If you’ve ever spent much time around a five-year-old, then you know just how many questions they ask. They’re perpetually curious and never content until they receive a satisfactory answer. In this sense, customers are much like young children. When they have a question, they aren’t going to stop until they get an answer that they like.
The 5 Questions You Must Answer
As a business owner, you should never underestimate the importance of engaging customers, educating them, and helping them understand who your business is, what it stands for, and why it’s valuable. One of the ways you do this is by answering their pressing questions and satisfying their curiosities.
It’s anything but easy, though.
“One of the hardest things to do in all of sales is handle tough questions from skeptical prospective customers,” sales strategist Steve W. Martin writes. “After interviewing thousands of customers as part of the win-loss studies I have conducted, I can tell you with certainty that answering customer questions successfully is often the difference between winning and losing.”
While the specific questions businesses have to answer will vary from one company to the next, the fundamental questions remain the same. Whether you’re selling tacos from a food truck or sophisticated software from a million-dollar office, there are a handful of essential questions you must be able to answer. Take a look:
1. What exactly do you do?
The answer to this question is easier in certain businesses than others. A pizza restaurant doesn’t have to spend much time explaining to customers what the company does – though there may be some details that need to be fleshed out. (For example, “We only use organic, locally-sourced ingredients and practice zero-waste cooking processes.) A proprietary app-based pizza delivery service, on the other hand, will need to do more explaining.
2. Why I should I trust you?
Trust always plays an integral role in the relationship between customers and businesses. The customer might not ask it explicitly, but they’re always looking for reasons to extend trust. The best way to answer this question is by proving transparency in your actions.
3. What sets you apart?
If you’re operating in a crowded industry where customers have multiple options to choose from, you need to be prepared to tell them what sets you apart. In other words, what do you bring to the table that the competition doesn’t?
4. Where do I go from here?
Once prospective customers have interacted with your brand, you need to provide some guidance on how they can move from Point A to Point B – or, in terms of the conversion process, from awareness to action. This is typically handled through educational content, calls-to-action, and landing page funnels.
5. What happens when [insert problem]?
Last, but certainly not least, you have to be able to answer questions about what happens when a customer has a problem. Come up with a list of the three to five most frequently asked questions and make it a point to comprehensively and proactively address these in your content strategy.
Don’t Leave Your Customers Hanging
How you answer questions is just as important as what you say. You need the right platform and the right tone.
In today’s marketplace, one of the best platforms is your website’s blog. Rusty’s Auto Salvage is a great example of a company that uses its blog to educate customers and naturally answer pressing questions. Not only does it help customers understand what’s going on, but it also adds SEO value to the site.
As for the tone, you should be informative without being condescending. This means explaining complex concepts in layman’s terms (whenever possible). One of the best ways to do this is through metaphors.
“Metaphors are stories, parables, and analogies that communicate ideas by using examples that people can relate to and identify with,” Martin explains. “Metaphors enable complex concepts and theories to be explained in an understandable, interesting, and persuasive manner. The most important metaphors are examples about the customers that are successfully using your products and services.”
By delivering the right message with the appropriate tone through the correct medium, you can build trust with your customers and provide satisfactory responses to their most pressing questions. There’s more to running a successful business than this, but it’s a good place to start.