How to figure out what clients want

If you want to be able to effectively market (and sell) your services, one of the most vital steps you can take is learning what your potential clients want.

Without an understanding of what your audience truly wants, you may find that regardless of how hard you work, you’re not enrolling as many clients as you’d like.

Once you have this information, you’ll find that people are knocking on your door (so to speak).

Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for a few years, it’s important to gather information from potential clients. I like to survey my list once a year, as it helps me determine what new offerings to create – as well as what free content will be most helpful to you. (A big thank you to all of you who completed our recent survey.)

Already think you know what your audience wants?
It’s important that you don’t guess at what your audience wants. You always want to ask them. While I do feel I have a good pulse on what my audience wants, the surveys I’ve sent out always reveal new insights.

Gathering this critical information will help to ensure that the time you spend developing and marketing your offerings will be fruitful.

There are several ways to get feedback from your audience, including…

  • paying extra attention to what you hear prospective and current clients asking for and talking about
  • reviewing old intake or health history forms
  • having one-on-one conversations with a handful of prospective, past, and/or current clients
  • holding a focus group
  • sending out a survey

If you ask the right questions, surveys are a great way to quickly take the pulse of your audience.

Today, I’m going to share a template with specific questions to ask in your survey. I’ll also share how to get people to respond to your survey, even if you don’t have a list.

What to ask

When thinking about what questions to ask, think about what information you need to gain clarity on. For example, do you need to understand their primary health concern, how they want information delivered, what topics they are most interested in, or their age?

What not to ask

Avoid asking questions that are vague such as “are you looking to improve your health?” Also, avoid asking questions that you already know the answer to. The fewer the questions the better, so only ask questions that you need the answers to.

How to ask
In surveys, you can ask three types of questions:

  • Open ended questions
    Open ended questions are great for getting honest answers from your audience because you’re not leading or influencing their responses with multiple choices. I often like to start surveys with open ended questions.
  • Multiple choice questions, where respondents can choose one option
    These types of questions are great when you want to know what’s MOST important to your audience. It forces the respondents to prioritize their wants and needs. This is important for you, because you want to create programs that address their main pain points or goals.
  • Multiple choice questions, where respondents can choose multiple options
    These types of questions are useful when you have a long list of topics or health concerns that you want feedback on.

Survey Template
Here are specific survey questions you can use in your next survey. Obviously, you’ll want to adjust these (especially #5) so they help you gather the information that’s most important to you.

  1. What is your biggest health concern (or goal)?
  2. What would you most like to see happen if you could have anything you want from working with a nutrition coach?
  3. Which of the following are you most interested in? (choose one)
    • One on one support through private coaching with me
    • Support through a group program, where you receive support from me and a community of like-minded women
    • Information about food, so you can make changes on your own
    • Cooking classes
    • I’m not ready to make changes quite yet
    • Other:
  4. If you could ask me anything, what would it be?
  5. Which of the following would you like to learn more about: (check all that apply)
    • Weight loss
    • Blood sugar balancing
    • Increasing energy
    • Bone health
    • Balancing hormones during menopause
    • How to reduce cravings
    • How to prepare health food, quickly & easily
    • How to lower blood pressure through dietary changes
    • How to lower cholesterol through dietary changes
    • Reducing emotional eating
    • How to make healthy choices when eating out
    • Stress reduction
    • Effective workouts
    • Other:
  6. What are your three biggest obstacles to achieving your health goals?

How to get people to respond to your survey
Once you’ve crafted an effective survey, you’ll want to make sure that people in your target market complete the survey.

I suggest you offer an incentive to entice people to respond. You can make this easy for yourself by repurposing content you already have, such as recipes or a handout your clients love. Or, you can do a raffle for an Amazon gift card or for one of your lower-priced offerings.

When you send an email inviting people to take the survey, let them know that they’ll receive the free gift (or get entered into the raffle) if they complete the survey by a specific date. Give them one week to complete the survey, and send a second email reminder out the day before the deadline.

Side note: If you are offering a free gift, be sure to ask for their email address at the end of the survey so you can send them the gift. You’ll want to make that field optional to allow people to be anonymous. I also recommend requiring a response to all the questions. You can easily set this up in SurveyMonkey.com with their free service. (If you receive more than 100 responses, you’ll want to upgrade to the paid service.) Click here to see how we set this up in our latest survey.

What if you’re starting out and don’t have a list to send your survey to?
Have no fear. If you’re starting out, you can still get people to respond to your survey. One option is to send your survey to friends, family, and colleagues. To ensure that the information is helpful, make sure that you ONLY target people who fit your ideal client profile. I also recommend posting your survey to groups on social media that target your ideal clients.

In both of these cases, let them know that you’re just doing some market research and that you won’t try to sell them anything or email them about promotions.

Now it’s your turn. What questions have you asked, or plan to ask, in your next survey?
Share your ideas and questions below so I can support you.

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