Understand Your Niche: Are You Asking the Right Questions? (Part 2)

Back when Rosemary and I first started our Network Marketing business, we had no idea what it meant to “understand your niche.”  Heck, we didn’t even know what a niche was!

We made the big mistake that most Network Marketing newbies make:  We honestly believed the hype that Everyone and Anyone is a Prospect.”

As the sales page said, “all you have to do is tell your story and the money will follow.”

Yeah right!   (he said sarcastically)

understand your niche dog head

Understand?

We wasted a lot of time we didn’t have and quite a bit of money we couldn’t afford to lose before we figured it out.

It wasn’t until we attended a free webinar about Attracting Your Ideal Client that we finally understood why “finding your niche” is so important.

We ended up studying under Cindy Schulson (founder of AttractYourNiche.com), who helped us identify OUR niche.

But that wasn’t the end of it.

Cindy kept talking about “understanding your niche.

Huh?

As Cindy taught us, it all came down to one thing:

In order to market to your niche, you must first understand your niche.

But how?

We were confused on how exactly we were supposed to understand our niche market.  We joined some forums that were related to our niche, but that didn’t seem to be enough.

Then, in a private conversation, Cindy asked us the question that made everything crystal clear…

Why don’t you ask them?

Ask Questions to Understand Your Niche

It turns out that the best way to research and understand your niche is to simply ASK THEM.  Amazingly, most marketers skip this step and simply ASSUME they understand what their prospects need and want.

Big mistake.

In fact, simply by asking questions to understand your niche you can dominate your competitors!

>>> Be sure to read:  How To Understand Your Niche Better Than Your Competitors.

When you read it, you’ll understand how and where to ask the questions that will help you reveal your prospect’s greatest (and secret) desires.

But what about the actual questions?

5 Great Questions To Help You Understand Your Niche

There are two things to remember when asking questions to gain a better understanding of your niche prospects.

First, you want to drill down under any facade or defensive posturing to get to the EMOTIONS that are motivating them at that point in their lives.

To understand their emotional triggers is to truly understand what drives them… and what causes them to pull away.

The second important point about questions is to ask OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS.

These are questions that require more than a one or two word response.  Avoid asking questions that can be answered “yes” or “no”.

Asking open ended questions will get your prospect or customer talking about themselves, their needs, their wants, and what’s stopping them.

Here are the 5 questions I ask every prospect:

 

1.  What is Your Current Situation?

Before you can understand anything else about your prospects, you must have an idea of what brought them to you at this particular time.

In my case, I like to know if they are currently in Network Marketing or if they are looking for their first (or new) opportunity.  This will  help me to better understand how I can help.

2.  What is the Biggest Reason(s) WHY you want to….

This question gets to their WHY, one of the biggest emotional triggers you can uncover.

There’s been so much written about “discovering your WHY” that I won’t discuss it here, other than to say if you understand a person’s ‘why’ and the EMOTION behind it, you’ll know fairly quickly if this is a person you want to work with.

For example, if a prospect tells me their biggest reason for being in Network Marketing is to make as much money as quickly as possible, I’d be less enthusiastic in having them join my team than someone who tells me their “why” is their 2 beautiful kids and being able to spend more time watching them grow up.

Now that’s a “why” I can relate to!

3.  What is Your Biggest FRUSTRATION?

While some prospects have trouble coming up with an answer to Question 2, they usually speak volumes about their frustrations, probably because they deal with emotions very close to the surface.

If you can understand your niche prospects’ frustrations, you’ll have a good idea how to offer SOLUTIONS to their biggest problems.

4.  What are your Biggest OBSTACLES to moving forward, and how have you tried to overcome them?

This question is dual purposed.  First, you will gain an understanding of what kind of obstacles are facing your prospects. Some you may be well aware of, but others may surprise you.

The second part of this question is sneaky, because what I’m really looking for is what they do IN THE FACE OF the obstacles they face.  This will, again show me something about their work ethic and character.

If someone plays the victim card and tells me there was nothing they could do so they quit, I am much less likely to consider working with that person.

5.  What is your Biggest FEAR?

This final question again is a deep emotional one and, in my experience I’ve found that people are very open to revealing their biggest fears.

To understand what is keeping your prospects awake at night provides you invaluable insight in to what is driving your prospect to change their lives, or preventing them from moving forward.

Your Turn

What strategies do YOU use to better understand your niche?

LEAVE A COMMENT and join in the discussion… and please SHARE with your social network of friends and followers.

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45 Responses to “Understand Your Niche: Are You Asking the Right Questions? (Part 2)”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Ana from Web Traffic says:

    “Just ask” – doesn’t get any more simple and effective way of doing it, Bob.

    Maybe more people don’t do it because it’s too obvious. LOL
    Ana invites you to read..Aweber ReviewMy Profile

  2. Deave says:

    Completely understand what your stance in this matter. Although I would disagree on some of the finer details, I think you did an awesome job explaining it. Sure beats having to research it on my own. Thanks and have a nice day.
    Deave invites you to read..MLSPMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hey Deave, thanks for the kind words of support.

      Just curious — what are the points where we differ in opinion. Let’s discuss! :-)

  3. Damay says:

    I get what you point-that’s why i highly appreciate your effort for your posting on this.and i do agree of all good comment you receive.thanks and have a nice day.glad to see your other post also.
    Damay invites you to read..MLSPMy Profile

  4. Susan from Primal Fitness says:

    I find understanding your customer (your niche) is the most important aspect to making a sale. I ind this to be true online as well as in b2b sales. In fact, it is really sales 101. You must tap into peoples emotions while finding out what their frustrations and obstacles are to whatever you are discussing. And they themselves must admit the need and find value in whatever you are selling before they will buy.
    Susan invites you to read..Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss as Part of a Primal LifestyleMy Profile

  5. Daniel says:

    This article is really inspiring that’s why thanks for posting on this.
    Daniel invites you to read..Lead Generation SoftwareMy Profile

  6. understanding your niche is really important when it comes to bloging and your reputation – eventually sales. tons of information you have an excess to – just go for it. so why wont you share this info for free at your blog and gain riders? that is a formula to success

    • Bob says:

      Understanding your niche is everything when it comes to blogging, marketing, and making money. If I could tell beginners one thing, it would be this: take the time to identify your ideal prospects and your target audience (there’s a difference) and do everything you can to understand them.

      Thanks for the comment.

  7. Dennis Edell from Direct Sales Marketing says:

    There’s one guru only Bob…the guy standing on the mountain top in robes, speaking 100 dead languages. ;-)
    Dennis Edell invites you to read..Alert! Comment Spam Can Disable Your Google Adsense Account!My Profile

  8. Ian Belanger from Network Marketing Success says:

    Hi Dr. Bob and Rosemary,

    Excellent post!

    People love to talk about themselves and if you can get them to open up to you, well you have already jumped over one big hurdle in the prospecting process.

    Showing people that you care about them and not their money can really help you to become an excellent prospector.

    Thanks for sharing this Dr. Bob and Rosemary and have a great day!
    Ian Belanger invites you to read..How To Improve Your Page Rank In 8 StepsMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      HI Ian,

      What an insightful comment! It’s so true, if people feel like you’re truly listening and not just waiting to give them a sales pitch, you’re half way there. Trust is huge, especially in the rather impersonal world of online marketing. One way to gain that trust is to listen… and learn.

      Appreciate the comment, Ian!

  9. Rowena Bolo says:

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for sharing not just these wonderful and powerful list of questions, but as well as a bit of the story when you were first struggling to identify your niche. I must say that I have not ‘fully’ planned out the direction of my blog, because of this very reason that I have not done the necessary steps to understand my niche better.

    Those five key questions and the explanation behind asking these particular questions, are very well-written and easy to understand. I will definitely be using these guidelines as I continue to understand my niche, and of course as Oliver pointed out, truly listening to the answers and to what the audience really feels is always the key!

    Thanks again, Bob.

    - Rowena
    Rowena Bolo invites you to read..30-Day Mental Cleanse: Think and Grow Rich (Chapter 7 – Organized Planning)My Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hi Rowena!

      Glad you found these questions useful and I agree, it’s always smart to listen to Oliver Tausend when he speaks! Asking without listening is a waste, right?

      I will also tell you that researching and understanding your niche is an ongoing process. It’s not a one-and-done kind of deal. Why? Because their needs or obstacles may shift over time. Surely the major obstacles will remain in place for most people in your niche, but times change and things happen that can bring on new challenges that weren’t present before.

      Thanks for your kind words, Rowena. Great to see you again!

  10. Hans Schoff from wealth secrets says:

    Hey Bob, great post. I learned early on that when you’re targeting a market or a niche, you want to market or get your content to or hang out where that niche also hangs out. You have to learn what motivates your niche, what scares them, what excites them, what they enjoy what they dislike, what they want and what they don’t want. Your five questions are great for uncovering those answers. Great stuff, thanks for sharing!
    Hans Schoff invites you to read..Creating Wealth Secrets – More Money Is NOT The Solution, This IsMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      HI Hans,

      I like the way you put it, and those are mostly emotional “what’s”, aren’t they. Emotions are what drive us to make change. If you can hit upon those emotions, show someone you understand and then take them by the hand and show them the first steps out of their dilemma, you’ll have a fan for life!

      Thanks for the comment, Hans!

  11. Stacy from Entrepreneur Tips says:

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you so much for sharing this post, those questions are great! It’s easy to assume that we know what the needs are but by asking we can be quite surprised!

    Stacy
    Stacy invites you to read..Friday Favorites: How to Create a Kindle BookMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      HI Stacy,

      Yes, I was surprised by some of the responses but not by others. In many ways, those of us who are actually in the niche we market to can make a fairly good estimate of the primary issues. But then someone tells us about a challenge we never thought about, and it makes all the hard work and research worthwhile. This may open up a whole new way for you to go to present a solution to this market. And that’s what its all about!

  12. Dennis Edell from Direct Sales Marketing says:

    I still can’t use the reply link Bob.

    It’s sad man, you have supposedly respected “guru’s” out there teaching garbage; I don’t even mean black-hat methods, I mean pure garbage…..like “great post” is a good comment kinda crap. lol
    Dennis Edell invites you to read..Never Stop Pushing Your Business ForwardMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hey Dennis,

      Working on getting the Reply button fixed… seems to be a compatibility issue that my programmer is trying to get right.

      It takes me a long time before I trust a “guru” enough to study with them. In fact, looking at my list of mentors, I would not consider any of them “gurus”, or at least they don’t think of themselves that way. Maybe I’ve finally hit on something! :-)

  13. Janet from The Natural Networker says:

    Bob, aloha. Love this post because asking questions is so important.

    If we don’t ask questions, then we “assume” the people are doing or not doing for whatever reason we think rather than what it true for them.

    When we ask questions, we are putting our focus on the other person and learning about them. There is no better way to build a relationship than by being interested in the other person.

    By asking the questions and listening to them, we can more easily determine if what we have is a fit for them or if we would be could business partners.

    If people won’t ask/answer the questions there is not, in my opinion, much basis for a solid business relations.

    Bob, not only do I ask your questions about, I also ask a lot of “why” questions or ask them to further explain an answer. To me it is very important not to make assumptions and then build a relationship on misinformation.

    Best wishes for a terrific week, Bob. Aloha. Janet
    Janet invites you to read..Do you know where you are going? By Janet Callaway | The Natural NetworkerMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hi Janet,

      Wonderful to see you here again!

      You are so right… WHY questions are so powerful. They get people to open up and tell you what’s in their mind and their heart. They can be very emotionally-based questions.

      Thanks so much for your insights, Janet!

  14. Kyle says:

    Nice Post! I will definitely be using those 5 questions. Good stuff =)
    Kyle invites you to read..Get Rid of Problems NOW!My Profile

  15. Hi Bob,

    awesome advice. Asking the right questions is key. And then it’s important to keep the mouth shut and to listen what they have to advice. By asking the right questions, ideally, our customers sell to themselves. It’s the best and cheapest market research – and closing technique, if we want to talk about closing.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Take care

    Oliver
    Oliver Tausend invites you to read..What Are Your Beliefs About Work ?My Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hi Oliver,

      As usual, you’ve focused in on just the right point…. asking questions do no good if you don’t listen, and listen carefully. And the only way you can effectively listen is when your own mouth is shut.

      I don’t like to talk about closing but you have a point. Once your prospect feels that you’ve actually listened to them and can provide a solution, the sale is made.

      Thanks for your insights, Oliver!

  16. teatree says:

    My niches tend to be commercial (affiliate marketing physical products), so what i do is check my analytics for ideas. Often someone is looking for a product and searching and perhaps lands on your site on page 5 of the search results because you happened to mention the product.

    I then do some research on the topic, and write a fresh post with the query in the title, and you usually find that lots of other people were looking for the same information.
    teatree invites you to read..SEO Idol ContestMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hi Teatree!

      That’s a great strategy for finding blog post ideas that are both strategic and useful for your readers. Thanks for sharing it!

  17. Hey Bob

    Great article, it really is not enough to know who your niche market is but also to understand them.

    Listening to what they have to say is the key.

    Peter
    Peter Fuller MBA invites you to read..How to Attract your Niche to your Blog – Day 3 of 5My Profile

    • Bob says:

      HI Peter,

      Yes, some take the first step in identifying their niche, but them start making assumptions about their problems and concerns. It’s always best to ask!

      Thanks for your insights, Peter!

  18. Excellent questions Dr. Bob! Asking questions that focus on your prospects needs, strengths, and goals…their “Why” instantly builds rapport and trust. It will also give you a sense of whether your prospect is a good match for the opportunity your represent.
    A. Leigh Edwards invites you to read..How to Set “Crystal Clear” Intentions with an Easy-Peasy TechniqueMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hi Leigh,

      I think anytime your prospect sounds “listened to”, you have won half the battle. Once you understand them you can offer solutions or, if you can’t help, you can show them where they can go for help.

      And yes, sometimes you find out you’re just not a good match and it’s better to find this out sooner rather than later!

      Thanks for your insights on this, Leigh!

  19. Rick Lelchuk says:

    I signed up to watch Cindy’s webinar replay and will catch it later. Looking forward to it. Correct questioning is the key to a successful interaction. Finding your niche is more essential today than ever before.

    Thanks for your insights.

    RICK
    Rick Lelchuk invites you to read..The Battle: Lead with Product OR Lead with the Business?My Profile

    • Bob says:

      Hi Rick,

      Cindy is awesome and I’m sure you’ll learn a lot from her webinar. Glad you tied into it.

      Great to see you here!

  20. Jeanine Byers Hoag from Dressing My Truth says:

    Wow, Bob, I am VERY impressed with your questions and the reasoning behind them. I totally see that they are designed to get beneath their defenses in an unthreatening way and find out something about their character.

    I also am glad to see the resources you have posted about getting to understand your niche and I am going to check them out.

    Jeanine
    Jeanine Byers Hoag invites you to read..What’s Spiritual about Knowing How Beautiful You Are?My Profile

    • Bob says:

      You hit the nail right on the head, Jeanine.

      Questions that are about your readers or prospects will show them you care, and they are far more likely to open up to you in various ways. Once they do that, you’ll have a much clearer idea what they need and how you can help them.

      And if you can’t help them and let them know, they’ll appreciate that, as well.

      Thanks for stopping by, Jeanine!

  21. Catarina says:

    If you ask the wrong questions you will find not only business, but life as a whole difficult. Good suggestions for people who need to improve in this respect!

    • Bob says:

      You are so right, Catarina!

      Asking the wrong questions can put you back light years in your business, no doubt. And as you pointed out, it can set you back in life as well.

      Thanks for your insights, Catarina. Great to see you here again!

  22. Mavis Nong from Free Marketing Training says:

    Hey Dr Clarke,

    Knowing which questions to ask is so key. Your goal should be to attract the right calibre of prospects and cater for them.

    Thanks for sharing these questions. Anyone can use them to understand their niche better.

    All the best,
    Mavis
    Mavis Nong invites you to read..QR Codes – A Smarter Way to Communicate With Your CustomersMy Profile

  23. Dennis Edell from Direct Sales Marketing says:

    If YOU have been around a while, know people and names, an excellent question to ask is….from where and/or whom did you first learn [fill in the blank] from.

    If I hear a name that honestly made me groan, I know first off how much erasing i may have to do before building back up the right way.
    Dennis Edell invites you to read..Why Should I follow You On Twitter (or any other network)?My Profile

    • Bob says:

      LOL Dennis, that is a great question!
      Then you’ll know how much work you’ll need to do to help them unlearn what they’ve learned! :-)

Trackbacks

  1. Blokube.com says:

    Understand Your Niche: Are You Asking the Right Questions?…

    It’s not enough to find your niche. You must also understand them better than your competitors. Do this by asking them 5 key questions. Know what they are?…



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