Posted by flavorinnovator in client, productivity, tips | No Comments » »
As a creative in this industry or even someone running your own business you are going to get tons of inquiries about projects – someone sends an email, you reply, schedule a meeting/call, and draft a proposal only to never hear back from them. Time wasted. The problem is how do you filter out the potentially productive prospects vs. the unproductive ones?
Before we get into the questions I have to give credit to Rhonda Page for elaborating on these questions. She is a fellow creative who has spent 25 years in the design and branding business – starting as a designer then progressively mastering client services and business development. Rhonda sees both sides of the coin. As a creative you might have an award-winning portfolio but clients primarily want to know if you can solve their problems. Can you? With each inquiry think of it as a strategic partnership and what kind of energy you both bring to the table. Don’t be attached to the outcome if you land the job or not. Rather focus on determining if the parties are well enough aligned to proceed. These 5 questions you ask upfront will save time and benefit clients and creatives alike.
1.) How did this project come about?
You want to find out the story. Does it interest you? What is the series of events that lead up to this? Why are they contacting you? Try to find out what role you will play in this and what problem needs solving.
2.) Who are the decision makers?
You need to find out who they are. Push to meet with them.
3.) What is your budget?
The trickiest question of all. Do this over the phone. If they don’t have an answer then give them a range saying it will cost X amount of dollars. Wait to hear their response. Their tone of voice over the phone can dictate a lot.
4.) How serious are you about moving forward with this project?
What is the time frame? Are they ready to start the next day? If they say they are looking for estimates, then find out what it will take to make them move forward.
5.) Who else are you talking to for this project?
You want to see if they narrowed in on your or are just shopping around. If they are talking to 2-3 other vendors that’s okay. More than 5 is a red flag.
If you feel a connection and think you are a match then proceed with the meeting. Everyone wants to do fruitful work with folks they trust and enjoy. These questions will help you get there faster.
What questions do you ask when a client inquires about your services?