From the July 2007 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

July 1, 2007

The 22 Dimensions of an Investor

My request to you for your best profiling questions was a homerun both for me and hopefully for you. I learned a tremendous amount about the subtlety with which people responded to my survey profile. I've received and evaluated over 500 questions with more arriving daily. And because you took the time to share your best with me, I can share the best of the best with you.

To put this in context, the capstone of "The Good Way to Sell" is profiling. I've always used them in my personal sales. I've taught profiling in countless seminars. I have written dozens of hundreds of profiles. But with your input, I intend to produce a questionnaire that will become a compliance-approved industry standard.

To evaluate the questions, I put them all in an Excel spreadsheet and then assigned a 1 to 5 rating to each. For each question, I also assigned a category. The big surprise for me was that I now have 180 questions I have rated a "5." And I have discovered 22 question categories.

Basic Question about a QuestionnaireQuestion: How long should a questionnaire be?

Answer: Long enough to get a sufficiently detailed picture of the prospect in order to make recommendations that will solve their problems and take advantage of any opportunity.

This obviously means you need lots of questions, far more than you would need with any one client. Sometimes you will find what you need by simply asking, "Why are you here?" Sometimes it takes detailed, persistent digging to get enough information to prepare your solution for their problems and opportunities.

So don't think for a second that a questionnaire cannot or should not be at least 100 questions, or even 180 questions. (180? Yep. As noted, that's how many questions I have so far assigned to a top rating.)

By the way, the most amusing question was:

"Tell me about your grandchildren; tell me more about your grandchildren. Tell me even more about your grandchildren....by the way, here's some paperwork for you to authorize."

The PlanIn this article, I'm going to define each category and give you a sample question. This way, you can start building out your own questionnaire. As you read additional articles in this series, you can further develop your questionnaire. And finally, if you contribute, you will get the full questionnaire I will be producing from this mass of questions.

Which brings up a point: I need your help. I still don't have enough questions, especially in certain critical categories. If you want a copy of my completed questionnaire, you need to contribute to it. So go on over to www.billgood.com/survey and choose "Three Favorite Profiling Questions." I've put separate places for you to enter questions for categories in which I was short-changed.

The CategoriesThe categories and their accompanying question are presented in "questionnaire order." In designing a questionnaire, one always puts the things easiest to talk about first. That would be themselves and their family.

Then we explore a series of categories designed to lay out for us what the current situation is. Then, we need to know where they want to go and what obstacles they're likely to encounter. We next need to plan a solution, which requires still more clarification. Finally, we tackle the competition and make sure we know what is expected of us and our work.

In the table found in the magazine's July issue, I've indicated the number of questions I received for each. I've put asterisks (***) by the ones I need help with. If questions occur to you, don't fail to go to www.billgood.com/survey and help me out.

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For a copy of the questionnaire/survey, please send an e-mail to jlevaux@researchmag.com .

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Bill Good is chairman of Bill Good Marketing Systems in Draper, Utah; see www.billgood.com.

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