Why my prospects fill out a long questionnaire--before we even talk

For Bookkeepers

Why my prospects fill out a long questionnaire–before we even talk


Heather Pranitis

Why my prospects fill out a long questionnaire--before we even talk

Chances are you have a list of questions you ask prospective or new clients, to help you get to know them and their business. But I’ve met very few people who handle their onboarding questionnaire in the same way I do.

I believe in saving time–for myself and for my clients. That’s why I have prospects fill out a lengthy onboarding questionnaire before we ever talk. Once they hit “submit,” they’re taken to my scheduler.

I hear from other bookkeepers and accountants all the time, “My clients would never fill out a questionnaire that long. Especially if we’ve never even met!”

That’s what I used to think too. A few years ago, I would spend hours every week talking to prospective clients, only to not get the job or to find out that the prospect needed other services. By having them fill out a questionnaire before we even talk, I am able to do several things:

Identify what kind of services they need (and if I offer those services).

Many times, I’ll find that a prospect doesn’t actually know what services he needs. But that completed questionnaire offers a lot of insight into his business, allowing me to ask the right follow-up questions when we do talk. I’m also able to tailor our conversation around what the prospect is looking for and even offer different options based on their needs. That means that my sales are often higher right out of the gate!

[bctt tweet=”Asking prospects leading questions before we even meet saves us both time, money and frustration.” username=”NNBSolutions”]

Know immediately if we’re a good fit or not.

First of all, if a prospect isn’t willing to fill out my questionnaire, I know she’s not a good fit. A lot goes into bookkeeping services and I need my clients to be open and forthright. If the questionnaire isn’t complete, chances are gathering the information I need will be a headache–something that I don’t have the time or patience to do.

Have a (short) productive first call.

When I have someone’s background, it’s easier to have a productive first call. I don’t have to waste time asking a prospect about her business or what their needs are. I can dive right in and talk about how I can help them and recommend other services. And because I don’t have to ask background questions, the call is that much faster–sometimes as short as 10 minutes for prospects that become clients. Yes, my calls (at times) are that short! And I do get the client.

Shorten the time from signing on a new client to getting to work.

With all the background I collected during the initial questionnaire and during the first call, there’s very little I still need to gather when bringing on a new client. That makes the onboarding process much more smooth so I can get to work that much sooner.

[bctt tweet=”I don’t waste a lot of time getting to know a prospect’s business–because I’ve already done my homework.” via=”no”]

The reality is that not every prospect is a quality lead. By asking questions up-front, before we talk, prospects are able to weed themselves out of my onboarding funnel–with no additional work on my part. This saves both of us time and frustration and allows me to focus on the clients who are a good fit for my services.

If you’re not gathering information from prospects before you meet, ask yourself how many of those jobs you land. And if you’re not happy with your ROI, try something new. Because insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results, according to Albert Einstein. I tend to agree with him.

Need help getting started with a new way of doing things? Maybe you need a mentor to walk you through the process. Grab my business mentor checklist to help you find someone who can make a difference in your business. Or visit my template shop to grab ready-to-go templates and workflows that you can implement now!

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