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Getting lots of questions

Have you ever experienced a LOT of questions from your suppliers?

I aways lots of questions about new writing projects – less so for existing and long-term clients – and some people are amazed by that.  Usually amazed and appreciative, but amazed none the less.

Could you imagine going to a doctor or lawyer and not have them ask questions to clarify the issue and find the best solution? Would you trust a doctor who said hello and handed you a script?

As far as I am concerned, I like my suppliers to ask questions to show interest in the project (rather than the dollars) and to be sure they understand what I actually need.

As a writer, I don’t feel I can’t write good content if I don’t know much about the topic of the piece. I know I can’t write effective content if I don’t know who the target audience is or the purpose of the piece. So I ask lots of questions before I write or edit any content.

Although it make take you more time than you expected to hand over a project if the supplier asks many questions, it is usually worth it for the quality of the final result.

Some reasons to appreciate these questions are that the supplier:

  1. is interested in doing the project as well as they possibly can
  2. will clarify any parts of your instructions they don’t understand
  3. learns the purpose of the work and can tailor it to suit
  4. is able to make appropriate suggestions and recommendations
  5. has the knowledge to give a different perspective
  6. gets an understanding of you and your business as well as the specific project
  7. knows who to target the result at (if relevant)
  8. may notice other things you can benefit from (for example, when I read a client’s website to learn about them, I sometimes find a typing or logic error that I will point out so they can correct it)
  9. is being professional and showing attention to details which presumably will carry through into the project itself
  10. is gathering information from the best source rather than making assumptions or using less reliable sources

So be warned – if you ask me to write for you or help with a communications project, you will be asked a number of questions!

How about you – how have you reacted to suppliers asking questions in the past?

Do you respond differently to ‘dumb’ questions compared to a supplier gathering useful information?