Ask Your Clients Better Questions

In A Manager’s Primer on Asking Better Questions, Marty Baker at Creativity Central shares several dozen open-ended questions designed for various situations like Anticipation, Assessment and Clarification that serve as a valuable reminder that “yes” or “no” questions don’t always get you the information you need.

Here’s the suggested questions on “Exploration” from the post:


May we explore that some more?

Can we take a closer look at that?

What other angles can you think of that?

What are some more possibilities?

What’s another way of looking at it?

While many seem quite obvious, making a conscious effort to ask your clients questions differently may just prompt them to give better answers.

2 Responses to Ask Your Clients Better Questions
  1. Betsy Munnell
    July 2, 2011 | 8:47 pm

    This reminds me of my primary complaint about cocktail party, even business lunch, chatter. So many of us do not press past our first question to understand the first answer in dept. This is especially true when we are speaking with someone who works or specializes in a very different field from our own. If you ask someone what they do, don’t settle for the short, coded and often incomprehsible answer. Ask questions until you get it–at leats at some intelligent level. This is not a strategy–it’s what intelligent people do–but we’re all in such a hurry. People remember people who actually bother to find out about them.

  2. Catherine Gannon
    January 3, 2013 | 12:11 am

    Other benefits of asking the right questions are :-

    1. client will hopefully form the impression that you are genuinely interested in them, their matter or business. This is crucial.

    2. better advice, more cost effective advice and service.

    This is all part of the sea change where it’s now about the client not the lawyer. Whilst this has come with some painful side effects for some lawyers, it was always necessary and will hopefully lead to a more leaner and less despised new breed of lawyers.

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