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Burkhardt’s Ice Breakers

It’s your job not only to design systems for your clients, but also to “design” the relationship that you have with them.

The More You Know About Your Clients, the More You Can Grow

It’s your job not only to design systems for your clients, but also to “design” the relationship that you have with them. And just like you wouldn’t want to take anything about your systems designs lightly, you shouldn’t leave your client relationships up to chance.

Jeremy Burkhardt (jburkhardt@speaker is president of SpeakerCraft in Riverside, California.

Each and every client you meet should be thought of as a client for life. The better you get to know the person you are servicing early on in the relationship the more you can build on the foundation and establish an amazing relationship for life.

It is your job to understand, qualify, and fulfill your clients’ needs. In this business we often don’t sell to a client’s needs but to the level of technology that we feel comfortable with or to the price points that we can afford ourselves. Instead, try to learn the most that you possibly can about what a client really wants by engaging them, asking good questions, and really understanding their needs.

Throughout the year, I have conducted President Circles with dealers around the country, and together we developed an information sheet that I believe should be filled out for every client that you have (see below). If you have a great relationship with your client, then each of these questions should be easily answered by you or someone on your team.

Check out the questions we came up with and keep this in your client’s file or on their job memory stick and continue to update it throughout the course of your relationship. The business partnerships that you make now should be viewed as building blocks for life-long relationships.

In general, ask open-ended questions that will allow you to better understand your client’s lifestyle and therefore better service the individual or family. These questions shouldn’t be read like a list but casually discussed and filled out on your formal qualification sheet later. Taking notes is great and non-offensive as long as you are sincere and really interested in helping them with the knowledge you gain.

These are just examples of some questions you should ask and know about your clients. You can use each piece of knowledge gained to show them that you pay attention, listen, and care about servicing them.

From showing up to finalizing the system with popcorn, licorice, a bottle of wine with wine glasses and a DVD that they will appreciate, to asking about their children by name if their video game is easy to use on their new flat panel, it’s all about service. The better you know your clients, the better you will be able to serve them. Be an active listener; people love to talk about themselves. And, the more you know the better you can treat them.


1. Client name
2. Current Home Address
3. How long have they lived there?
4. Where did they live before?
5. First date and place you met the client?
6. Who referred them to you?
7. If not a referral, how did they find you?
8. Immediate family members names
9. Do children have video games?
10. How much time per week is each family member on the computer and where?
11. Do they have pets and what are their names?
12. Where did they grow up?
13. What generation or age are they?
14. Where did they go to school?
15. What did they study?
16. Where do they work?
17. Do they like their job?
18. Ask open ended questions about their lifestyle, such as do they use Twitter, do they text, surf the web on a mobile phone; would they rather text or talk on phone?
19. Are they technical?
20. Do they have a DVR now?
21. What are their hobbies?
22. What do they like to talk about?
23. What types of movies do they like?
24. What are their top three favorite movies?
25. What are their favorite bands?
26. What music do they dislike?
27. What concerts have they attended?
28. How often do they rent movies?
29. Do they watch movies alone or with friends?
30. How often do they go to the movies?
31. Where do they sit?
32. Do they drink alcohol? What kind?
33. Do they drink still or sparkling water?
34. Do they eat popcorn or candy during the movies; what kind?
35. What type of car do they drive?
36. What kind of watch do they wear?
37. What kind of shoes do they wear?
38. What kind of belt do they wear?
39. What pen do they use?
40. How do they describe their house?
41. Are they architecturally astute?
42. How astute are they about their furniture?
43. Do thy read about design?
44. What magazines do they read?
45. What are they the most proud of?
46. How do they view you?