An effectively structured preliminary survey will allow you to:
- identify cross-selling and consolidation opportunities,
- identify clients who are willing to provide referrals,
- understand what is most important to your clients,
- uncover client expectations regarding direct contact and education,
- assess client reaction to current or planned communications or activities, and
- gather more and better information on your clients
A preliminary survey not only confirms, for both the client and you, that their business has areas that will benefit from your consulting, it also can outline potential problem areas within their company.
One of the most important tips that you can remember is that clients and prospects don’t care about your education or training. They don’t care about how long you’ve been in business, or what awards you’ve won and what associations you belong to. All your clients and prospects care about is your ability to solve their most critical problems and your ability to help them meet their most important goal.
That’s what you have to communicate to them.
A client survey lets you discover what those problems and goals are.
Using a pre-written checklist, preferably three to four pages long, targeted at one specific area of a prospect or clients business, such as their payroll and HR procedures, their accounts payable, their billing and collections, or their marketing, and using standard auditing thought processes, you can develop a tool that will allow you to identify your clients problem areas, and the areas where you can provide solutions and generate additional fees and income.Using standard auditing thought processes, you can develop a tool that will allow you to identify your clients problem areas, Click To Tweet
By preparing a well written report, along with pre-writing or scripting a thorough presentation, it lets you show the client that you are the solution to those problems, and the help they need in achieving their goals.
Some specialized surveys you can develop include:
- Manufacturing: You can examine labor costs, materials costs, plant layout, overhead, production control and other major factors to create more profitable operations, and solve your clients needs.
- Retail: Learn to analyze floor space, layout, counter methods, merchandising and inventory turnover.
- Service: Study your client and prospects requirements and evaluate their management plan, giving particular attention to their service procedures, expense control, profit structure, accounting methods, employee compensation and productivity. You can also review their purchasing, inventory and other control factors.
- Quality: Examine their quality assurance systems and management to help keep their company committed to quality processes and procedures. Special attention is given to documentation, procedures, training, quality review and management aware
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