The project discovery phase is so much fun for me. This is where I sit down for the first time with a business owner and I listen to them talk about their business. Their business is something they love, it’s what they’ve put their life’s work into, and it fulfills them on a lot of levels. They are contributing to something greater than themselves; they’re building their legacy.
Their enthusiasm is contagious.
I learn so much in these meetings, and I get to learn about so many different industries. I am always fascinated.
My objective during the discovery phase of a new project is not simply to be dazzled by a passionate business owner, however. I’m there to discover the end goal. Does this seem like I’m putting the cart in front of the horse? Allow me to explain.
Beginning With The End In Mind
My very specific role here at Waypost is to keep things rolling smoothly, and that includes a lot of project planning and management. In order to figure out how we’re going to get all the work done, I have to know what it is that we’re trying to accomplish.
When I sit down with a new client to learn about their business, I’m putting together a picture in my head of what the whole plan looks like—I’m looking for the keys to how to market their business successfully. This means I need to determine:
- What job the website needs to do
- How the website needs to do that job
- Who the target personas are, what information they want, and where they go to get it
- What I need to give your prospects to convince them to choose you
Once those things are determined, I can start pulling together the elements of the big-picture Inbound Marketing plan.
So what happens during a project discovery meeting?
How Does Your Business Work?
First, I need to find out how your business works. I need a good, well-rounded, high-level understanding of what you’re selling and how you get it done. You’re probably going to lead off with this because it’s what you spend most of your time doing. During your introduction I might even ask "dumb" questions, but that's just to make sure I'm understanding exactly what you mean so we can get your messaging just right.
Additionally I’m going to ask a lot of questions about your sales process. Do you have salespeople? I want to hear from them. Do you do most of the selling? What do you talk about with prospects? If someone calls you or fills out a form on your current site, what happens next? Do you provide free consultations? Is there usually an on-site visit? What happens there?
These are all things we will be communicating to your prospective customers in order to create trust.
What Pain Do You Solve?
The next thing I’m looking for is what pain you solve. I’m getting the answers to:
- Why is there a need for what you’re selling?
- Is your product or service a new thing that no one’s heard of, or is your typical customer simply looking for a new vendor?
- What are the common complaints that bring customers to you?
I’m also probably going to ask you if you can demonstrate successful solutions. Do you have satisfied clients who have been—or would be—willing to provide reviews or testimonials? Can we get pictures of your work? Do you have—or can we put together—case studies describing how you successfully solved a problem?
What Are Your Differentiators?
The next thing I need you to do is sell me on your business. Tell me why I should choose you.
I want to know who your competitors are, what they do badly, what they do right, and what you do better. I’m going to ask you direct questions about your product or service, the level of quality you offer, your price points, and your customer support.
I may even ask you about your own story, if it hasn’t come up already. Are you a local business owner with a great reputation in the community? Did your father or grandfather start your business and do great work for a lot of people? Is your personal brand a huge selling point and something that makes you stand apart from your competitors?
Who Are You Selling To?
The last big thing I'm going to focus on is your market. Who are the people who are looking for your solutions? Are they authorized to make decisions regarding vendors, or are they simply gathering research to take back to a final decision-maker? Are they already experts on what you do, or are do they just know they need some help? What questions do we need to answer for them, and how do we need to get those answers in front of them?
What Resources Do We Already Have?
This is something I probably already have a good idea about by the time we sit down face-to-face, honestly, because you’ve probably already discussed your existing assets with Doug during the initial sales process. What I'm looking for here is:
- Do you have a website? How old is it? Are you happy with it?
- Do you already have content that you’ve created to supplement your sales process?
- Do you have existing social accounts?
- Do you have email lists?
This is just to give us an idea of where we are starting from. Part of our initial on-boarding process is evaluating these existing resources, but we need to get all those resources gathered up.
So now you have an idea of what to expect during a Project Discovery Meeting with Waypost Marketing. Be sure to check out our next blog where we give you a peak behind the curtain of what happens in our conference room after you leave.