Your day starts out as any other day. You look at your emails and spot one that seems promising. Someone is looking for you to do a brochure and wants to know how much it will cost. So, what do you do?
The first thing not to do is to rush out and email with the cost of the project. Why? Do you know what is really involved? Do you have to purchase photos, hire an artist, or even do the printing? How much time will you be dedicating to this project?
The best thing to do is to send them back an email questionnaire to learn more about them and their business. Why? Because a simple brochure design could turn out to be a large project and you need to know all you can about it before accepting it.
Sure a quick email might land the project, but at what cost to you in terms of money? And you are in business to make money right?
A questionnaire gives you all (or most) of the information you need to move forward and decide it is the right project for you. It also and most importantly lets the prospect know that you are a professional and want to give them the best work possible.
However, it also gives you insight into the prospect and if they are professional or just someone looking for cheap work. And, are they interested in working with you or shopping around? You really don’t want to get a reputation doing cheap work…do you? It will also help you avoid wasted time going back and forth with price reduction emails.
Also; if you have a website you could put the questionnaire there so you can filter out the ones who are really interested from the ones who are just shopping. After all you are a professional and want prospects to know that when they come to your website. The questionnaire also allows you to be selective for the right type of client for your business.
OK. So now you want to know what questions to use.
Here they are:
1. Essential contact information.
2. Type of business.
3. Type of products or services.
4. Competition (who, where, etc.)
5. Type of current customers (age, location, etc.)
6. Target audience.
7. Specific needs (brochure, branding, logo, etc.)
8. Timeframe for project completion.
9. Why did they contact you?
Things to avoid are:
1. Aksing about their budget.
2. Questions unrelated to their business.
3. Avoid any jargon you use; because most clients don’t understand what they mean.
4. Use too many questions to bog down the potential where they avoid answering any questions.
You can add or change these questions to fit your specific business.
Responding to the Questionnaire.
If someone insists on just knowing your rates…move on. They are only interested in getting the best price and that is where clients like this can be a problem. If you need the money that bad you should probably find another job and that is mentioned with sincerity.
Sending out an email is relatively simple and should be something like:
Thank you for taking the time to fill out our questionnaire. The information you provided will help us determine the best direction for your (product or service) and bring in the best results. It will also make working together smoother and make the process much easier for both of us.
We can proceed by showing you the return on your advertising dollar and what results you can expect. We have included the project goals and proposed costs.
Please review the information and if everything is in line with your expectations we can start moving forward.
Regards, Your Name and Company.
This is of course a simple response and you can make it your own.
How do you attract clients? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks.