Think of your last nightmare client…
What went wrong?
And could it have been fixed during your pitch or at least the very first meeting if you had just known what questions to ask?
We aren’t saying your client is going to be honest with everything listed below but even noting who answers the questions and how they answer them could tell you a lot about what you are in for throughout the campaign you have agreed to work on together.
Brand success isn’t just about the numbers, especially if everyone ends up hating each other. Agencies need to understand the importance of customer experience and communication when it comes to client relationships. And you can set that tone for the very first interaction if the relationship is a priority for you.
These four questions below could make or break a potential client relationship, and that’s why you want to ask them as soon as possible! This will help you understand what to expect and how you are expected to do it.
1. What Keeps You Up At Night?
This might be a tough question to ask because no one like to reveal their flaws during the first meeting, but the truth is no one is perfect. As an agency, you are most likely being brought in to solve a problem that their internal team can’t do on their own. It probably pertains to one if not all of their businesses’ pain points and it’s important you find out as much as you can about it the first time you meet so you can start solving those problems. If a client says they have no pain points, try phrasing the question differently.
- What metrics do you want to improve?
- What is the one goal you are worried about not hitting?
- What are complaints you receive from customers?
If you ask the right questions, you will figure out where they are struggling and how you can help. Remember, you can’t solve a problem unless you know there is one!
2. What Would Success Look Like To You?
This question is crucial because success looks different to everyone. I can almost guarantee even within the potential client’s organization a successful relationship with your agency will look different to the digital marketer, to the CMO and the CEO. It’s your job to figure out what they really want to achieve.
- Is to increase visibility?
- Increase sales?
- Leads generated?
- Tie efforts back to ROI?
No matter what their end goal is, we can assure you they are going to want to show something tangible for your work. This will help them easily explain why it was so important to hire an agency to handle their marketing needs.
3. What Would You Like To See Your Agency Take More Responsibility Of?
This is basically a really nice way of asking what didn’t you like about the last agency.
You need to know this, so you don’t make the same mistakes! And maybe even more importantly you will get a better idea of what they expect from you.
- Did the last agency have too many phone calls?
- Not enough communication?
- Where they bad at tying in ROI into marketing metrics?
- Did their reporting stink?
What is that one thing they could have done better that would have changed the whole relationship? That would have kept them around for another campaign?
4. How Do You Approach Complex Problems?
Whether it’s a lack of technology, an overwhelming amount of data, or planning execution what does your client do when they face a problem?
- Do they panic?
- Go into problem-solving mode?
- Tackle it straight on?
- Blame someone?
It’s important to ask this question, so you know what to expect just in case XYZ happens while they are your clients. Like we said above, no one is perfect including you. Odds are something might happen. Hopefully, not a big problem but something that wasn’t planned will happen, and you are going to have to work with your client to figure it out. Getting an idea of how they face challenges will help you approach them, solve them and know who to notify on the client side. You don’t want to wait till you are in the middle of something to wonder what your client might do. This will give you an idea of what you can expect and help you figure out how to communicate it and bring solutions to the table.
Wrap It Up
Just like you expect your potential client to ask you lots of questions you should also be asking them lots of questions. After all, you both are a part of this relationship and will need to figure each other out! And the sooner you know each other’s quirks and even better, learn to work through them the better the result will be.
What other questions should agencies be asking clients?