We’re always talking about how chata.ai can help financial professionals serve their clients better by personalizing their deliverables. We also talk a lot about adding value to financial services by giving clients exactly what they want. But one of the questions we’re asked most often is: “How do I know what my clients want?”  

If you don’t know what your clients’ needs are, it’s difficult to determine the most efficient and effective ways to meet those needs. Before you can ask chata.ai the questions that matter to your clients, you have to know what those questions are. And you need to know why they’re important to your client’s business.  


The power of knowing what’s important to your clients

Knowing what your client really needs serves a dual purpose. On one hand, it can give you a way to streamline and specify the work you’re doing for each client. That means you can trim fat from extraneous processes that may not be providing value or contributing to ROI.

On the other hand, connecting with your client by digging more deeply into what they actually want from your services creates a meaningful relationship that earns you their trust and loyalty. It puts you in a position to become an invaluable member of their team.  

At this point, you might be thinking: “I have a list of services on my website. If clients are choosing me, it’s obvious those services are what they want. Why do I need to do investigation beyond that?”  

The answers to that question are as diverse as the clients you’re attracting. The simple answer is that everyone who does business needs a financial professional in their corner who can help their venture grow and succeed. But, what success (and the steps that lead to it) looks like for each of your clients is very different. You may have a great roster of services, but not all of them will contribute equally to your clients’ goals.  


Let the “whys” lead the way

Goals are your client’s “whys”. To figure out what your client really needs, you have to find their why.

Their “why” might be as simple as “I want to be able to afford to expand the storefront so I can put in more items” or as complex and personal as “I want to be able to travel the world six months a year and afford to put my kids through university.”

They can pertain to everyday operations (“I want to better understand how our food waste is affecting our profits”) or long-term visions (“I want to grow the team to 30 people within the next two years”).  


Discover what your client really wants (and what they actually need)

The best way to find these “whys” is to implement an intentional communication process with your potential and current clients. Jennie Moore calls it “dating” and Obed Maurice calls it “discovery”: it’s the process of getting to know your client and learning how you can serve them best. As they revealed to us in their respective episodes of chats with chata, both of these pros strategically build meaningful client relationships to boost engagement, loyalty, and growth. 

Asking bigger questions like “Why did you start your business?” and “What does your ideal work/life balance look like?” can help give you a better picture of the type of person your client is and how they want to run their business.

This can also give you insight into their degree of willingness to engage with different aspects of your financial services. If they’re a baker, they’re probably more interested in what you can tell them about labor costs than their taxes. If they’re a startup with enterprise-level dreams, longevity strategy and future projections will likely be top-of-mind.  


Implement an ongoing check-in process

With current and new clients alike, this investigative process should never be a one-time engagementGoals and circumstances change over time. The information they need from you will also change. Your investigative process should be both iterative and agile. 

Gaining a clear idea of the way your clients want their business to look will help you ask better questions of their financial and nonfinancial data.

When you’re on board with your clients’ “whys”, you can get down to finding the right insights in their data that will have a real impact on the issues and goals they care about. The questions can then move beyond the “why” and quickly become “what’s next?”