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45 Best Questions To Ask Your Client to Get to Know Them

Get the conversation started with the 45 best questions to ask your client to get to know them, reveal new opportunities and hidden risks.
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Do you really know your clients? Are you asking the right questions to truly understand them? Their hopes, dreams, disappointments, their well…you get the idea.

This comprehensive starter kit of questions will help you dig below the surface to uncover insights that strengthen partnerships and drive growth. They are designed to adapt and expand upon, not necessarily ask them all.

The goal is to gain strategic insights that help you build action plans that provide real value to your clients and their business.

The more targeted questions you ask, the more you learn and the more opportunities you have to help your client.

(And to align and expand your solution to be more profitable.)

You’ll better anticipate risks and earn your place as trusted advisor and strategic partner.

Ask Impactful Questions

Dig below the surface and you’ll find what you’re looking for. Here are my 45 best questions to ask your client, grouped by topic.

Industry Insights

Understanding your client’s industry landscape is key to aligning your offerings with their business needs and goals. Ask these questions to identify trends, competitors, and influences.

Use the insights to adjust your messaging, competitive positioning, and areas of innovation.

  1. What does your client do?
  2. What challenges face their industry? Political, economic, social, technological, legal (PEST)?
  3. Who are their competitors?
  4. What makes them unique in the market? Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT)
  5. Are there any trade shows and other events they attend?

Organizational Priorities

Get a handle on your client’s organizational structure, objectives, and pain points. These questions reveal decision-making processes, leadership priorities, and potential partnership opportunities.

Tailor your communication approach and internal processes accordingly.

  1. What is their company culture?
  2. What is the decision-making process?
  3. Who are the most challenging people and what impact do they have?
  4. What challenges is your business facing now?
  5. Who are the decision makers and influencers?
  6. Who else should you be talking to?
  7. Will they introduce you to their teams to learn client management?
  8. What is the vision for their company?
  9. Who is on the board?
  10. Are they a private or public company? How and when are earnings reported?

Point of Contact Priorities

Build rapport with the people you work with daily. Ask about their specific responsibilities, projects, and preferences to provide tailored support.

Make their job easier and your partnership stronger.

  1. What problems does your point of contact (POC) need solved?
  2. What else does your POC do? Other responsibilities?
  3. What are their big projects now?
  4. What do they love about their job?
  5. What do they wish they had more time for?
  6. What’s keeping them up at night?
  7. How has their job changed?
  8. What do they care about?
  9. What communication works best? Email, phone, in person? Any ideas to improve it?

Targets and Metrics

Uncover exactly how your client defines and measures success. With this context, you can demonstrate how your solution directly contributes to their targets.

Develop growth strategies aligned to their KPIs.

  1. What results is your POC expected to deliver this year?
  2. What evidence and tracking do they need?
  3. What does success look like?

Supplier Management

Gain insight into how your client manages partnerships on their end. Understanding their processes better positions you as a strategic partner vs. another vendor.

Identify areas to excel in their vendor selection and management process.

  1. What administration do they have to do? Reports? Presentations? Communications?
  2. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate this category’s importance?
  3. What are the consequences of inaction?
  4. More or less time to focus on your category?
  5. What makes a successful partnership?
  6. How do they manage suppliers?
  7. What is their issue resolution process?
  8. Budget changes this year and how was it forecasted?

Your Solution

Solicit candid feedback on your own offering. Identify ways you can improve, expand, and better address your client’s needs.

This is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship and demonstrate commitment to their success.

  1. What do they think of your products and services?
  2. Why did you win their business?
  3. Are you still meeting initial needs?
  4. Have those needs changed?
  5. What training would help?
  6. What issues come up regularly?
  7. Any wished-for offerings you lack?
  8. What could be improved?
  9. What’s the number one benefit received?
  10. Can they easily find what they need?
  11. How can we make your job easier?

Use Mindmaps

Mind maps are a great way to group questions into topics to help your strategic planning. It also makes it very easy to populate answers as you find them and make connections between the information. I use Mindmeister and you get started with my free mind map template of the best questions to ask your client below.

20 Client Research Tips

Don’t waste precious face time with clients asking questions you could uncover on your own. Proactively gather intelligence from public sources and connections to arm yourself with insights before discussions.

  1. Follow your client’s executive team and employees on LinkedIn to see content they share
  2. Create Twitter lists to easily monitor client and competitor social media accounts
  3. Set Google Alerts for clients, key leaders, competitors, and industry news. Get a weekly digest to avoid email overload.
  4. Sign up for newsletters whether from your client directly or related to their industry. Monitor announcements, trends, etc.
  5. Read the “About Us” and other key pages on your client’s corporate website. Study their mission, values, leadership bios, case studies and more.
  6. Review any customer case studies, success stories, or testimonials published by your client. Understand how they market their unique value.
  7. Visit your client’s YouTube channel to watch videos they have posted. Observe messaging, branding, areas of focus.
  8. Read your client’s mission, vision, diversity statements and other published corporate commitments. Understand their priorities.
  9. Listen to your client’s quarterly earnings call transcripts and annual report presentations. Gain financial context.
  10. Attend your client’s virtual events, webinars and training sessions when possible. Exposure to their products, content and employees.
  11. Follow influencers your client admires on social media. Get a sense of perspectives they find thought-provoking.
  12. Research your client’s board members. What other boards do they sit on? What is their expertise?
  13. Look at your client’s job postings. See what roles they are hiring for to gauge strategies.
  14. Search patent databases to see if your client has filed recently. Indicates areas of innovation.
  15. Use tools like Buzzsumo to analyze your client’s most engaging social content. Learn discussion trends.
  16. Check third-party reviews of your client’s products on sites like G2 and Capterra. Identify shortcomings, opportunities.
  17. Join industry associations your client is part of. Gain similar connections, communications and exposure.
  18. Follow reporters and outlets covering your client’s industry. Get a media perspective.
  19. Connect with any co-workers managing other clients in the same industry. Share knowledge and insights.
  20. Use mind mapping software like MindMeister to organize findings visually. See connections, themes.

Start Uncovering Deeper Insights

Asking strategic questions opens the door to better solutions, higher satisfaction, and stronger partnerships.

This starter kit provided a framework to uncover actionable insights about your client’s industry, organization, goals, and partnership needs.

While not all questions will apply to every client, the act of probing deeper demonstrates commitment and care. Keep the conversation going to turn insights into value.

3 Steps to Get Started

  1. Review and Select Relevant Questions: Go through each category and choose 5-7 questions that fit your client goals. Adapt them as needed.
  2. Prepare your Research: Spend 15 minutes researching your client online before each meeting. Review websites, news, social media, and reports to arm yourself with context.
  3. Capture Learnings: Use the Questions To Ask Your Client Mind Map to organize findings into an action plan. Identify opportunities to strengthen the partnership.

Dedicate time each week to proactively learn about your accounts. Keep adding insights to your mind map. Most importantly, apply what you uncover to provide greater value to your clients.

Their growth is your growth too.

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