We are all in the business of helping people and making money, but we need to be selective with the clients and partners we work with. Why? Because some B2B business relationships are simply not meant to be. When working with a potential client, it’s important to ask the difficult questions up front to avoid trouble down the line. Of course you have to determine whether or not the client is a good fit, but you also have to determine whether the client is a good fit right now.
It’s important for your company to know who its target client is. In order to narrow down the selection process, we recommend creating a client vetting tool for your business development team that outlines what your company is looking for in a good client. With a tool like this in place, you can more easily identify if a prospect is the right one. This will save your team time and energy during the courting process.
Here are a few examples of questions you should be asking when vetting a potential client:
Asking these very important questions is the start of the vetting process and will give you a good sense of whether you can work with a client or not. If they are not respectful, don’t value your time and energy, or can’t tell you what their budget is, well, then there may not be much you can do for them at this time. Plus, how the potential client treats you up front is a good sign of how they’ll treat you down the road.
Remember: by letting the wrong business go, you are making room for clients that are a great fit for your team.
Most prospective clients won’t have everything they need to get started, and it’s okay to move forward without them as long as they aren’t critical. But it’s not enough to ask if a client is the right fit. When onboarding a new client, you have to make sure they understand what they’re getting into. They may be a good fit, and they may need you, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready for you. Ask the following questions to ensure that neither you nor the prospective client is wasting their time:
Each of these questions, and any others that are industry-specific, are important to ask yourself and your potential client in order to assess your future working relationship.
By creating a universal checklist and asking the tough questions about whether or not it’s time to engage in a new partnership, you can open up opportunities for your team to work with brands that they can represent proudly and adequately.
Biana Lerman, Account Executive
Elevate My Brand