Transparent Growth Measurement (NPS)

Questions Every Business Should Ask Before On-boarding a Client

Contributors: Amol Ghemud
Published: August 14, 2018

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Great news! Your sales representatives have just acquired a new client, hurray! A new client means a new work and a new business opportunity, to turn into a success story. Now, it’s your turn to contribute.

To create a success path and a positive relationship with the new client it’s important to understand their goals and expectations that change with every new client. This does add to the experiences and portfolio, but challenges every nerve of your team.
Having a streamlined approach helps win the situation and eliminate errors to a maximum level.
On-boarding call is an opportunity to create a framework for the process and plan accordingly.
Success of on-boarding call really depends on what you do before that call.
Every success comes with a bigger responsibility. So does this one. Asking the right question is important before execution. This is the sure-shot method to build long lasting relationships.
Speak with the sales team that won the client for you.
Make sure you know what they promised. It may be reduced CPA or increase in number of leads. Asking the right questions helps you get the required data.
How do the questions look like? Here is a systematic approach to get information and make use of it. Start gradually getting into the story and leave your team more inspired for the next big thing.

Below are the questions you should ask yourself before getting onboard with the client :

  • What will success look like?

Try to establish a definition of a successful attempt, how to see it, what should be the perspective.

  • How you will measure it?

Try to know what methods of calculating or measuring to use or prefer to use.

  • What are Your Main Goals and KPIs?
  • Who is Your Ideal Customer?
  • How Involved Would You Like to Be in project exection?
  • What results we want to achieve?

For ex – If it’s about increased sales make sure it’s 25% and not 20%. Know your numbers before you start chasing them.

Below are the questions you must consider in all the strategies and plan you will be making for your clients:

  • How long it will take to achieve?

Set up timeline for discussed expected results.

  • Communicate why is it necessary to have a waiting time; if it’s long wait according to client?

Avoid future friction.

  • What products they sale? Or which services they offer?

Try to know, what they do and how they do it, whether it is about products or services, try to understand it in depth.

  • Do they have any competitive advantage?

If yes, what is it? If no, then do they run any timely offers and discounts?

  • What are their top products or services?

Do they have any seasonal product or services?

  • Which products need to be focused on during live campaigns?

Their top sellers?

Which products/services are best sellers?

  • Why they decided to work with them?
  • What made them say yes?

Below are the questions you should ask once you get into talks with the client about the deal – while onboarding.

  • What are their goals as a company?
  • Which agency they used to work with before?
  • What were positive sides of previous agency?
  • Does the previous agency fall short in delivering results?
  • If yes, what are were the areas? Why do you think that happened?
  • If no, why do they want to change agency now?
  • What are the areas you should avoid during campaigns?

Try to find loopholes that may take you down.

  • Do they expect reports in particular format?

If your client prefers discussion on a call then here is the checklist you should look for :

Share agenda for the call. Include the following info in your call –

  • Introduction
  • Summary of Client company overview
  • What do you know about them?
  • Their expectations?
  • What they want to accomplish through partnering with you?
  • Our expectations from client?
  • Communication process
  • How often will communication happen?
  • With whom will you be communicating from the client side?
  • Who will be point of contact from the agency side?
  • How will communication happen?
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Meeting in person
  • Which is the preferred mode of communication?
  • How often will you communicate?
  • Performance review
  • What did we do this week?
  • What are the action items for next week?

Set correct expectation to avoid friction

  • Ask if client has any recommendation.
  • Turn your review call into planning call
  • Action items for both sides and next steps
  • What you can do to make your first call with client memorable?

Other key points you should always incorporate in further engagement with the clients :

  • Learn about your client
  • Go through their social profile
  • Try to understand their interests
  • Create a document about them for future reference
  • What do they do after work? What did they do on last weekend?
  • Share some experiences on similar interests. This will drop the initial resistance and increase reacceptance
  • Do not make it direct. If you know client studied from same college as your little cousin brother is studying now do not say so
  • Make it indirect. For example, say, I was guiding students from XYZ college last month where my cousin is also studying and I learned something interesting.
  • Create strategic report about your learning and filter it for the next client
  • Research about the company and industry
  • Use Google trends to know how users are reacting. Use facts in conversation.
  • This is very helpful if you have no prior experience of new clients sector
  • Customize your communication according to whom you talking to and what needs to be shared

Find out what analysis you should do before on-boarding a client:

More Tips:

1. Over communication is the key to success. ( that doesn’t mean bombarding your client with lots of unnecessary mails per day)

2. At times clients may think you not doing anything.

3. If there is anything positive speak a lot about it.

4. If there is anything negative make sure you are working on it and update client about the progress.

5. Let your client know why you doing and what you are doing, to avoid gap in expectations.

6. Do not over promise which you can’t deliver.

  • You won’t be able to meet your goals
  • Set up realistic expectations

7. If you don’t know don’t pretend you know it

  • Let them know it’s a great question
  • Request for time to find answers and get back as you find it

How you prepared for your first call with the client? Did you follow the same set of questions and process? What were the results? Did you compare your previous results with the current?
I am sure you will achieve a progressive graph by following above streamlined process. Accelerate your performance with more tips and tricks on many more topics at 

About the Author

amol ghemud
Optimizer in Chief

Amol has helped catalyse business growth with his strategic & data-driven methodologies. With a decade of experience in the field of marketing, he has donned multiple hats, from channel optimization, data analytics and creative brand positioning to growth engineering and sales.

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