Working by referral is all about serving your clients and giving them the highest level of service possible. The best service addresses the needs of your clients and may help you show your expertise. How do you know what your clients need? Listen! People reveal a lot during the course of a conversation. It’s important to be present and listen to what they’re telling you.
Over the course of a short conversation with your clients—whether over the phone or face-to-face—you can find out a lot about your clients. Generally, people enjoy talking about their families, hobbies or interests, and their businesses or careers. They also enjoy talking about themselves. It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting to know your clients or you’ve known them for years—pepper your conversation with some of these questions and you’ll learn how to better serve your client.
1. Personal Questions
• When is your birthday?
• Where are you from/where were you born?
• Are you married? If so, what is your spouse’s name?
• How long have you been married?
2. Family Questions
• What does your spouse do for a living?
• Do you have children? If so, what are their names and ages?
• Do your children play sports, a musical instrument or another activity?
• Do you have pets? What are their names and breeds?
3. Hobbies and Interests
• How do you like to spend your time off?
• What’s your favorite vacation destination? (Or where did you go on your most recent vacation?)
• What is your favorite sports team?
• What the most recent book your read?
• What is your favorite restaurant?
• Are you a member of any local civic organizations?
4. Work Questions
• What do you do for a living?
• How long have you been with your employer?
• Where did you work before your previous employer?
• How did you get started in your career?
• Are you involved in any professional organizations or trade associations?
Aim to ask the questions as they naturally come up in conversation. If you notice they’re wearing a hat with the logo of a sports team, ask if that’s their favorite team. Ask if they grew up in the area. Keep the questions open so you have the opportunity to ask another related question. As you get to know your clients, you’ll learn better ways to serve them. Record their responses in Referral Maker CRM and be sure to follow up all of your conversations with a personal note.