Project Everest

The curious case of client acquisition

Social Consulting - Client acquisition process

I will preface this post by saying; In the first stage of the client acquisition process we had no game plan, and wasted many days haphazardly talking to strangers and wasting precious project time unsystematically logging our findings. Wandering into town, collecting any and all information created a lot of extra work for us. So the current process, while not perfect is leaps and bounds above what it was 4 weeks ago.

The very first issue we encountered was needing to stratify the population into identifiable groups (i have suggested some bellow)

- Business owners

- People looking to start a new business

- Those that we cannot provide value to

This can be done by simply asking for business owners when in stores, and only spending larger time periods talking to them. Or maybe liaising with stakeholders in order to find out (by word of mouth) who is looking to start a new business.

One criticism of this method is that while it sounds fine in theory, it is by the very nature of the service we provide that we must talk to people in order to find clients. This is especially true for a new consulting firm. In the western world people will come to us for help if they recognise the business. In Fiji people are less likely to actively seek out services such as consultancy, this then adds to the problem of time wastage looking for clients.

However after this initial outreach issue, we have a basic client screening process which ‘objectively’ allows us to see who we may best provide value to.  This is done by ‘interviewing’ potential clients, and ranking them against a criteria which can be found here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1x8VExYzd2b1MIuoumhJvcZPoSeuH5YOIMUOQTLp4kxg/edit

Clients are then given scores which will determine whether they are a 1st, or 2nd priority. First priority clients scored above 10 (refer to link), and were given the bulk of our time.

The client screening process reduces the time spent on subjective discussion that may drag out and cause conflict as everyone had a say on the ranking criteria. Although it was effective once implemented, it is only still a draft and should be modified to increase efficiency even further.

It is also important to note we only came up with the interview sheet and ranking system some time after initially chewing up time haphazardly collecting and entering data.

In summary, there are many time intensive activities involved with client acquisition in the consulting industry, and although we have streamlined a few of them, we are still eons away from maximum efficiency.

We are very interested in ways to further optimize this process.

 

Vinaka!

 



 

edited on Jul 24, 2017 by Wayd Sheridan
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