For instance he would ask prospects to rank 8 initiatives in order of importance. (These initiatives are plans that his development department is working on.) Then months later he can use their ranking to go back to them and tell them about what was happening on that issue. And perhaps win their financial support.
This approach accomplishes two important things. First, you are gaining an insight into what your prospect's interests are, which can inform your approach to them in the future. Second, you are creating a basis for interaction before a project is launched. Asking for help is a well-known tactic for building a relationship. A third benefit is that the process offers an additional opportunity to remind your prospect that you exist.
My development department friend asks for an appointment and does the survey in person, taking notes. That is a very powerful way to implement this tactic. However, the time and attention this requires might not work in every case. Plan B is an electronic survey distributed by email. Survey Monkey is a free (and easy) survey tool you could use. There are others.
You should keep the survey brief and state up front how many questions and how long it will take. Make it as brief as you can while still getting some useful feedback. Below is an example/sample survey. Feel free to use these questions as-is or customize to suit yourself. Each of the first four questions offer the same choices to choose from.
- Needs Analysis
- Identification of Obstacles
- Schedule Development
- Cost Estimate
- Evaluation of Project Context
- Other [__________]
- If you were planning a building project, which of these five key issues would you rank as most important?
- If you were planning a building project, which of these five key issues would you rank as least important?
- If you were planning a building project, which of these five key issues would you need the most help with?
- If you were planning a building project, which of these five key issues would you need the least help with?
- Select all of the following issues that are important to you.
- Building Committee Selection Criteria
- Selecting an Architect
- Selecting a Contractor
- Understanding the Building Project Process
- Environmental considerations
- LEED certification
- Minimizing Energy Consumption
- Identifying Hidden Obstacles
- Estimating Soft Costs
- Minimizing the Storm Water Tax
- What ways of funding are available
- How can you speed up the process
We once surveyed all of our past clients about their experience with us. The feedback caused us to make some improvements. You might consider that use of a survey, too. Or you could make it part of your project closeout. Or make it an annual event.
orig post date Dec 2012