It’s time to stop playing the guessing game in your business.

As Matt Smith instructed during the hot seat sessions at our live event last month in Denver, we need to know the numbers in your business before we can start making recommendations on what to do.

Likewise, you need to know who you are dealing with in your communications to your list.

That’s why surveys are so powerful.

Our own Virtual Mastermind member and resident Kung-Fu Girl, Susan Fujii recently posted the eye-opening results of a survey to her list.

You can read about them on her KungFuFinance site here. You’ll see that even Susan, the author of the site, learned a lot from the responses. As did we at ETR when we first surveyed our list back in the summer of 2011.

You’re guaranteed to find a few surprises – and Pacman pie-charts, of course..

Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom. Mmmmm, survey results.

To help you with this, Mike Whitfield told me about using a site called www.ObSurvey.com for FREE surveys of your customers and clients.

That’s fantastic.We’ve been using SurveyMonkey.com at ETR and in my TT business. It’s great too, but not free.

When putting together your survey questions, stick to mostly multiple choice or “checkbox” answers. You’ll only want 1-2 open-ended questions (if you have thousands of readers).

The smaller your list, the most open-ended questions you can answer because you’ll only get about 25% of the people that open your email to answer the survey. (And YES, make sure you give readers an incentive for answering – like a free piece of valuable content.)

It’s probably best to ask the standard demographic questions, such as age ranges, gender, and even income ranges, if that is important to you. That’s what we did, and you can read the original ETR Survey results here.

With your open-ended question, you want to find out what is stopping people from achieving success. I recommend asking:

What is the #1 thing holding you back from making the changes you need to make in your life?

Here’s what we found at ETR.

When asked what the #1 factor holding you back from success was, many readers reported one of these five common responses…

Motivation
Fear of failure
No clear action plan
Not knowing your passion
Lack of productivity/time management

From that, we’ve been able to plan our daily content and identify products that would best help our readers.

So if you have even 50 people that open your emails, send them an Obsurvey.com or SurveyMonkey.com survey soon. Get their demographics and any other info you need, and then find out what they want and what’s holding them back.

BONUS TIP:

If you’re trying to sell them something but they aren’t buying, ask them what’s holding them back. Find out what you need to do to persuade them to action.

2nd BONUS TIP:

If you have customers, ask why they DID buy. Find out what the hot buttons are in your business that can make people take action. And then do more of what’s working.

Let me know what your surveys reveal.

And a big thanks to Mikey for the free survey tip,

Craig

PS – Big Update

Frank Kern is doing a short survey here.

Then watch what he does after..

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com