WHAT TO DO AFTER A CLIENT SAYS “YES”
Once you’ve put in the amazing work of getting a new client, you give yourself a high five (as you should!) and may think the hard work of making the sale is over. It’s a done deal, right?
This isn’t quite the case.
A big part of keeping new clients from backing out and remain excited to work with you is giving them an amazing experience from the very beginning.
One way to ensure this happens is to have a clear new client process that you use every time you sign on a new client.
Making a big investment in a health coach for the first time can be very intimidating for people. Think about the first time you set foot in a gym. You were probably pretty nervous and not sure where to begin. This is why a lot of gyms offer an initial guided tour or free training session to start.
Well, working with a new coach can feel the same way. Your new client process can serve as that guided tour that relaxes your client and makes them feel comfortable about the journey ahead.
If done right, this part of your post-sale process can improve your client retention. It should instill confidence that they made the right choice in working with you.
It will also streamline things and keep you out of overwhelm. And, as you get busier, you can delegate this process to an assistant.
A cautionary tale: When I signed on my very first health coaching client, I went a bit overboard with my welcome emails. I wanted to provide a ton of value before our first session, so I sent a lot of information and homework. This new client was a new mom, and not yet a mother myself, I didn’t understand how exhausted she was with a newborn at home. I completely overwhelmed her and she ended up backing out. While it was a bit heartbreaking, it was a great learning experience for me. Moral of the story: Don’t overwhelm your clients! Keep things simple – especially in the beginning.
What should your new client process look like?
Step 1: Scheduling the first session
It may seem a little backwards to start by scheduling the first session, but I’ve found it works well to solidify the client’s decision and get them excited about working together. If you’re on the phone with the prospective client when they decide they want to sign-up, you can both look at your calendars and pick a time right then. If they’re reaching out to you via email, reply with an enthusiastic email and in that email suggest they go ahead and book their first session – so they can be sure to find a time that works for them. (More on scheduling below.)
Step 2: An agreement or contract
The next step is for them sign an agreement. I used to think client agreements were unnecessary, but I learned the hard way that it’s critical that you and your clients are on the same page.
As Lisa Fraley, Legal Coach & Attorney shares…“Unlike most lawyers, I believe client agreements are compassionate containers to hold your client relationships. They are gifts to both you and your clients because they make your program details clear and are written in plain English so you both are on the same page – and they don’t have to be written in a way that is scary, cold or corporate.”
Use your agreement to set expectations and outline:
- what’s included in the program
- what the client can expect of you
- your refund policy (even if your policy is that you don’t accept refunds).
- how they can reach you and at what hours
Make your agreement friendly and, again, share your enthusiasm for working with them.
I remember when I was a health coach (5+ years ago) that I had to ask clients to print out and snail mail me their signed agreement. What a hassle! Gone are those days. Now there are several tools like EchoSign where you can send an agreement that can be signed electronically. Now, it only takes 5 seconds to sign and send an agreement!
Don’t yet have a client agreement?
I highly recommend you check out Lisa Fraley’s DIY Client Agreement Package. It’s designed specifically for health & wellness coaches and she even uses color in her agreements!
Step 3: Payment
Once the agreement is signed, it’s time for them to pay for the program.
If you’re using PayPal or another shopping cart, you’ll want to send a short and sweet email to the client with a link for them to pay. Make the email personal and be sure to reiterate how excited you are to work with them.
I’ve found that PayPal works great and that more robust payment systems aren’t necessary until your business is bringing in six figures (or if you want to set-up a robust affiliate program).
If you have a monthly payment option, you can use PayPal to set-up automatic recurring payments. (Click here for instructions on how to set-up recurring payments in PayPal.)
If you’re charging their card via a virtual terminal, you can collect their credit card information on their agreement.
Step 4: Send Welcome Packet & Scheduling Information
Think of this as the final step in the sales process and the first step in actually working together. Write a simple email that again shares your enthusiasm about working together and reiterates the kinds of shifts your client can expect through working together. This will keep their motivation and excitement high. (Of course, don’t over-promise, but do show your confidence in being able to help the client get results.)
In this email, provide instructions on scheduling calls with you. I highly recommend using an online schedule service like Time Trade to have them book in their first few (or all) of their appointments with you. This will avoid going back and forth over email. And, with TimeTrade and many other services, your clients will automatically receive a reminder email prior to each call.
In the email you’ll also likely want to include a welcome packet. This is a way for you to collect information about your client. It also provides an opportunity for your client to think through their vision and goals. All of this will help you get clear on how to best serve your new client – so they have an amazing experience.
You can send the welcome packet as a Word doc, Google doc, or use a service like Surveymonkey, Typeform, or Google forms to create a form that they complete. (I’m a fan of using Google docs. Simply create a new copy for each client.)
Create templates you can copy & paste
Make your new client process seamless by putting together templates of the various emails and documents you’ll be sending. Then, you can copy, paste, and easily customized things for each client. Save and organize everything in a folder on your computer or in Google Drive or DropBox so it’s easy to access.
This might seem like a lot of work, but once you do it once you can use it forever! This is going to save you time with every single client you work with going forward, and will help your clients feel totally at ease (and excited!) before the real work even begins. This means they won’t get cold feet and back out before their first official session with you.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
What have you found to work well (or NOT work well) when you sign on a new client