The Middle of the Funnel
Ah yes. The middle of the funnel. The threshold through which all future clients must pass to eventually earn the right to pay us service providers and product manufacturers a handsome fee for delivering on our promises. Wait, what? They must earn the right? It's not the other way around? Nope, not the other way around. Please read on.
Here's how I look at it. As much as potential clients or customers, or whatever you wish to call them are conducting their due diligence on us, we are, or at least should be, conducting a similar validation on them to ensure they are a smart fit for us. Now, keep in mind that you won't be able to assess this fit until you start conversing, which can't happen at the top. At the top, what you can make sure of is that the funnel is filled with leads that align with your definition of the Ideal Client on the basis of their demographics, geographics, and psychographics dispositions. However, for a potential client to pass through the middle-of-the-funnel gauntlet, I suggest you consider these three key factors:
Personality: can you and the client's main point of contact effectively interact on a regular basis to accomplish the desired result?
Trust: do you get the feeling, that even though the client believes you to be the SME, they will still second-guess your every move?
Money: is there even the slightest concern that once you start the project, the client will try to find ways to reduce overall cost without wanting to adjust scope?
I'm certain there are other essential characteristics to evaluate, but those three are a great starting point, I think. If you have some others that come to mind, please let me know. And if you believe someone you know will benefit by giving this a look, please share and share-alike. Also, make sure you do something this week to push yourself to Achieve Greatness.