1. Have a plan to bring in initial consults. If you are just starting to build your clientele, consider how you will get clients into your sales funnel. One option is to offer an abbreviated or discounted initial consult. Whether you opt to give free or discounted initial consultations in hopes of converting prospects into paying clients, have the system set in place.
a. Create a web page where potential clients can either contact you via email and request a consult, or set up a Google Calendar with appointment options embedded so they can schedule themselves.
b. Systemize- where do email requests go, and who is responsible for replying to them? You should have a template email reply that can be set up via auto-responder or in person for more customization that acknowledges the request.
2. Schedule and Send- anyone worthy of your time should start by spending some of their own. Have a 1-2 page Fast Start form that each potential client should fill out prior to your first meeting. This does 2 things: First, it gives you the information you need to facilitate a fast, focused session that accomplishes exactly what they want and nothing they don't. Secondly, it is almost an exact predictor if they will show up or not, so it protects your time. No form filled out means you don't wait around. Form filled out, they are 99% going to be your action-taker and the precedent is set. Your task is to create the form, decide who sends it out and who adds the complete one to the calendar attachment so you'll have it when the session starts.
3. Coach and Convert! Fact: If you want to convert initial consults into ongoing paying clients, you must deliver value that matters to the client. That means, make sure you are serving them where they need you and not where they don't. Next fact: If you want to convert initial consults into ongoing paying clients, you must make it easy for them. Make your options SIMPLE. We cannot stress this enough. You do not need 5 different versions of 3 different packages with 6 alternates and 3 bonuses. Its confusing!!! If you make your site navigation simple to the buy button, you will convert more. If you make your language and offering simple options of yes, you will also convert more. For example, when we are not on a wait list, you can coach with us either 2x/month or 4 times per month. That's it. Nothing else. Which do you chose? Sure, we have other products for sale, but for this particular client in this particular moment, they just want to know, "How do I hire you to coach me?" Simple.
4. Follow up System: Much of this can be systemized, too. Have a basic template of your follow up emails that can go immediately after your consultation. You'll want to customize items in this email with the notes and homework you likely assigned in your session. You send the email since you took the notes, but also know who will take payments, get confidentiality agreements signed, and who will schedule your new client once they commit to continuing their sessions with you. This is a system that needs to be clear on your backend from day one, and needs to be repeated on the same day each month for ongoing clients. Discontinue processes should also be clear to you and the client from the beginning agreements.
5. Follow up for referrals: Use what's working and circle back around! Make referrals or testimonials easy. Word of mouth can be your biggest client generator. Regularly ask for referrals or testimonials via email, online referral systems like Vouchfor!, or via social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
There you go! While this is a simplified version, just remember, the more clear your systems are, the more profitable and enjoyable your business will be. Your time and income depends on it. We'll be posting more specifics on this topic soon, so stay tuned and good luck!
This article was written by Aly Calvo & Andrea Kulberg. To get more great advice from Women's Toolbox Media Diva Aly & Andrea, visit their website at: AlyAndAndrea.com