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What are your best questions in an interview/needs assessment

     
4:28 am on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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We're going over what we do, and trying to create "processes" so that eventually we can train others to do sales/needs assessments for our firm.

I'm wondering how other people approach all this? How did you get together the questions you need to ask to gather what you need to make a quote & build a site? Is there a difference - for example, do you quote based on a shorter process, and fill in the gaps later?

As for good questions to ask to uncover "hidden problems" - here's a four of our best, which we ask in the first interview.

- What's your procedure for issuing a purchase order?
[Tells us who really signs the cheque, or if there's anyone above them that can shut it down, etc. Also can ferret out how long the company takes to pay on average, etc.]

- If you decide to go forward, who else would have to agree?
[Then we ask to speak with them.]

- Why do you want this site for your business?

- Why do you need this site for your business?
[Because, surprisingly, there can be a BIG diff. between want and need... some may not want it, but feel they need it, others want it but maybe don't actually need it right now, which can lead to trouble as the project gets underway.]

Thanks for your input,
Hunter

8:14 am on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What's your budget?
2:42 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Is your content for the site ready to go now? If not, when do you expect it to be ready? If they don't have the content ready and have no idea when it will be ready, this can cause problems with having the site ready by their projected launch date.
3:03 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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How will you monitor ROI?

Normally opens up a can of worms but does separate the men from the boys ;)

3:57 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What's your budget - yep, that's a Big One. We've asked every time it in the past, although we're moving towards this question:

"This site will cost between $X,000 - XX,000. Are you prepared to spend that right now?"

Syren: Yes, the content question is huge, too. I'm looking to take it further, and add wording in our contracts to ensure that if the client doesn't deliver it by X date, X penalty will apply. Before it was just annoying, but now its become crucial to our long-term success to finish sites quickly.

George: Egads, I don't want to ask that one. ;-) Yeah, how will we determine your Return on Investment... or "How do we measure the ongoing success of your site?" "How do measure if your site is reaching your goals"

7:38 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yes I also agree about the content. Good idea about taxing them if they are late. I have a client now that hasn't delivered the content yet and the site was to go up a month before christmas! I already had it designed with a christmas feel and now all the time I spent on that was worthless! Content issues are huge!

-Gerard

 

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