. And they love it.
And while I may do large-scale studies, you can apply this same simple idea in your business and add significant value for your existing clients. Let’s call it a ‘Hidden Gems Poll’. It’s an almost painfully simple idea, but one that has a big impact.
The idea is this. Conduct a brief poll across a defined segment of your client base and ask them for their one-best idea on a very specific topic. The goal is to keep it light, so I’m not talking about their one-best idea for living a more fulfilled life, but rather their one-best restaurant, book, resource, app, blog or class.
You’re looking for the hidden gems.
By asking the question and sharing the results, you’ve found a fun and helpful way to add value for your clients while creating or reinforcing community. Oh, and there’s a good chance your clients will share those results with others in a similar situation.
Your Action Plan
To conduct a Hidden Gems Poll (or whatever you choose to call it), there are six steps.
1. Identify a Client Segment
This idea is only truly relevant within defined segments of your client base because you’ll be asking for ideas relevant to their lives. If you work with a niche, your target should be obvious. If not, identify another segment that reflects your ideal and is large enough to provide some meaningful feedback.
Among the potential segments could be clients who:
- are within five years of retirement
- work within a specific industry
- share a passion or hobby
- have young children or grandchildren
- live in the same community
- share a profession (e.g., business owners)
You don’t need many clients – perhaps 20 – 25 to make this work. You don’t need a large group as you’re not going for statistical significance, but rather a list of good ideas.
2. Position the Poll
Invite clients to participate in your 1-2 question poll and position it in such a way as to highlight the value you’re adding in bringing it all together. For example….
I’m writing to invite you to participate in a poll that will take no more than 1 minute of your time. My clients are a wealth of information. I’ve always known that and I realized that finding a way to gather and share that information might be fun and valuable for everyone.
This poll is designed for my clients with grandchildren and it focuses on the best activities for grandparents and grandchildren. Those activities might include a great vacation spot or some of the things you do around town to keep your grandchildren entertained and engaged. If you can take a moment and share one single idea, I’ll compile the list and share it back (with direct links to all of the resources).
3. Craft the Question
Now consider what kind of information might be helpful to clients in the segment you’re targeting. The best type of question will be one that leads to something very specific, like a resource, a vacation spot, a website, a book, etc. The reason these types of questions work well is that they allow you to create a resource list that will be very focused and, of course, it makes the poll easy to complete. The simplicity of a resource list means it will get used – and will get shared. If your questions are too general the results will be less compelling.
Here are a few examples:
- Best vacation spot to bring the grandchidren
- Best book you have read lately
- Business Owners:
- Best app to improve productivity
- Best publication, website or blog
- Legacy Planning Clients:
- Best ways to support local charities in your community
- Best ways to teach children/grandchildren about giving back
- Best book or website on financial literacy
- Ways to structure allowance for maximum impact
You get the idea….
4. Execute the Poll
Survey technology is both simple and advanced now, so execution is relatively simple. Consider a tool like Survey Monkey. For a poll like this, the free version may be all you need. You can create a one-question survey and include the link in an email that you send to invite clients to participate.
5. Summarize the Results
Take the results you receive and create a simple list with the idea, a brief description and a URL or other contact information. Bingo, you have your resource list.
6. Share Your Hidden Gems Resource List
Share the list with your clients (in that segment) including those who participated and those who did not. The process can be as simple as sending the list via email or you could create a quick video to accompany the list to add something personal. It’s key that you highlight why you are doing this as a way to showcase the support and value that you provide to clients. And you might use the opportunity to ask them for other questions they would like to see asked of your clients.
The Growth Connection
You know this already, but it’s worth saying it again. We all like to help our friends and family and sharing resources is one of the best and easiest ways to do that. By creating this resource for your clients, you’ve created something simple and easy for them to share with others. Be careful, this might lead to more referrals so don’t forget the little details – like including your contact information on the list.
Simple, but Powerful
This is one of many simple ideas that you can put into practice to surprise, support and engage your clients. In this case the source of the value is being part of your community, something clients may not often think about. It’s just one more reason to love you.
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