Having a solid process in place when it comes client on-boaring– is crucial!
Otherwise, you’re going to be scrambling every single time you bring on a new client! Which results in wasted time, energy and money!
When I launched my business, I was a hot mess when it came to bringing on new clients! There was initial excitement over the potential new client. However, once I hung up the phone- total dread would set in.
I initially had no client on-boarding process in place. To be honest, I would make up pricing on the fly. Which made putting together a proposal a nightmare! I dreaded it each and every single time! If you are like me and your pricing is all over the place, check out How To Confidently Price Your Services. (seriously, it is a total game changer!)
After the initial meeting, I would take 3-4 days to get a proposal to them!
After I landed my new client and started working with them, I would end up emailing them a million times because I forgot this or that. Neglecting to lay out how we would communicate. Or how we would even work together. It was an unorganized train wreck.
This did not end well. With no boundaries or expectations clearly defined, I would take calls late at night! Or worse, work on the weekends…
Fast forward to today… and I am sharing my client on-boarding process with you. To help you create an efficient and flawless process for your new clients (not to mention your sanity). If you have been following along with last weeks 30-day challenge, clients should be rolling in by now!
After a lot of wasted time and scrambling, I took a few hours and mapped out my client on-boarding journey.
There are lots of great benefits:
– I am consistent with each of my clients.
– The process is smooth and easy. I never fret or have anxiety over a new client.
– I am prompt in delivering items upfront, they are not waiting a week for me to turn around a proposal!
– This is efficient and time productive and my clients see it!
When I first launched the process it wasn’t flawless. I have had to go back and tweak some areas to improve the process. Your client on-boarding process may not be perfect but over time you can perfect it! If you leave out a step, no problem, just add it in with the next client!
Phase 1: The initial contact
You want to make the initial contact simple and automated. The first step in client on-boarding is when they discover you having a way to easily connect.
As they are scheduling a time, they will be prompted to fill out a form with a few questions.
I like to have upfront information before jumping on a call. Even a free call! I ask three questions:
– What are your business goals?
– The largest challenge(s) currently holding you back from achieving your goal?
– Business website and where they are in business (i.e. launching, growing, etc)
Before the call, I quickly do some research. Check out their website and their market. This gives me a solid understanding before jumping on the call. It allows us to utilize the entire 15 minutes to further dive into their goals and challenges. Instead of us discussing their challenges and goals in 15 minutes!
Pro Tip: Keep the initial questions simple. Only ask questions that will make the most impact in your initial call.
The clarity call can go two ways…
If we are not a good match, no big deal. I can refer her out to someone else that may be a better fit!
If we decide that we will work together. I discuss my services and pricing options at the end of the call and we agree on what works best for my client. (If you are not sure about your pricing model, this blog breaks it all down for you!)
Phase 2: On-Boarding New Clients- The Process
After the call, I have an agreement that I email my new client. (See how easy this client on-boarding process is?!)
I did not do this at first and it was a HUGE mistake.
It is imperative that you set up boundaries and agreements upfront. Believe me, it makes for a smooth relationship. My agreement covers:
- The terms of our working relationship (time frame)
- Behavior and conduct
- Miss appointments and rescheduling
- Payment conditions and options
In the original email with the agreement, I have our call schedule with a Zoom link. (I use Zoom for my sessions. I love to see my client “in person” and I am able to record the sessions!)
I also pop into Freshbooks (this is an affiliate link… if you are interested in Freshbook- grab a free month) and schedule their invoice to go out monthly. (On the call, we finalized payment options!)
On my backend I like to organize and set everything up in the very beginning. I go into google drive and set up a new folder and share it with my client. I add a folder with the signed agreement plus over time I add all of our videotaped sessions.
In my email inbox, I create a specific folder for my new client. I put all our emails into this folder to stay organized and be able to reference back if I need to. (no more searching through 1000’s of emails!)
Appreciation goes a long way…
I like to send over a small welcome gift. In the past, I have sent a Starbucks gift card, but I also like sending physical products that arrive in the mail. Because who doesn’t like to receive a gift in the mail? Planners, agendas, anything that pertains to your line of work is a great option as a small token of your appreciation! (Check out the Panda Planner, it’s my current customer appreciation gift and I’m in love with it!)
Phase 3: The Schedule (After you on-board the new client)
After I have onboarded my new client, I pre-schedule my sessions a month in advance. Each client is scheduled on the same day/time each week. (ex. Susan who owns “Eat Healthy” – Tuesday’s at 11 am)
This allows consistency and less chance that a call will slip by and go unnoticed.
The calls are on Zoom. Zoom is great and inexpensive. I am able to visually see my client and record each call. After the call, I save the call with the date and add a small description, I upload the call into the shared google drive. If my client needs to go back and review the call, they have the ability!
I also send an email 24 hours after each session with bullet points of what we discussed and actionable items for both my client and me.
This helps with accountability for my client and myself!
I have some clients that I will send out a weekly email on Friday mornings asking for details of their week. They like this for accountability and motivation.
By having a solid client on-boarding system in place, it allows me to:
- Stay consistent.
- Less likely to drop the ball or forget important information.
- Never have anxiety or dread when a new client finds me.
- My process is seamless and my client sees that upfront. No new clients fall through the cracks.
- This takes me 20 minutes, which saves me HOURS of time.
It amazes me how many times I have emailed or had a call with a service provider. Asked for a quote and never heard back. It is a total waste of time on my part and for their business.
What can you do to streamline your on-boarding process for your new clients? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
If you found this article helpful and you know you need a better customer experience for your clients. Book a 15-minute clarity call and let’s discuss how I can help you get back time in your week! Having solid systems like this in place helps with your productivity, sanity and the number of overall hours you work!
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