The 5 Essential Questions Every OBM Should Ask Their Leads 

In today’s buzzing online world, being a pro at managing potential clients can mean the difference between your online business taking off or just muddling through? Well, as an Online Business Manager (OBM), I’ve found that one of the keys to really nailing it is all about asking the right questions. It’s kind of like being a detective, sussing out whether a lead is going to be a good match for your business or not.

So, I thought I’d put together this handy guide, packed full of tips from my own experience. I’ll walk you through the five must-ask questions for any OBM chatting with potential clients, and we’ll chat about why these questions are super important for acing lead management.

But hey, I won’t just leave you with the questions! I’ll also give you some down-to-earth tips and step-by-step actions that you can start using right away to up your lead management game. Ready to dive in?

The 5 Key Questions

Here are the five key questions that I always like to ask when I’m chatting with potential clients. It’s a bit like speed dating for business. 

  • Question 1: What’s happening in your business right now?
  • Question 2: What’s the big push or problem that made you reach out for help?
  • Question 3: When do you need things done by?
  • Question 4: What’s the budget you’re working with?
  • Question 5: What are you aiming to achieve?

Let’s dig in and see why these questions are like the golden ticket for successful lead management.

The Current Business Scenario

Question 1: What’s happening in your business right now?

This question is like opening Pandora’s box, but in a good way. When you ask a potential client about what’s going on in their business, they’re probably going to spill the beans on what’s really bugging them. The things they’re grappling with, the challenges that are giving them sleepless nights, and so on. It’s like having a sneak peek into how you can swoop in with your services and help them out.

Remember, the key here is to really get a feel for what’s going down in their business. It’s all about getting them to open up about their biggest challenges, their victories, or maybe the dragons they’re trying to slay. When they lay all this out on the table, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how you can step in and lend a hand.

Don’t play the guessing game or jump to conclusions about what they might need. Let them spill the beans on what’s really causing them a headache or what they’re shooting for. Their answers are like your treasure map, leading you to the perfect solution that’s custom-made for their needs.

Tip: 💡Keep this question nice and open. Let them pour out everything that’s on their mind. You’ll be surprised at the kind of useful stuff they’ll reveal – all those little insights into what their business is crying out for.

After you’ve asked the initial open-ended question, “What is happening in your business at the moment?” and received a response, consider these actions:

  • Take notes: Detail is key here, so make sure you document everything they’re telling you. This information will prove useful in tailoring your services to their specific needs.
  • Follow-up questions: Don’t hesitate to ask more questions for clarity. This will show the client that you’re interested and actively engaged in their situation.


The Urgency Behind the Call for Help

Question 2: What’s the big push or problem that made you reach out for help?

We all have those “I’ve had it!” moments, right? When you feel like you’re banging your head against a wall, and something’s gotta give. That’s usually when we reach out for help. Well, businesses have those moments too.

So, when a potential client gets in touch, it’s essential to find out what their “I’ve had it” moment was. Was there a recurring issue that they just couldn’t sort out? Or perhaps a goal they’ve been chasing, but just can’t seem to reach? Knowing this helps you get a grasp on what’s really driving them to seek help.

Here’s a little advice: Dig deep into what really triggered them to reach out. Knowing this gives you a cheat sheet on how to tailor your services so it speaks to them on an emotional level, creating a connection that goes beyond just business.

Clients don’t just wake up one day and decide they need an Online Business Manager. There’s usually something that’s been nagging at them – maybe it’s an ongoing frustration or a goal that keeps slipping away. And it’s this very thing that sends them on a search for professional help.

Understanding why a client decided to reach out to you can be like finding a gold mine. It offers insights into what’s valuable to them and the issues they’re trying to solve. And the more you understand their concerns, the better equipped you are to provide a solution that not only meets their needs but also wows them.

Tip: 💡So what do you do once you’ve got all this precious info? Here are a few steps:

  • Connect the dots: Look for any patterns or recurring themes in the issues they’re facing. This can give you a clearer understanding of what’s really going on beneath the surface and help you offer solutions that hit the mark.
  • Acknowledge their struggle: It’s important to show that you understand their frustrations. Let them know that their feelings are valid. This can go a long way in building trust, which is the foundation of any strong client relationship.

The Deadline Dilemma

Question 3: When do you need this done by?

Let’s talk about time, specifically deadlines. Deadlines can be a bit like a game of tug-of-war. On one side, you’ve got your prospective client’s expectations, and on the other, there’s the reality of what you can deliver and how quickly you can do it.

Just like in tug-of-war, the trick is to find a balance. You’ve got to figure out if the client’s deadline matches up with the amount of work they need done and whether you can realistically deliver on time. It’s a straightforward question, but boy, can it save you a lot of headache down the line.

Here’s a little nugget of wisdom: Use this question to set the stage for an open, respectful relationship with your potential client. It’s not just about whether you can meet their deadline. It’s also about making sure they’re realistic about what can be achieved in the given timeframe.

There’s something else to consider, too. It’s not only about whether the client’s deadline is doable. It’s also about whether their expectations fit with the reality of the work you provide. If a client wants a job done in two days, but realistically, it’s going to take a week, it’s vital to nip that in the bud and manage expectations from the get-go.

Tip: 💡Have a chat about deadlines early on. This shows that you respect the client’s time (and your own), and it can help steer clear of any disappointment or tension down the line because of unmet expectations.

When it comes to deadlines, here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Check your calendar: Before you agree to a deadline, take a good look at your other commitments and your workload. Promising more than you can deliver will only lead to let-downs.
  • Speak up: If the deadline seems too tight, don’t be afraid to say so. Suggest a more realistic timeline that works better for you, but still meets the client’s needs. Remember, it’s all about finding a balance.

Evaluating Commitment: The Budget

Question 4:  What’s the budget you’re working with?

Okay, let’s dive into the deep end and talk about money, specifically budget. Yes, I know it can be a tad awkward, but trust me, it’s crucial to bring up early in the chat. Knowing a client’s budget gives you a sense of whether they’re serious about your services or if they’re just window-shopping.

If a lead’s budget doesn’t align with your rates, then it might be best for both parties to know this upfront. It’s all about saving you time and energy in the long run, my friend.

Here’s the game plan: Summon your courage and pop the budget question early. Sure, it may cause a slight squirm, but it’s way better than investing a ton of time in a lead that doesn’t match up financially.

Remember, it’s not just about figuring out if they can afford your services. It’s also about gauging how serious they are about their commitment. Understanding their budget can help you decide whether the lead is worth your time and effort.

Tip: 💡It’s worth it to have the budget chat early on. It could save you both a whole lot of time and keep you from any potential miscommunication down the line.

After broaching the budget topic, consider doing the following:

  • Show Your Pricing Cards: Be upfront about your rates to avoid any future “gotcha!” moments. Nobody likes hidden surprises when it comes to money.
  • Talk Value: Make sure the potential client gets the value they’ll receive for their buck. Break down your services, explain what they entail, and show how they align with what the client needs.

The Vision Conversation

Question 5: What are you aiming to achieve?

Alright, we’re on the home stretch now. Here’s the last, but certainly not the least, question – what’s the dream, buddy? What are you looking to accomplish? Knowing what a potential client hopes to achieve gives you a sneak peek into their grand vision, their big endgame. This can help you figure out where your services fit into their grand scheme of things and how you can help turn their dreams into reality.

The action plan here: Get your lead to spill their big goals and dreams for their business. This information helps you line up your services with their vision. But remember, not every vision will align with what you offer, and that’s okay. If there’s a mismatch, it’s a chance for you to point them towards someone else in your network who might be a better fit.

Aim for the Stars: What Do They Want to Accomplish?

To wrap it up, ask about what they’re gunning for with their business. What’s their dream? By understanding their big goals, you can see how your services can fit in and help make their dreams come true.


Tip: 💡Keep the talk focused on what’s coming. Chatting about their vision gives you the opportunity to suggest strategies and ways you can help them reach those goals. 

  • Aim for the Stars: What Do They Want to Accomplish?
  • Connect the Dots: Show them how your services can help them get to where they want to be. This demonstrates your value and shows them that you’re in it to win it with them.
  • Share Past Victories: If you’ve helped clients with similar goals before, share those stories. This can boost their confidence in what you offer and show them you’ve got the chops.

And… that’s a wrap!

By weaving these questions and action steps into your chat with potential clients, you’re already on the winning team. But remember, it’s not just about throwing the right questions their way, it’s also about what you do with the answers you get. This combo of smart questions and actions sets you up for success in the ever-buzzing world of online business.

So, to sum it up, mastering the art of managing potential clients is your ticket to a smooth ride in the digital business world. The five big questions we’ve covered – understanding their business, figuring out what’s driving them, checking out their deadlines, discussing the dollars, and exploring their big dream – these are the building blocks of your strategy.

lip these questions into your chats with potential clients to build real connections. And remember, don’t just hear their answers – really listen and respond appropriately.

Here’s a guide to help you get started:

  • Tune in: Active listening helps you really get what the client needs and builds trust.
  • Show you get it: Let them know you understand their struggle and you’re all in to help them get over their hurdles.
  • Spill the beans about your services: Break down how what you offer can solve their problems and move them closer to their goals.
  • Keep it real: If their deadline or budget doesn’t fit with what you can handle, be upfront about it. It’s better to set these limits now instead of letting down a client later on.

With these steps in your toolkit, you’re all set to build a rock-solid process that doesn’t just snag clients but also builds lasting relationships. Remember, asking the right questions is a game-changer – it opens the door to understanding your clients’ needs and is a huge step towards your success. So go ahead, toss these questions and tips into your chat, and watch your business boom.

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Follow along with the transcript

Lead management success: 5 questions I ask every new OBM lead

Leanne Woff: [00:00:00] Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to the latest episode of the Audacious OBM. I’m Leanne Woff and [00:01:00] today we are talking all things leads management success. The five questions I ask every new OBM lead. Now, I wanted to share this with you as it came from a question from one of my students in OBM Academy, and it’s around the leads process and how much information is too much information.

And when do we ask what? So in my true style, I went back with exactly what I do in my business and what I have always done for years. And I believe it works really well. So there are five questions, and I believe these five questions give me enough information and insight into what my potential new clients are experiencing right now and where they want to go to.

And that usually gives me enough information to tell me [00:02:00] whether I can help them or not, without having a hundred different things that they have to give me. In this episode, I’m going to cover off the five. The first, what is happening in your business at the moment? So it seems very basic, tell me what’s happening, but the reason I ask this, the insight you will gain is what is the most pressing for them, the make or breaks.

So the beauty of an open ended question like this, is that they will tell you whatever is at the forefront of their mind. So they could say, Oh, in my business, I have 27 clients and I make a hundred million dollars. And we just got a new logo created, [00:03:00] or they can say, I’m really frustrated. I was trying to get my team to launch a new program, and I just couldn’t get them to work together, and then I didn’t sell any spots, and I just know I can’t do this anymore.

They’re going to tell you exactly what they’re experiencing, and the crucial pieces of information that usually tie into how you need to help them. It gives you a little bit of background, and what the pivot point is, which then brings me to the next question, which is what was the push or problem causing you to reach out for help?

Now, a lot of the time when people actually send me an inquiry, they call or they send me an email. It’s not the first time they’ve thought [00:04:00] about getting support in their business. It’s not the first time they’ve thought about maybe I need an online business manager. Usually it’s out of frustration or something that has happened repeatedly or something that they want so badly and something else has reminded them of it.

And this is really important for us to know because there’s emotion behind it. And so what asking this question gives us is, insight into what irritates them the most, what is, causing maximum pain or a desire that they want so badly that they’ve actually taken action to try and fulfill that.

So it’s telling you what matters to them, what matters to them, that matters to you right now. And it also tells you. What you need to [00:05:00] be able to resolve or what you need to be able to bring to life to then have a satisfied client. Okay, number three, what is your deadline? This question is purely about practicality.

So it’ll also give you insight into whether this client, perspective client is realistic or unrealistic or just has no clue. So it’s, it’s about seeing, okay, hey, let me know, because if you’re expecting me to reply, onboard you and have this job done in two days, the likelihood is it’s not going to happen.

And a lot of the time when I ask people what their deadline is, they’ll either give me a, like a solid date that’s in three months time, [00:06:00] or they’ll say, oh, I’m looking to onboard someone within the next few weeks and then hoping to get started by this day. Or they’ll say, I’m not really sure. And that’s okay too.

They don’t have to know. It is more about starting that conversation. And there’s a bonus advantage of this question. And that is you’re setting up the conversation to be a two way relationship. Your time matters. And my time matters. If your deadline is then that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m automatically going to say, yes, sure.

I actually need to know the deadline so I can see if that’s going to work for me. And it becomes a conversation and mutual respect.

Then we’re looking for, next question. What budget are you working with? Now this one tends to make people uncomfortable and a lot of online [00:07:00] business managers are too scared to ask. But it’s really important because the insight it gives us is the quality of the lead. Are they just tyre kickers and how much time should I as a service provider really sink into this lead?

Because I could talk to them and spend an hour and come up with a plan just to find out that they wanted to spend 50 dollars and they’ve already spoken to six other people and they found someone who can do it for 5 dollars. And so they’re not really interested and I have just wasted a big bunch of time and I don’t want to waste my time and I don’t want to waste their time.

So this helps you gauge where they’re sitting at the moment and what’s important to them because we want leads and clients who align with us and our values and who genuinely want a partner they can work with. [00:08:00] Someone who is skilled and talented, not just the cheapest person there is.

Then the final question, what are you trying to achieve? What are your burning desires for your business? This gives them the opportunity to tell you their big picture. It gives you insight into their overall vision. And then it helps you see where you could potentially slot in and help them achieve that vision.

We’re online business managers. It’s our job to pull things together so that we can get closer to that vision and closer to that vision. And for us to do that, we need to know what it is. And you might find by just knowing what that vision actually is. You can retrospectively start putting pieces together and go, okay if that’s where we want to go, I’m going to need this.

We’re going to need this. And have we tried this [00:09:00] and all of a sudden you get a feeling and you’ll get a feeling of, oh, this is exciting. And yeah, I can see that. And you get invested or you go, no, that’s not really what I’m about. That actually feels quite uncomfortable. And that tells you straight away that this lead.

Isn’t for you, but hey, you might know someone who you think that is this kind of person, that OBM would totally love this gig. And then you can refer them on and how cool is that? You avoid the misalignment and the friction that comes from that. You help somebody else out in your network, which I think is pretty cool.

So they’re my five questions and they are the five questions I send to everybody. I send them via email. I let them have a little think. And then once they’ve been able to answer that, I book in a call. And then I talk to them. And usually I talk through these questions again, so [00:10:00] I can get more of an answer and hear their tone and things like that.

But from this, I know if I’m the right kind of person for them, and if it is worth both of us spending more time chatting and getting to know each other. So if you are trying to establish a leads process, and do it a little bit more efficiently and effectively then these five questions, take them, use them, trust me.

Have a great day everybody. I’ll see you next week.