Most every resource I’ve read about great conversation talks about the importance of asking questions. Where are you from? What do you do for fun? Or, my favorite example — one that our co-founder and CEO, Dave Will, likes to use — “Cute dog; is he friendly?” Asking questions during a conversation shows you’re engaged, keeps the conversation going, and develops a deeper connection with the person you’re talking to. Not to mention, it gives you valuable information that tells you which action you should take next.
But, how do you take that conversational approach that you’ve worked your whole life to perfect in face-to-face conversation and translate it to PropFuel to create a more meaningful member experience? We’ve been fine tuning our question and answer approach here at PropFuel for a few years now, and we think it comes down to a few things. You can read all about it in the PropFuel Question Guide here or read on below for a high-level overview.
We suggest starting your campaign building process by brainstorming the answer — or action — you want your member to take. This could be a simple answer such as “Yes, I want to renew my membership," or a more complicated set of questions, answers and workflows, such is generally the case for long campaigns like a first year membership onboarding.
Once you know the desired response, you’ll want to make sure that you ask the right type of question to elicit that response. Some questions will lead to long-term engagement (e.g., “what are the biggest challenges you’re facing?”) while others are designed to prompt a member to take action in the short-term, such as renew their membership or sign up for a conference or webinar (e.g., “Would you like us to register you for the conference?”).
You’ll also want to take into account when in the campaign your member or prospective member will receive the question. An open-ended question might not be the best starting question since it requires more time on the respondent’s part, which may lead to “answer fatigue” and keep your audience from responding. Instead, we suggest starting with a simple yes/no or multiple choice question. It’s also a good idea to keep multiple choice answers to no more than seven total.
Finally, it’s important to understand the difference between conversational questions and marketing or sales questions and why you’ll want to steer clear of marketing questions in PropFuel. Marketing questions are generally rhetorical questions that you already know the answer to. Conversation starters, on the other hand, are real life questions that your member or non-member will anwer in order to get a tailored response; they’re those questions aimed at starting a conversation with your member in order to provide the most value.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of asking marketing or sales-type questions rather than conversation starters, but with a little practice in PropFuel it will become second nature.
Take a common marketing question:
"Did you know [association name] has 7 member benefits?"
Now, let's turn it into a conversation starter with a couple tweaks:
"Which of the following [association name] member benefits are you most interested in?"
You'll notice that the re-worded question gets at the same thing, but it makes it clear that you're asking specifically which benefit of the seven benefits they care most about instead of asking simply whether they knew that seven association benefits exist. The second question moves the conversation forward.
I’ll leave you with this quick list of questions to ask yourself when giving your campaign a final look. In fact, I suggest going old school and printing it out so you can refer to it later:
- Did I steer clear of questions I should already have the answer to, even if you don’t have the answer?
- Did I keep questions clear, specific, and direct?
- Did I make sure to use the participants’ vocabulary?
- Did I word my questions like a real person would in a real conversation?
- Did I ask only one question at a time in order to keep it simple?
- Did I start with broad, general questions to reduce friction and encourage engagement?
- Did I make a question sandwich (e.g., did I sandwich harder or deeper questions between easier-to-answer ones so that members don’t get “answer fatigue”)?