As an agency/business owner, you’ll know better than anybody that prospective clients are experts when it comes to asking you heaps of questions. This is understandable though, as they need to be sure that your services are a perfect match for them.
However, a partnership with a client is never just a one-way street. In most cases, it’s necessary to also ask some questions of your clients in order to get a feel for what working with them could be like. Let’s face it, nobody wants to deal with the stress that comes with difficult clients.
A client interview can provide you with the peace of mind that you need before your partnership begins or, if things don’t go well, will allow you to avoid what could have been a disaster of a situation.
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What questions should I be asking in a client interview?
Your list of client interview questions is best kept short and sweet. The focus should be on learning a bit more about the client’s company and figuring out where you fit into their growth plan, if at all.
Here’s a detailed outline of which questions you should include in your client interview and why.
This quick set of questions will allow you to collect the basic details about the client, their company and what exactly the company does.
- What is your full name?
- Can you please provide your email address or that of the company?
- Can you please provide your phone number or that of the company?
- Could you please verify your company name ?
- What is the URL for your company website?
- Can you please describe your company and the products/services you offer?
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty. We’re going to go through each question within this section one by one and discuss its importance.
- What’s the core reason behind needing this product/service?
Asking the client about the reasoning behind their desire for your help can sometimes be really telling. The information you gather from this question will help you determine how to move forward with their project.
- Once incorporated, what problem will this product/service solve?
This will help you figure out if your services are actually needed. If the client doesn’t know of a problem that you’ll be solving, why have they contacted you?
- What are you hoping to achieve with this project?
This will give you an indication of the client’s expectations and also help you determine whether or not their aims can be fulfilled by something you can do.
- How will you know whether or not it's been successful?
Knowing how the client measures success is vital. This will give you an idea of what you need to be focussing on (e.g: more social media followers, more revenue, more email list sign-ups, etc).
- If we weren’t to go ahead with the project, what would happen? How would your progress be affected?
This will help you get an idea of the importance of the project and where it fits within the client’s timeline and list of priorities.
- What's your budget and estimated start date for the project?
It’s best to get questions like these out of the way. If the client’s budget and timescale expectations are completely unrealistic, at least you’ll be able to save yourself the time of realising that later.
- What is the approval process?
It’s always useful to know which people will be playing a role in both the decision making and approval processes and what these comprise of. That way, you’ll already be familiar with what is expected.
- How did you hear about us?
This question is more of use to you and your business and can help you figure out where your main source of traction lies.
Extra tips & tricks
Now you’ve figured out which questions are must-haves, we know you’re going to nail your next client interview.
However, before we wrap things up, let’s go through a few additional tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your client partnership process for further ease and convenience.
Make the client aware of your company values
Whether it be within the client interview or before, it’s important to ensure that your clients know what your core values are and how they impact the way you and your company operate. This often helps draw in clients that share similar values and can get behind your company motto. These clients are often a perfect match!
For example, Starbucks makes their core values incredibly clear on their website. Among other values, they favour “creating a culture of warmth and belonging, acting with courage, challenging the status quo and connecting with transparency, dignity and respect”. Potential business partners are able to view these immediately and get an idea of how compatible they would be with Starbucks.
Don’t be afraid of not being the right fit
Sometimes it just isn’t meant to be.
Based on your website, your client should be well-informed of your portfolio, prior experience and why you would be an amazing choice for the job. This is most likely why they’ve reached out to you in the first place.
However, in that same breath, it’s also worth including reasons why you might not be such a great fit for certain clients. This will help you weed out those who might be difficult to work with. For example, if deadlines are important to you, you could state the fact that you don’t feel you’d be a great fit for clients that don’t provide clear and prompt approval dates.
Use an online tool like Content Snare for client interviews
Conducting all of your client interviews in person is rather time consuming. Meetings with each and every client will leave you with little to no time for yourself. This is why it’s important to remember that you can gather all of the information you need using an online tool like Content Snare.
Content Snare is quick and easy to use for both yourself and your clients. You can create beautiful requests from scratch to send to your clients or, to make things even simpler, you can choose from the range of built-in templates that are there and waiting for you on the site.
Sending your first request can take just minutes and, from there, there’s nothing left for you to do except wait for your client to begin filling in their responses. Anything your client types in is automatically saved, meaning that they can return later in their own time, which takes away the pressure from everybody.
With its automatic email reminder feature, Content Snare also ensures that your content gets delivered at the right time and all in one place. Those days of working your way through endless email threads just to communicate with clients and collect their information are well and truly over!
We hope this post has been able to shed some light on what you need to find out from your prospective clients during a client interview.
Are there any extra questions you think should be included? Let us know in the comments below!