While you can always disengage with a client if they truly are a poor fit, it's best to avoid this scenario entirely. To make sure a client is right for you, Jody Linick recommends starting your first conversation with them by asking the following 10 questions prior to onboarding.
When you are interviewing a potential new client, allow yourself the chance to shine. You can achieve this by doing more listening than talking. Asking your prospect several directed questions kills two birds with one stone: It allows you to learn about their business and how much work needs to be done, and it allows you to let the client talk about themselves.
Stephen R. Covey says, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” People love to talk about themselves, and business owners love to talk about their business. Being a good listener will help you hook a new client.
Keep in mind that asking great questions is an oblique way to demonstrate to your prospect that you know what you are doing, you are experienced, and you are an authority on your topic. When asking questions, if the prospect responds, “That’s a great question!” you know you have hit the nail on the head.
Here are 10 excellent starter questions:
1. What is your business entity? It’s important to know if they are a Sole Proprietor, an LLC, an S-Corp or a C-Corp. The answer to this question will inform other questions which may arise.
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Jody Linick, an AIPB Certified Bookkeeper, QuickBooks Certified Pro Advisor and member of the Intuit Trainer/Write Network, heads up FitBooksPro which specializes in helping professional services providers set business goals, and using the tools available in QuickBooks Online, to manage...