One thing that I find to be universal, it’s hard to see what’s getting in our own way. Each of us has blind spots. No matter how scrupulously you or I look in the mirror, there will always be something we can not see that is obvious to others.
If I can’t see myself as I appear to others, my blind spots represent a threat. If I believe the reason people hire me is radically different than the truth, I may not be effective in attracting new clients. One of the best ways to find out how others see me, is to ask. Finding out the benefits of working with me, from the perspective of my clients, can help me share this information with new clients who may be experiencing challenges similar to those of my existing clients.
Quantify Your Results
I have developed an inventory of short, open-ended questions that are designed to provoke responses targeting the benefits and measurable results from the point-of-view of clients. I have a pool of approximately 20 questions from which to select and shape a short, yet comprehensive, survey. These questions can be tailored to any type of business. They are most useful for a service based business. I recommend choosing no more than 5 to 7 questions when putting together a survey. It is also important to structure the questions so that the answers will include quantifiable results, ones that are objectively observable and measurable.
Ways to Use the Survey
- Sending out the questions to a sample of your contacts and clients by email
- Using an online survey tool, like Constant Contact Survey
- Sending the questionnaire out in the mail
- Setting up phone interviews with your sample and recording responses
- The key is keeping the survey short, asking for permission to use the information gathered, and expressing appreciation for participation.
Several years ago one of my clients was going through tremendous turmoil in her personal and professional life. We were working together on rebranding her business and including revising and updating the content of her website. She had some old testimonials, but nothing that was current. She was struggling to ramp up her business to the income levels she had enjoyed in the past. I suggested that we send out a short survey to her client base to get a clearer picture of what clients found valuable about working with her. We sent out and collected the survey by email.
To our mutual delight, each response was even better than the previous one. This survey allowed her to reconnect with past clients as she learned what her clients appreciated most about her and her style of service. All of the respondents provided glowing and specific comments. All of them agreed to let us use their responses, as well as their names, on her website and in other marketing materials. She gathered a wealth of useful information. As a result of this survey, her perspective shifted from doubtful to confident. She was able to go out and get new clients based on the testimony of her previous clients. She now had written proof of her value and could look at these glowing testimonials whenever she was feeling discouraged or disheartened.
Seek and You Shall Find
By asking questions and being open to the answers, you can discover what you’re doing well, where you need improvement, and see yourself as others see you.
As the end of the year approaches, it is a perfect time to take stock, evaluate, and plan what you will do in the new year to maintain or surpass your current success. Engaging the help of your best clients to show you what they appreciate about you could be one of the most valuable things you do this year.