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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Client Management: The Influence of Powerful Questions

I had a wonderful opportunity to be with one of my mentors in three different client settings. I am sure people in project, account, product, and sales setting have gone through the stakeholder management aspects. Whether it was a formal status meeting, casual hallway conversation, informal dinner meeting, or an internal project evaluation meeting, I found it very inspiring to see how my mentor was skillfully weaving these questions to eliminate ambiguity and establish a solid business relationship. While I added a few of my own color from account and project management, I felt such a strong reinforcement of these questions that I felt compelled to package these questions for the community at large. So, here goes the list. Feel free to add - focus however on strategic account & project management and not bury with technical aspects of platform and feasibility here!

  1. What are your goals and objectives? Are you interested in market expansion, market penetration, or both? What's your timeline? 
  2. What are your challenges to meeting this goals and objectives? How would addressing these challenges benefit you and your organization financially?
  3. What are the profiles of stakeholders that you are looking at to satisfy with your campaign?
  4. What types of population are you planning to target? Why are these targets important to you?
  5. What types of channels are you planning to use? What data points do you have to support these channels to effectively reach your population? 
  6. How much of your budget are you willing to spend on these channels? What's your exit strategy?
  7. How would meeting these goals and overcoming challenges enhance the competitiveness of the product?
  8. If you were to meet your goal, what would this mean to you? 
  9. If these challenges are not met or goals accomplished, what does this mean to you?
  10. What's an example of a successful campaign or meeting? What data points are you looking at evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign or efficiency of the meeting? 
  11. What's your communication style? 
  12. What's your risk profile? Are you adventurous and creative to try new things? 


  1. I have had the opportunity to work with clients for many years and found that asking the questions below have resulted in good insights and key learnings:

    Who are your key decision Makers within the group and when should we introduce them to a program/project that we are working on and do you foresee any obstacles and challenges that we might encounter?
    What do you see as the organizations Strengths; Weaknesses; Opportunities; Threats (SWOT) ?
    Can you discuss the companies Value Chain and highlight where our organization can assist in providing value?

  2. Excellent questions to supplement. Thanks for your feedback as knowing the company's value chain and decision makers, enablers, and others that could derail the support for the project are critical aspects of the stakeholder management.

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