Solo professionals need to know exactly what to do for effective communication in their businesses because it's effective communication that will get you more prospects, more clients, more cash flow, and more success. And one of the most important communication skills you can have in any business is how to ask questions. Bottom line: if you don't ask questions, you won't make sales. Period. Here's the secret: you have to know which audiences to approach and with what types of questions in order to have the greatest success in your business. As my business has developed, I discovered there are 6 groups you need to be asking questions in order to get the best results possible. 1. Prospects: Those who have said, "Yes I'm interested, tell me more" are most often looking for a solution to a particular problem when they encounter your website. Allow them to tell you exactly what that problem is at the moment by asking them what it is, and you're on your way to providing the solution if it's within your capacity to do so. 2. Clients: It's important to regularly check in with those who you already do business with or those who have been clients in the past. These are the people who have proven with their wallets they believe in you, your product, and/or your service. Make sure they are happy by asking what you can do to improve their experience with you and if they are finding value in what you offer them. 3. Mentors/Coaches: If you don't have someone to ask questions to help guide you, you'll find you're lost a lot more often. Life and business are so much easier when you can seek the counsel of an expert to ask, "Am I doing this right" or "What did you do and how can I do it too?" 4. Peers who do what you do: Some would look at those in your same industry as competitors, but when you look them as fellow business owners you can see you have much information to share with each other. Ask them how their business has evolved, what their favorite technique is for generating new business, and what are their favorite tools of the trade and why. Then BE OPEN to the answers! 5. Peers who serve the same audience you serve: If you serve Moms, or entrepreneurs, or whomever - when you speak to others who serve them as well, you can get new insights into your target market unlike any other. By asking what trends they are seeing in your marketplace and what they have done to deal with any current challenges, you can discover potential new offerings or new ways of communicating with your target audience. 6. Service providers: When you hire someone to do a job for you, typically you are hiring someone for their expertise or knowledge. There is a benefit to learning from those providers while they are working for you. Even if the question is simply, "What can I provide you to make your work for me more efficient and effective?" You can save yourself some money and discover useful business practices you can keep in mind for future similar projects. As you can see, when you know whom to ask questions of, you will be using one form of effective communication for your business success. Regardless of the method you choose, effective communication with your clients and prospects is the key to making your business successful. The first thing you need to communicate-- and continue to communicate -- is your credibility. Without credibility, your business will go nowhere. With it, you'll automatically attract new clients and see positive cash flow.