You know that cliche about how time is money? That’s crap. Time is way more valuable than money. Unlike money, lost time can never be gotten back. So before you launch into a client meeting with dollar signs in your eyes, consider the value of your time first. Time is an irreplaceable commodity, and you’re basically flushing it down the drain any time you take a meeting without first collecting a new client questionnaire.
Blind Dates are Awkward
Blind dates are terrible and everybody hates them. That’s because you’re going into this thing with little to no information. You’re learning on the spot, which makes it difficult to do your best work. Of course, giving your date a comprehensive questionnaire ahead of time would be creepy, and not very romantic.
Fortunately, your clients won’t be weirded out by your probing questions. In fact, they’ll probably like you even more. Build a client questionnaire that sets the parameters for your design project before ideas starting flying around over Zoom.
Ask and Ye Shall Recieve
Use this questionnaire to learn who your client is, what they hope to achieve, and how much they’re willing to spend to achieve it. What are their design goals? What are their business needs? Who are their customers? Who are their competitors?
This is information you should already have in front of you during your very first conversation with a client. This is a business meeting, not an icebreaker at a leadership event for promising teens. A well-constructed client questionnaire allows you to skip the getting-to-know-you phase and jump right into the stuff that matters.
Not Wasting Time Is Cumulative
Of course, this is about more than just the first date. You’re trying to build a meaningful relationship. Your client questionnaire carries value throughout the process, providing a basic roadmap for where your design work is headed.
This makes the questionnaire a powerful reference point at every step of the way, one that can help you avoid missteps, hone in on strategic priorities, and recalibrate if the project gets off track. All of this equals more of that precious commodity—time.
Design Work Isn’t One Size Fits All
Most importantly, your questionnaire demonstrates the distinctive value of your design work. You create solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of every client. Your questionnaire brings these needs into clearer focus so that you can do what you do best—create something beautiful, brilliant, and boldly original.