When you start out as a freelance marketing consultant, you will learn real quick that there are some questions you need to ask to pre-qualify your potential clients.

Why do you need to pre-qualify them?

First off, you probably have a certain budget in mind that you would like to make in a month. You will need to find clients who can pay your desired fees comfortably.

Another reason to pre-qualify clients is to know you are a great fit. Just because someone can pay your fees, doesn’t mean you can work well together. I do understand at times you will be desperate and you need to meet certain deadlines.

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But here is the thing about desperation… You will reek and stink of it. Everyone will know you desperately need that job. You need to go to any meeting knowing that, whether you get the job or not, you will be fine.

7 questions marketing consultants should ask potential clients

So to kick-start your journey as a marketing consultant these are the questions you should ask clients.

I would suggest for all to be asked before the meeting date is set or during the introductory meeting.

Questions Marketing Consultants Should Ask Clients

Question 1

Who else is involved in the decision making process?

One very unfortunate thing you will learn early on as a marketing consultant, is the first people you talk to in a company are the junior people.

So whenever you approach potential clients, try and go past the secretary and the interns and the assistants and get everyone involved.

It is humiliating once you have gone through an entire process of coming up with strategies and waiting for the sale to be told, “OK, I will forward this to the head of department”. Try to get all people involved in the decision making process part of your presentation from the beginning. This way, you will not be required to repeat yourself.

Question 2

What are their overall goals and objectives?

What does the client want to accomplish?

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This is great point to note, since it will let you know if you are a perfect match with this client.

Within marketing, there multiple objectives and milestones/goals a company would like to achieve. One mistake most beginner consultants make, is they never figure out what the client really wants to achieve. And if you don’t meet the goals of your client they will never be satisfied with your work.

Even if you help them achieve different milestones in their journey that they did not know of in the first place.

But if you help them achieve their goals and other milestones they did not know of yet, they will definitely refer back to you.

Question 3

On a scale of 1-10 how well do you think your strategies are?

This is actually an interesting question.

At times you may come across a team of individuals who are not ready to share or be honest with this answer. My advice to you, avoid them. If you are looking to work with someone. Help them improve. You need to have an open book policy. Genuine trust.

Sometimes you may find companies have strategies that worked in the past, but they are no longer using them currently. This question will enable you to know what strategies they currently are using and if they are happy with them or not.

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This question can help you understand what strategies just need some tweaking rather than starting from the ground to create and develop new strategies.

Question 4

What is your budget?

Before you start coming up with strategies, you need to note what their budget is.

This is not for you to skew and 10X your invoice but to come up with strategies that works around their budget. For example if you are in social, you may want to set up ads on Facebook to increase their sales but you could be thinking of an ad spend of $1000 per day and your client is at the $5 mark.

No harm in that.

This just gives you a rough idea of your play ground. What numbers can you play with so as to achieve maximum results for your client.

Believe me when I say, the challenging low budget client offers you the most growth. It maybe tedious, but it gets you creative.

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Question 5

Who are your competitors?

You need to observe whom they think their competitors are and try figure out their strategies.

I personally like this question because it does tell me where the client is at in their business. How do they understand their business. We all have competitors. Whether direct or indirect.

You would like to know before hand who your client thinks his competitor or competitors are.

With a list of the core competitors, you can analyze what strategies they are using. Where they are and where your client is at. And as you work on improving your clients standings, you can show them how far they have come.

Question 6

What marketing tactics have you used that has worked well and what hasn’t worked?

This question is similar to question 3 above… Almost.

Once you figure out what their goals are, you need to know what they have used in the past that has worked or not worked.

Most times than not, you will find companies within the same industry but you cannot use the same strategies for them since they serve different market segments. So you can amplify what is/has worked and not bother coming up with strategies for what did not. This is will also help you figure out if you are compatible with the potential client.

Maybe the tactics you are good at, did not work for the company. No need to promise reddit gold while all you can offer is an upvote.

Question 7

How do you measure a marketing strategy has worked or not worked?

This question will help you understand how they think what you have shown them is valuable or not.

Some companies may care more about the bottom line. So whether you create processes and automation systems for the long haul they may not recognize that effort.

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Conclusion

Finally, never leave the table without setting the next appointment.

I personally learnt this the hard way. Leaving the table without a set date, is only going to lengthen the negotiating process to months. You would like to close a sale as soon as possible. Don’t give your client the moment to forget you.

What questions do you usually ask to your potential customers?

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