Why interview potential clients before you accept projects?
To get to the point where you have a freelance operation that works, you want to develop enough leads so you can take projects that you can really excel at and deliver good results…or at least the results that the client wants. Interviewing the potential client up front is a good way to anticipate potentials issues, see if it’s a match as far as work style, determine if you are capable of delivering what they want with your skills set, and set some expectations if you do, in fact, decide to bring the client on.
When you are interviewing a potential client, you want to uncover their needs. There are two main types of need that you should be looking for: must-haves and latent needs.
Must-haves are features that must be included in your offering or the customer will not even consider buying it. Latent needs are hiding just behind those needs and will delight the customer.
The client interview simply helps deliver good results and avoid problem clients.
How do you interview potential clients?
The first step is to script your interview before you even begin to interview people. When you’re scripting your interview, you want to focus on two main questions: why and how. How is this feature going to be used? Why do you think that? This will uncover your customer’s motivation and that will give you insights that you can use to design your offering.
You might also think of all the questions that will help you determine whether you have the right skill set, how the client would prefer to work with you so you can anticipate whether it’s a right fit, information about their product and market, and the specifics on what features they want to cover with the project.
Narrow down to the key questions and set up a form in a document. Print it out and have this with you at the interview. That way, you can refer to it later and you won’t forget any key points that might help you determine whether or not to bring on the new client.
If you need more help designing a script, download this reference script that we built.
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