So, what do your clients NEED?

It seems that all I do lately is research (I'm working on a series of coaching programs and accompanying workbooks).

My latest research is on my forthcoming program, Clearly Defining Your Services, which reminded me of a coaching session with a client a while back. I asked her “What do you do?” She rattled off her 30-second introduction, and some text she read on a competitor's website. Her answer was full of jargon and generalities… So I stopped her and asked again, “Yes, but what do you DO?” This time, she gave me the list of services she provides. A little nervous that she would get upset and fire me on the spot for being so insistent, I interrupted her yet again “Ok, so what do you do, then?” She stopped talking, paused for quite a while and answered “Well, I make my client's lives easier.” AHA!!! Now we were on to something — she was thinking like her client.

When someone asks you what you do, are you in the habit of answering in terms of your title, profession, actual services and processes? You see, that's what I call “selling” which, I'm sure if you're like most people, actually turns you away. So why do it to your potential clients?

I was glad to find out that I'm not the only one that thinks so.

During my research, I found this article Do You Know What Your Clients Really Need? by John Doerr. He believes (and I agree) we should never be selling anything when talking about our services.

Instead, we should seek out conversations about their needs. When we hear a set of needs with which we can be of assistance, we can then offer to help.

I know, I know. Easier said than done.

He breaks down typical needs that drive prospects to seek your services. He then enumerates 10 exercises that get you to think about how your clients view your services and how you can define them in terms of their needs.

I guess in the future, instead of asking “What do you DO?” I should rephrase and ask “What do your clients NEED?

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