Your inbox is at 9,400. You know you need more business, but you can’t even stay on top of the business you’ve booked now. There are inquiries sitting unread, unopened, and unresponded to. Your job is overtaking you! You need help, but you can’t yet afford an assistant. And by the way, who has time to train an assistant anyways?
Oh friend, take a deep breath. I see you on those late nights trying to juggle all the things. I see you heading to bed with a to-do list on your mind ready to interrupt those sweet dreams.
I’m about to say something that will be hard to hear:
One of the first and most important systems to put in place is your client on-boarding sequence. That’s a fancy way of saying this: It’s time to create a step-by-step sales process for booking new clients. The cool thing is, once this system is setup, you can rest assured your inquiries are being responded to. You’ll never miss out on booking new clients again because you’re too busy trying to manage your current clients. How bout it?
This will take less than an hour! So pull out your calendar, block one hour this week and start seeing more inquiries turn to bookings! (I hear your moans, but I promise you’ll thank me later!)
Every website should have an inquiry form. I’m a fan of a short form with just some key data points. Name, e-mail, and how they heard about you. That’s really all you need. If you need to, you can get industry specific with things like date of your event, budget, and services interested in as well.
Additional reading if you’re curious: Why you shouldn’t list pricing on your website.
Once you receive an inquiry form, you want a pre-scripted email response to send to them. (You can find mine in The Ultimate Guide to Talking About $$$.) It should go something like this:
A welcome packet is a way to reiterate all the beautiful work put into your website that more than likely they didn’t see (let’s just be honest here). It’s a way to introduce them to your more of your work, but more importantly, to help educate them on how you are the solution they’ve been searching for!
The goal for a welcome packet is to keep it visual! And within your content, make sure to reiterate the problem (they need a florist, a photographer, an artist, etc.) and show them that you are the solution.
What is the next step? Never, ever just send an open ended email! You need to provide the next step.
Is it booking a 15-minute call with you? Ps. I use Acuity Scheduling for all my calendar needs. Never again back and forth emails trying to find a mutual time to meet!
Is it to fill out a questionnaire? I love Google Forms or Typeform for questionnaires, and they’re both free!
What is the next step – the call to action? You always want to be moving the prospective client forward from inquiry to booking, booking to project completion!
A great client on-boarding process leads a prospective client the entire way. It doesn’t leave the decision up to them, but continually asks questions in order to provide a solution (not sell a service). A great client on-boarding takes your client experience from mediocre (or just plain bad) to wonderful from the get-go. And friends, it’s all something you can set up in one hour or less!
I’d love to hear how these four steps help you streamline a booking process that works for you!