“May I help you?”
… is almost a useless thing to say.
If you want to end a conversation with a teenager, just ask, “How was school today?”
If you want to end a conversation with a customer, just ask if you can help. Instead, ask, “can I get you a hot drink?” or “what’s the worst thing about your insurance company?” or “one slice or two?”
I couldn’t agree more. You see, your clients/customers/patrons don’t often know what they need. They only know something isn’t working – which is why they’re searching for you in the first place.
If you ask them what they need, they’ll likely give you answer. But that answer will be pointed directly into the problem their facing. It’s highly unlikely it will lead them to a solution. Otherwise, they wouldn’t need you.
It’s much more effective to first listen to their story a bit and then ask specific and pointed questions that will help you identify further their need. The best questions can even get them thinking about the solution as though they thought of it themselves.
I find this the most effective method, when it works. Why? It puts the client back in power over their business. And ultimately as a coach or consultant that’s what you want.
How do you engage your clients/customers that unveil the solution?ï¿½