Ask “why” to really impress your clients

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By Keith Curreri on March 01, 2019

People hire me to make them websites, right?

Well, not really. There’s often something deeper that they’re looking for.

90% of the time, when I first ask somebody why they want a website they have a broad answer, like “my current website is old” or “it’s not mobile friendly”.

But that isn’t the real reason why they’re looking for a new website.

You need to dig in deeper to find out your client’s true needs.

There is a concept developed by Sakichi Toyoda which was used in the development of Toyota Motors’ production system.

It’s called the “5 Whys”.

The process is simple. It’s about stating a problem and then asking “why” 5 times to get to the root cause of the problem.

For example:

Problem: A personal injury lawyer comes to me and says: “I want a website with a blog so I can write and position myself as a thought leader


1st Why: “So my clients can see that I am knowledgeable about my industry” – “Why?”
2nd Why: “So my clients will have more trust in what I have to say” – “Why?”
3rd Why: “Because my industry is flooded with information and my clients need a trusted partner to keep them on top of what’s going on.” – “Why?”
4th Why: “Because they are busy and don’t have the time to keep track of my industry.” – “Why?”
5th Why: (root cause): “Because if they’re informed about my industry from a trusted source they will be more knowledgeable and make smarter decisions about moving forward in their case.”

Pretty cool, huh?

We went from “I want a blog that positions myself as a thought leader” to “I want a blog that helps my clients make smarter decisions”

You can drill down using the same technique with your clients to find out what they really want.

Once you do this a few times, you’ll know what deeper things your clients want – then make sure to speak to those wants on your website to really resonate with visitors and hopefully turn them into clients.

The Takeaway: You often need to ask follow up questions to get to the true reason somebody is hiring you. Once you find that reason it’s much easier to get them the results they need.

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