OFFLINE QUESTIONNAIRE: Important Client Questions

16 replies
Hello Members:

I want to share a draft QUESTIONNAIRE which I will ask Clients to help me calculate their needs, how I may be increase customer acquisition for them and what to charge them in terms of an upfront RETAINER FEE and MONTHLY MAINTENANCE FEE.

Any additional questions, angles or comments would be welcomed.

- What are your current marketing and advertising channels?

- How much are you currently spending per marketing and advertising channel? (Please itemize.)

- What marketing and advertising channels have you discontinued in the past (3) years? (Please itemize.)

- If you do a local Google search for your business niche's high-volume search keywords, does your website come up on Google's 1st page?


- What would you estimate are your annual lost dollars due to not attracting back past customers?

- What is the approximate percentage (%) of sales coming from each marketing and advertising channel?

- How large is your list of past customers who have not purchased from your client within the last 6-24 months?

- What new or additional product or service do you believe would be of high interest and value to your past customers?


- For argument's sake, let's say we can put you on top of your competition and up new customer sales from 25% to 150%, can you tell me how this would affect your business?

- If we can help you do this, would you like that?


Hope this proves helpful!

Positively,


Alan
#client #important #offline #questionnaire #questions
  • Profile picture of the author Steve Holmes
    Honestly? I personally would be alot less formal unless your clients are corporate.
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    "Live like you'll die tomorrow, Learn like you'll live forever" - M. Ghandi
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    How would you define your target customer?

    What are you doing now to reach that target and what are you communicating to them when you get their interest?



    If you aren't starting with the customer and working backwards, you're already in fail mode.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jagged
    Keeping in mind that what works for some, might not work for others & that these are "general" questions to ask...

    If it was me, I would stop after the 4th question.
    The rest seem very "stiff & technical" & many small business owners will be baffled trying to come up with answers.

    All you really need to know is:

    What marketing and/or advertising methods has he done or is presently doing?
    Of those, which methods worked best & which did not?
    How much was budgeted for each method?
    IF....he can produce stat's...great, but it's not necessary in my opinion...

    Does his business presently have a web presence?
    If so...is he happy with it's performance?
    Does it have means to attract, retain & engage his current & targeted customers?
    Does he have a means to collect customer data...so he can create a marketable customer database?
    Can it be found easily in local searches for main keywords?

    What are his biggest business concerns?
    Where does he envision his business being in the coming years?

    From that I can analyize what marketing methods can compliment eachother & one's that are expendable...
    I can understand where he has been & where he wants to go with his business.....it's my job to find ways to get his business there.
    I can suggest new marketing methods he is not utilizing....suggest increasing, decreasing, merging or eliminating spending on some marketing / advertising methods to maximize his marketing budget...or even find ways to reduce his budget.

    Keep the conversation focused...keep him involved. I personally do not talk hard numbers on the first meeting...i'll collect information...analyize it....then submit a proposal for methods that will meet his present needs as well as future ones.

    Good luck,
    Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author L.James
      Originally Posted by Jagged View Post

      Keeping in mind that what works for some, might not work for others & that these are "general" questions to ask...

      If it was me, I would stop after the 4th question.
      The rest seem very "stiff & technical" & many small business owners will be baffled trying to come up with answers.

      All you really need to know is:

      What marketing and/or advertising methods has he done or is presently doing?
      Of those, which methods worked best & which did not?
      How much was budgeted for each method?
      IF....he can produce stat's...great, but it's not necessary in my opinion...

      Does his business presently have a web presence?
      If so...is he happy with it's performance?
      Does it have means to attract, retain & engage his current & targeted customers?
      Does he have a means to collect customer data...so he can create a marketable customer database?
      Can it be found easily in local searches for main keywords?

      What is his biggest business concern?
      Where does he vision his business being in the coming years?

      From that I can analyize what marketing methods can compliment eachother & one's that are expendable...
      I can understand where he has been & where he wants to go with his business.....it's my job to find ways to get his business there.
      I can suggest new marketing methods he is not utilizing....suggest increasing, decreasing, merging or eliminating spending on some marketing / advertising methods to maximize his marketing budget...or even find ways to reduce his budget.

      Keep the conversation focused...keep him involved. I personally do not talk hard numbers on the first meeting...i'll collect information...analyize it....then submit a proposal for methods that will meet his present needs as well as future ones.

      Good luck,
      Ken

      great post
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      • Profile picture of the author abrandt
        Hello lexicon555, MichaelHiles, and Jagged:

        Appreciate your posts.

        Just a brief background: I formerly raised $250K + per month in Oil & Gas 504-505 Reg D Limited Partnerships, drilled and completed the wells, equipped them, and sold the oil.

        My target market is high-volume, high-margin mid-size businesses. My minimum target will be $1M in annual sales as referrals.

        Believe me, 10 questions are "minuscule" compared to what was required of my O&G investors who were required to read a 250+ page Memorandum and pay for attorney review. (LOL!!!)

        Lexicon555:
        By my experience, multi-thousand dollar contracts allow for reasonable and methodical fact finding... and has even been appreciated vs. the competitive bidders. If I know to ask these questions, my clients can deduct I know what I'm talking about and where I can lead them (IMO).

        Michael: I promise, this won't fail.

        Jagged: With the above collected details, I will have hard data to measure future demographics and stats... to expand campaigns and earn like high-volume, high-margin referrals.

        Would anyone have any other appropriate, probing client questions?


        Looking forward,


        Alan
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        • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
          Originally Posted by abrandt View Post

          Hello lexicon555, MichaelHiles, and Jagged:

          Appreciate your posts.

          Just a brief background: I formerly raised $250K + per month in Oil & Gas 504-505 Reg D Limited Partnerships, drilled and completed the wells, equipped them, and sold the oil.

          My target market is high-volume, high-margin mid-size businesses. My minimum target will be $1M in annual sales as referrals.

          Believe me, 10 questions are "minuscule" compared to what was required of my O&G investors who were required to read a 250+ page Memorandum and pay for attorney review. (LOL!!!)
          Lexicon555: By my experience, multi-thousand dollar contracts allow for reasonable and methodical fact finding... and has even been appreciated vs. the competitive bidders. If I know to ask these questions, my clients can deduct I know what I'm talking about and where I can lead them (IMO).

          Michael: I promise, this won't fail.

          Jagged: With the above collected details, I will have hard data to measure future demographics and stats... to expand campaigns and earn like high-volume, high-margin referrals.
          Would anyone have any other appropriate, probing client questions?


          Looking forward,

          Alan
          Alan, I appreciate your approach - performance-based is good.

          But the bottom line is that if you're going into the "offline marketing" business of helping other businesses develop their own marketing strategy in some fashion... any fashion... the number one focus must be on THEIR CUSTOMER.

          I didn't see much of that in your questionnaire.

          This isn't SEC-regulation laden oil and gas partnerships that require signoff from qualified investors to CYA.

          This is Marketing 101.

          If you're not focusing on your client's client, you're not going to make one iota of difference to their business in the long run.

          I've sold literally millions of dollars in marketing solutions and online and offline campaigns to businesses from startups to Fortune 20 - so I am not shooting from the hip here.

          However, SEO is just a technique. It's a lead generation tool. SEO people are like flies on poop on a hot July day. They're like the local newspaper ad salesperson trying to "stop by for a chat". One step up from vacuum cleaner sales.

          Now if you want to help a company vitalize it's whole marketing strategy by learning how to develop a raving, loyal, fanatic group of customers - a tribe... well that's a whole different ballgame.

          Look at how Gary Vaynerchuck turned his family's little liquor store business into a huge wine connoisseur following in just 2 years.... an now has parlayed that into VaynerMedia: Consulting for Brands as a media marketing company.

          He's not dicking around with huckster SEO and getting someone's page to the top of Google through tricks that only last as long as Google doesn't change their math formula (which has happened several times, leaving a lot of people high and dry). Getting to the top of the SEO charts happens automatically when a comprehensive content strategy is put into place that propels a business - even a tiny liquor store - into an international brand within a niche. Google values content more than anything else. Backlinking happens automatically because you have an army of fanatic volunteers that rave about your business without being paid a red cent.

          The problem is that the 8th grader level folks around here selling WSOs to the 2nd graders don't understand these things.

          But the round about point is that all of it... 100% of it... starts with the customer and understanding THEM and THEIR NEEDS before anything else happens.
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          • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
            The ideas behind the questions are good and the information you're trying to get would also be valuable but you need to break those questions down into much simpler language.

            Most business owners simply don't use the language you've used in the questions.

            I'd also be asking a few more personal questions about why the business owner got into business in the first place, what they were hoping to get out of their business when they first started and what they're hoping to get out of their business now.

            Getting hired is more about building rapport and creating customized, personalized solutions that appeal to business owners than it is about simple logic or dollars and cents value equations.

            Kindest regards,
            Andrew Cavanagh
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            • Profile picture of the author liuyanqin
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              • Profile picture of the author abrandt
                Originally Posted by liuyanqin View Post

                Hey man,
                I thought your questions in the past ,and
                maybe you give me some advise .but how
                do you know who is your target customer ?
                looking forward
                Hi liuyanqin:

                I don't understand the 1st part of your question. Would you please edit your post and clarify your question.

                In the meantime, let me address what I think you mean!

                ON BEHALF OF "NEWBIES"

                If you are pretty much a "newbie" reading this WF thread: then please consider the following:


                Start by intelligently educating yourself about OFFLINE MARKETING and it's many tremendous possibilities to be of real service and help to business prospects.

                There is now a plethora of Offline WSO's and WRO's to choose from.

                You can conduct WF searches: you can even choose specific forum sectors to search through (e.g. WSO's or War Room) using the keyword "offline" or "offline marketing" to start... and then use more specific keyword phrases as you learn better what you're really looking for.

                From my experience, the major caveat (full disclosure to all newbies would be this: Expect to study diligently. None of the courses (which I have yet purchased) have fully lived-up to their excellent promotional copy.

                War Room info... hands down... is awesome and to be appreciated. I copy and paste wonderful marketing pearls every day from the WR in a text based database that I use to organize, and archive all my notes
                (TreeDBNotes - FREEWARE and low-cost paid versions available). Then I apply Freemind (a FREEWARE mind mapping application) to further organize, plan and keep myself on track.

                From my point of view, many of the WSO courses deliver fragments of excellent information... providing diversified, valuable and viable marketing strategies and tactics... however... in my case, they have all overtly omitted the vital tools required to help the "offline non-experienced" become adequately prepared for the business and logistics side of the equation, which is equally important to marketing (e.g.
                well drafted sales letters and contractual templates). I'm not going to argue this point: I don't believe in "winging-it" ... and I strongly advise against it.

                The result for me has been (since I am quite serious and highly motivated about providing high-level competence and
                generating mutual success for both my family and my business clients)... is that I have had to acquire 10+ courses ranging from FREE to just under $200... before I was able to integrate enough of the full picture to feel ready and prepared to "go to market" (maybe I'm really slooow!!! LOL!!!). I've had to draft my own sales letters and contracts utilizing the best of my own experience, WSO's and WRO's... and this has taken conscientious, purposeful and persistent time, study, effort, legal review... and now WF review utilizing open conversations like in the WF thread you're reading now.

                In summary for "newbies" ... study, prepare and then develop a business plan which lays out the concepts and logistics for you to be able to provide valuable and viable offline services for the end purpose of stimulating customer acquisition, and increasing cash flow and profitability for your prospective business clients. Then start approaching business people you may know and small businesses (to start)... until you feel you and your services are ready for a larger arena. Just be willing to stumble forward... be willing to make mistakes and then make them right... and then you're on your way to creating mutual success.



                POTENTIAL TARGET MARKETS:
                In GENERAL... most brick & mortar businesses (small to mid-size) are viable potential customer candidates... ranging from "business-to-business" (B2B) to "business-to-consumer" (B2C)... and even "non-for-profit" organizations as well. Whether the organization has a need to generate new customers for its products / services or new benefactors for funding to continue or expand operations... they are potential candidates... to one degree or another.

                Based on the level of business experience you may possess, no matter the industry, for the purposes of OFFLINE MARKETING there are (3) major target markets to consider using SALES VOLUME and PROFIT MARGIN as the fundamental criteria:
                1. High-volume + High-margin
                2. Low-volume + High-margin
                3. Low-volume + Low-margin
                #3 is least desirable (for many reasons) from a business and marketing perspective. There are both WSO's and WRO's that discuss this in further detail.


                MY TARGET MARKETS:
                Due to my personal business background ranging from marketing to software consulting & evaluation to physics... I am personally comfortable with BIG numbers, technology, imagination & creativity, working in the commercial sector vs. the consumer sector... and reaching out to, talking and negotiating with CEO's, CFO's, Presidents, Controllers, senior research scientists, etc.

                I am a certified but well-balanced NERD!!! (LOL!!!) (Most people's comfort zone are not here!


                The initial target market I have set for myself is: #1 - high-volume - high-margin - mid-size businesses, preferably B2B... however I am going to start in B2C with $1 MIL to $10 MIL annual sales (e.g. plastic surgeons, insurance agencies, law firms, etc.). This is my happy zone! (LOL!!!) My experience, competence and imagination will develop from here.


                WHERE TO START?

                - What are YOU'RE strengths?
                - What are YOU good at that can bring offline marketing value to business prospects?
                - What niches do you have familiarity with and feel conversant and comfortable in?


                This is a great place to start!



                We are fortunate and blessed to have the Warrior Forum where so many talented & gifted WF Members are willing to share and help one another learn and further develop ourselves.

                I hope this perspective might prove eye-opening and helpful to some of you... and I am looking forward to many more WF member comments!

                Sincerely,


                Alan
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          • Profile picture of the author abrandt
            Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

            Alan, I appreciate your approach - performance-based is good... starts with the customer and understanding THEM and THEIR NEEDS before anything else happens.
            Hi Michael:

            DITTO.


            Alan
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Enthusiastic
    Alan, I just uploaded by own ultimate client questionnaire to the War Room. If the moderators post my thread, you'll see a very detailed response there.
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    • Profile picture of the author abrandt
      Originally Posted by Mr. Enthusiastic View Post

      Alan, I just uploaded by own ultimate client questionnaire to the War Room. If the moderators post my thread, you'll see a very detailed response there.
      Thanks much, Chris!
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    • Profile picture of the author SFranklin
      Originally Posted by Mr. Enthusiastic View Post

      Alan, I just uploaded by own ultimate client questionnaire to the War Room. If the moderators post my thread, you'll see a very detailed response there.
      Hi Mr. E,
      I might be a little late to the party but I tried to look up your post regarding your client questionnaire and couldn't find it. Could you PM me with it if it's not on the forum anymore? I'm diving into offline consulting and looking for any good information I can find.

      Thank you,
      SFranklin
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      • Profile picture of the author abrandt
        Hello Members:

        The good news is my QUESTIONNAIRE has helped land my 1st two clients:

        - #1: $1,000 / mo.
        - #2: $2,000 / mo. (additional potential locations at $5,000 / mo. each)

        - new business prospect-1: $3,000 / mo.
        - new business prospect-2: $3,000 / mo.

        From my point of view, this is a favorable beginning for a start-up in it's first active month of business.

        My
        QUESTIONNAIRE has evolved to 6-pages. It provides the specific building block questions to create a smart and thoughtful MARKETING BUSINESS PLAN.

        Since my chosen OFFLINE TARGET MARKET is high-ticket, high-margin or high-volume business clients, my
        QUESTIONNAIRE is a wake-up call to the owner... ibringing into focus the marketing fundamentals which have largely been long been overlooked... at a cost.

        The cost of not attending to these fundamental marketing requirements becomes painfully clearer to the owner... also the expertise I bring to the table takes on a higher perceived value.

        Don't be afraid of asking tough, thoughtful and intelligent business questions. For the serious, motivated clientele, it will differentiate you from all the rest.

        I hope this proves helpful.

        Alan
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lagarde
    For what it's worth, to me, the questions come across as if a trial attorney is asking them.

    What would you estimate are your annual lost dollars due to not attracting back past customers?


    From what I can discern, you are trying to incorporate a dose of fear with these type of probing questions. Certainly fear is a powerful motivator to get buyers thinking.

    However, what comes across to me, with the question above as well as others you have posted, is that you are trying to make the customer feel stupid. Make them feel stupid and they won't work with you. Again, this is only my opinion. Take it or leave it. I hope I haven't stepped on your toes with what I've written.

    My suggestion is to use more broad questions, and when you are sitting with the client, you can more gently drill down.

    Here's a few questions I use:

    Have you started to build a customer email list?

    How are you collecting customer email addresses?

    What's the key reason why people choose to buy from you?

    Do you know if visitors are finding you via your website verses walk-in, or other methods?

    Do you pay for print or TV/radio advertising?
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    • Profile picture of the author abrandt
      Originally Posted by Chris Lagarde View Post

      For what it's worth, to me, the questions come across as if a trial attorney is asking them.

      From what I can discern, you are trying to incorporate a dose of fear with these type of probing questions. Certainly fear is a powerful motivator to get buyers thinking.

      However, what comes across to me, with the question above as well as others you have posted, is that you are trying to make the customer feel stupid. Make them feel stupid and they won't work with you. Again, this is only my opinion. Take it or leave it. I hope I haven't stepped on your toes with what I've written.
      Hi Chris:

      Just for the record, in some 35-years of business... I've not once encountered your interpretation of the kind of questions posed... in fact... they are boiler plate in the financial and insurance industry.

      Thanks much,


      Alan
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  • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
    If you're going to ask questions you need to provide a reason for them to respond. A bribe, a free consult, a copy of the results, etc.

    At any rate, asking those questions in person will have a better result then mailing them and asking them to respond.

    Tim
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