A “Golden Question” is one in which the answer tells you more than the question itself would imply.
Useful for research, discovery and us biz dev types who need to quickly assess new prospects and whether they will buy from us.
I learnt about it from Don Peppers who integrated it into his CRM method (Identify:Differentiate:Interact and learn: Customise). His classic was to find out whether a customer had a high propensity to buy premium brand pet food. The question was “Do you buy your pet a christmas present?”. Neat, isn’t it? Those who do, are more likely to lavish spend on their animals than those who don’t. Simple.
And so how have I used it with my clients? They are mainly working in B2B areas and so the question set needs revising depending on your particular positioning and needs.
#1 Digital Agency selling high end technology back-end services
Julian wanted to be able to find out whether a prospect wanted a simple web site or one with higher functionality. Working with him, I developed two questions to help him quickly filter people:
Question 1: What was the date of your first website?
Question 2: How many times since then have you re-launched or substantially revised it?
Why does this work? With the first quesiton, he can tell if your company is an early adopter or late arrival for the new web technologies. And with the second, he can assess your likely sophistication as a web user for marketing. Each time you re-launch a website the functionality is improved. Relaunching every 2 years means you are more likley to be interested in moving to leading edge features.
So, how does your company stack up against his questions?
#2 Agency working with start-up web businesses
These lads want to be able to find out how far down the road you are to getting your website functional. THey also need to find out the degree of technological sophistication of the person they are talking to. Pitching yourself too “techy” and you’ll quickly lose the interest of a punter but being too simplistic has the same effect. Similarly their services vary depending on the stage of the business and how close to launch the start-up business is.
Question 1: Have you got your requirements document written?
Question 2: Are you happy with your user numbers?
The first establishes business stage and sophistication and the second devines the success of the marketing support put into an already functioning site.
Now what golden questions are right for your business? Can you use them to shorten your prospecting time frame and more quickly find prospects who have the potential to become customers?