When you own a business, you can’t assume that just because someone shows interest that they will become a paying client. You must always nurture and follow up until they’ve become a buyer.

If you are hearing any of the following statements, these do not translate into money in the bank.

  • “We’re looking forward to getting started on this with you.”
  • “I am ready to get started working with you. I am going to talk to my partners and be in touch.”
  • “This all sounds great. What’s the next step?”

Granted, these are great statements. But until the money is in the bank, they are just verbally acknowledging your awesomeness.

Each and every new client should have a step-by-step process they follow from first touchpoint until they sign the contract and pay the invoice. Without a step-by-step process, any of those very hot leads can turn cold quick

Here is my step-by-step process for following through with each client.

Initial Connection – When I make my initial connection with a potential client, I enter their information into Dubsado, which is what I use for my CRM (customer relationship management) software. The last thing you want is to be unorganized from the get-go and lose their contact information.

Schedule Consult – I then schedule a consultation using my automatic booking system that includes sending them reminder emails about our call to ensure that they attend.

Draft Contract and Send – As soon as the consultation is finished and they’ve agreed that they would like to start using my services a contract gets drafted up and sent out using my CRM system once more. It allows for a seamless sending and receiving process and keeps me organized.

Follow-Up Consistently – Following up is the key ingredient for closing the sale. Always give the customer 1-2 days to review the contract and take some time to think about it. Add a follow up using your CRM or a simple calendar reminder so that your services stay top of mind for the potential customer.

Receive Signed Contract – Receive the signed contract (and jump for joy!) Your follow up worked! Now’s the time to start the onboarding process and let them know of the next steps and what to expect while working with you.

Send First Invoice – Once you have a signed contract, send the first invoice and await payment. Ensure that your client knows how your billing will work in the future so that they can add it into their budget.

Let’s Get Started! – After you get the nitty gritty out of the way, it’s time to get started on work with your new client. Add them to a Project Management software and schedule the kick off call to get things going. (I use Asana.)

While this process might not be exactly what you need to implement for your business, there is a flow that will work perfectly for each and every client of yours. What is important is building out your system. While building out your system consider what worked and what didn’t work when you signed your last few clients.

What software and systems do you need to make this happen?

Do you need a CRM system that holds the contact information for each lead? Depending on your industry, there are CRMs that are designed with you in mind! Attorneys love Lexicata and Clio. Medium businesses love Salesforce. Small businesses and solo entrepreneurs rave over Dubsado. 

Do you stay in touch (and top of mind) with every lead through a newsletter and Email Management software? For small businesses, Mailchimp is a winner every time. If you have created an online business, you would benefit by upgrading to ActiveCampaign for their amazing tagging and sequencing capabilities.

What is your project management software? If you are using incoming emails as a way to stay on top of things, it’s time to get a little more organized! Especially if you want to grow your business by onboarding new staff. Start documenting processes now and build toward the future. 

How do you follow-up with a lead? A personalized email? A phone call? Make sure this part of the process is clear so that no lead gets left in the dust. Prioritize following up with leads in a fun and friendly way. I recently sent a follow-up email to a tech corporation and the subject was “Not trying to beat a dead horse…”. Until they state that they are not interested, I’m going to follow-up and you should too!

How easy is your system? We live in a digital age and anyone who doesn’t adapt their business will find it hard to compete with new competition popping up. If you don’t have one already, get an online form for booking a consult with you on your website. If you are able to, create an online booking system using Acuity or Calendly. This makes it easy for current and future clients to pick a time to speak with you!

Creating systems in your business is the difference between planning to fail and failing to plan. These systems take time to create but are essential for long-term growth in your business. If you want to get help creating systems for lead management, let us know. We’re kind of good at that 🙂

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