Most Imporant Questions

What are the six most important questions in business?

Like journalism, the six most important questions in business are who, what, where, when, why and how.  It is important for you to ask them, but it is more important for you to answer them.

Recently I received an e-mail regarding a volunteer committee am on.  The e-mail was regarding an event.  It simply had the event name and date.  Only two of the six questions were answered.  And, when publicizing an event, wouldn’t it be nice to know a little more about it?  Such as, “Where is it?”  “Who can attend?”  “Why are they having the event?”, etc.

So it is with communicating to your customers.  Always keep in mind these six questions.

Like journalism, tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you’ve told them.  Repeating information three times helps it stick.  After you’ve answered these six questions, answer them again and again.  Oh, I don’t mean for your to repeat yourself, but it might be done in this way:  (1) you tell them over the phone, (2) you tell them in your face-to-face meeting, and (3) you tell them in a follow-up e-mail.

What are those six questions?

Who, what, where, when, why and how.

Let’s practice.  I would like to invite you to our Rochester Referral Network Meetings (just answered who).  We are a group of professionals and business owners that meet weekly to exchange well-qualified referrals (just answered what).  We meet at the Back Nine Grill on 31F, 3500 East Ave, in Rochester.  It’s just down the road from St. John Fisher College (just answered where).  We meet every Wednesday at 11:30am (sharp) and we’re done by 1pm (there’s the when).  This is a great way to get new business and clients through our referral sharing system (that’s why).  We do this by going around the table and each member tells about their business and the type of referral they are looking for.  Then, after a short presentation by one of our members, we go around the table again and everyone is given a chance to present referrals to fellow members (and there’s the how).

Any questions?

D. Brent Walton is author of the book 25 Things Business Owners Do To Undermine Their Business and How to Avoid and Correct Them (ISBN-13: 978-1620390047, available on and presents the education piece at Rochester Referral Network meetings.


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