How to wow your clients with your process
This is a guest post from Sarah Leigh Day. Sarah is a Workflow Strategist specializing in all things Dubsado. She’s been helping service based business owners across a variety of industries streamline and automate their businesses using Dubsado since 2018. You can find her on her blog, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook.
You know the saying “You should never meet your heroes…”?
To most of us “everyday folk,” we see movie stars and celebrities as our heroes. They’re fantastic performers and entertainers, they live these extravagant perfect lives, and everyone wishes they could be friends with them, or at the very least, meet them in person...just once.
Some people actually do get that chance! Maybe you bump into one of your favorite actors crossing the streets in New York, or spot an actress trying to have a quiet meal with her family at a bistro in LA. You’re starstruck and you might even work up the nerve to say “hi,” but not everyone is open to unsolicited engagement like that. Your hero may ignore you or make a rude comment for interrupting their day .... and if they do, then you’ll understand the saying and wish you hadn’t met them after all. Your “heroes” are just people who may or may not be as lovable off screen as they are on.
Now, you’re probably thinking at this point, “Ooookay, what does this have to do with serving clients and being productive??”
Hear me out.
Have you ever considered that you are the hero your audience looks up to?
They see your social media posts and your live videos and they get all starry-eyed over everything they can see on the front end of your business. They can’t wait to save enough money in their business budget to be able to work with you! And when they finally do, are they going to be blown away by your process or is your “off screen” performance going to leave them disappointed and make them wish they never met you?
I had this experience once. I was following a business and really enjoyed their content. I joined one of their free challenges and even won a special giveaway they were doing. I was so excited! But when it came time to actually work together, the process left me feeling lost, confused, and a little let down. Granted, the final deliverable was still amazing, but the disorganized process we went through to get there still lingers in my mind every time I see or think about that business (and also drives a lot of the decisions I make about how to run my own business!).
So what can we do as service based businesses to ensure our backend process looks just as amazing as our front-end marketing?
We can take the time to actually create a step-by-step process we take every client through. By having this process mapped out ahead of time, we will be able to ensure:
Consistency - Every client is treated the same, every time.
Efficiency - Having a plan removes the need to make decisions and reduces the amount of time it takes to do things.
Professionalism - Having a clear and organized process makes even the newest of businesses look professional to their clients
Wondering how to get started?
In my experience, most service-based businesses typically need a process that hits on the following 6 phases:
1. Initial Inquiry
There are several different ways people could let you know they're interested in your services. They could fill out a contact form on your website, fill out a survey or questionnaire, or maybe book a call with you.
Once someone has told you they're interested in your services, it's generally time to collect some more information from them and decide if you will be a good fit to work together. This might happen via survey/questionnaire or phone call, or some combination of the two.
3. Proposal, Contract, and Invoice
You've mutually decided you might be a good fit for each other. Next, you'll want to spell out exactly what your offer is in a proposal, make it legal with a contract, and go ahead and collect the first payment with an invoice (if applicable).
Hooray, you've signed a new client! The on-boarding phase is what happens after your new client has accepted your proposal, signed your contract, and paid (at least part) of their invoice. This is where you welcome them aboard and let them know what to expect moving forward.
5. Service Delivery
The service delivery phase can mean a wide variety of things depending on your specific business, but this is basically you doing the thing your client has hired you to do.
6. Off-boarding & Feedback
Like it or not, most service-based businesses don't serve their clients forever. For one reason or another the relationship will eventually end, so it's good to have a process in place for handling that when the time comes (including asking for a testimonial!).
It’s not enough to simply read through these, though. Take some time to really think about each of these phases and how they work in your business, then map out those process steps in a visual format. You can use ClickUp, Asana, Trello, Google doc, or a simple sheet of paper — just write it down so it’s easier for you to follow when those new clients come through!