When visiting Starbucks last weekend, a couple of new options were being featured. The “Blonde” espresso, and the “Nitro”. Since I had never heard of either, I asked the cashier what the Blonde was. She happily gave me a detailed description of exactly what it was, what I should expect from it should I choose it, and how it’s different from the normal espresso. And then assured me that if I ordered it and didn’t like it, I could ask for a regular espresso drink to be made for me instead. Then I asked a follow up question. And then another. Each time, a spectacular, detailed answer, with a smile.
Then it was Aaron’s turn. He was intrigued by the “Nitro” and asked what it was. She gave him a full description, and then a very hefty sample (as it was a cold brew and always at the ready). Over and over, every question we asked, she answered. With tantalizing details, and a broad smile.
Some clients just like to ask a lot of questions. Like a lot. As you may guess, I’m one of them. I want to know everything I can before I buy. Especially anything expensive. But sometimes even the small things. I just like information. So anytime my questions are met with a smile, and a well thought out, fully informative response, I’m a happy lady. Your customers are the same.
Questions Are a Showroom for Your Expertise
Anytime your customer asks you to share a bit of your expertise, go for it. Especially in an industry where uninformed customers may think of designers and decorators as “curators of pretty things,” answering a question is your time to shine. It’s your time to give them your knowledge. To show how much you know. To show them (in a humble way) what years of design experience and design school has given you. To show how much you actually think through every one of your choices. To show them how many technical details you consider. It’s your opportunity to make them happy, by answering a question that calms their concerns. Or encourages and answers a peaked interest. And makes you look crazy smart. All at the same time.
Now there’s no need to give them a 2 hour answer to, “Why should I choose a down filled sofa cushion?”, but do give them enough information to fully answer their question. And with a smile. You’ve worked hard to know what you know, so go ahead and share it (just don’t use too much industry jargon). Customers are asking questions because they’re a bit unsure, or because they’re curious. So being met with a smiling face and a detailed answer is soothing to the soul.
You Don’t Have to Share Everything
Of course there will be some things you don’t share, like who and where your workroom is. Or the exact details of how you price, but genuine questions about the designs, the products, etc., do share. Clients want to know that you know what you’re talking about. And anytime you show how willing you are to share that information with them, they’re appreciative.
No one wants to feel like they’ve asked a stupid question. And if they do, they’ll stop asking them. And even if that seems like a great world to be in, to have your clients stop asking questions, it’s not. 99/100 times, the curious customer is the interested customer. They’re learning more, so they can decide how else they can work this into their life. It’s the customer that doesn’t ask any questions, that’s the uninterested customer. That’s the customer that walks away.
Indulge Your Customer’s Curiosity to Close the Deal
Think about it this way. When you meet a guy you like, you have to stop yourself from asking him a million questions. You want to know everything you can about him, as soon as possible. You’re fascinated by who he is, what he is, and if this could really be something. But the guy you don’t have a lick of interest in, you can barely muster up a question or two. Your customers are the same. So every reasonable question your client or prospect asks, indulge them. And know you’re that much closer to getting a yes. On hiring you, on your design presentation, on getting the go ahead for that next big project they’re considering. Cause I bought that Blonde espresso, and Aaron can’t stop talking about the Nitro. All because we got answers to our questions.
If you’d like even more help showing your clients just how amazing you are, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how!