The phone rings and the request is for a new web site. They know that their site, as it is now, isn’t working. It’s my responsibility to figure out exactly what is not working and how to best serve their needs. It starts by me asking lots of questions and LISTENING to them. Questions like:
- What goals do you have for your company, short and long term?
- What do YOU see as not working?
- What are your customers/clients asking about most?
- Who are your customers/clients?
- Who is finding you now through the internet?
- Who do you want to target?
- When do you expect to have a new site up an running?
- Where are you located?
- Where are your clients located?
Listening to their answers is an art. There is a balance between what they are saying and projecting my own twist. My goal is to communicate clearly in language they understand, how I can fulfill their requirements.
The way I achieve this is with the old stand-by of repeating their questions in my own words as a summary. In my proposals, I use an executive summary to recapture this conversation.