I love getting new clients! I love my clients, I enjoy helping them solve issues and reach their goals and I like getting paid for doing work I love. So, when I get a new client it’s time to celebrate. I want to welcome them and make it easy for them to work with me. To accomplish this, I needed to have a client onboarding process. When I started out it was a mess and it was frustrating as all hell.
You might be having the same challenge, so I thought a before and after peek inside my business would help.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- A potential new client contacts me by email. They say they might want to start coaching
- As we try to set up a sample or mini clarity session we have numerous back-and-forth emails looking for appointment times that work across time zones, and establishing call contact details including my phone #, skype id etc.
- We finally agree to a date and time by email
- At the scheduled appointment time. Crickets….nothing…..the new client doesn’t call. 10 minutes later since I haven’t heard anything I send them a reminder email that I compose from scratch.
- I eventually hear back from them with one of these optional responses: Oops, I forgot. I can’t find you on Skype.I lost your phone number. I wrote the time down wrong.
- Repeat steps 2 - 4
- We finally have our initial call and agree to a coaching package.
- I send them questions by email that I plan to discuss on our first official discovery call. I ask them to print out the email, give some thought to their responses and arrive prepared.
- I send them an invoice created in Microsoft Word.
- I send them a coaching agreement for them to sign and return by email.
- More back and forth emails as we establish the next date/time we will begin coaching.
- We meet on Skype, or by phone, for our first coaching call.
- We book our next call at the end of our first session. But if their schedule changes, we revert to a few more back and forth emails.
I will tell you this was a bloody exhausting way to onboard a new client. Can you relate to any of this?
It didn’t take me long to figure out that I would never be able to have a profitable business if I had to spend so much time on email just to schedule a call with a potential client. Since my frustration level was going through the roof I knew I had to make some major changes….. fast.
So, what did I do? I made four specific changes.
First, I modified my website and added a secure shopping cart. No longer did I need to create invoices in Microsoft Word, I could direct my clients to my website, they could choose a coaching package and pay by credit card or Paypal easy-peasy.
Second, I signed up for online scheduling software. I use and recommend Acuity Scheduling., the Emerging Entrepreneur package. I send them one email and the client can schedule their own appointment within my available business hours. They can also easily reschedule their appointments with sufficient notice. I also set up my calendar to send one reminder email 24 hours prior to our call and it reminds them of the call in details. This alone has almost eliminated my no-shows.
Third, I created my onboarding coaching welcome package. I like to run my business with a minimum of paperwork and keep it streamlined. I’ve narrowed it down to these basics:
- A welcome letter complete with specific instructions and a link to my website so they can make payment.
- A coaching contract.
- An intake form with my coaching discovery questionnaire. Which they complete and return by email prior to our first call.
Fourth, I now choose to have most of my coaching calls on Zoom Conferencing (Zoom.) I’ve found that, depending on geography, I often had issues with audio quality. So, I’ve begun using Zoom Conferencing as my preferred coaching method. Their Basic Personal Meeting version is free.
What are the benefits of making these 4 changes to my client onboarding process?
- I rarely have audio quality issues. No more of this “can you hear me…I can't hear you ......can you hear me now?”
- My no-show rate is almost zero.
- I save buckets of time and frustration because:
- No more back and forth emails trying to find a date and time for coaching calls. This saves me and my client a lot of frustration. Not to mention, I no longer worry about being double booked in error.
- I no longer write custom reminder emails when someone shows up late.
- My welcome package automatically mails itself when a client selects their first coaching appointment.
- I don’t have to type up invoices.
- I don’t have to send reminder notices when my invoices are overdue.
- My client begins the coaching prior to our first call when they fill in the initial questionnaire. It’s designed to have them uncover some of their most pressing challenges, limiting habits and it primes them for our coaching.
- My clients have a secure website to pay for coaching which keeps their credit card and Paypal information confidential.
Now over to you.
Have a look at your client onboarding process. Hey, don’t worry if you don’t actually have a process, we all have to start somewhere. The most important thing is what you do next. Where can you save time and frustration using some of these ideas?
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear what you found most helpful. I read every single email I get.
I’m curious, is your coaching business growing the way you want it to? If you’re feeling a little bit stuck or unsure of next steps. Schedule a complimentary 20-minute private Clarity Session with this link https://bit.ly/2qVMn9j I can’t wait to hear from you.