For those of you who have been following along with the challenge, welcome back!
If you’re just joining us, I definitely suggest hitting pause and circling back around to part 1 & part 2 first since we cover some pretty important foundations for building a site that books, whether that’s for you, or for the clients you serve with your web design business.
For the rest of you, let’s not waste any time in pressing play on day 3 !
Have this ever happed to you? Someone inquires through your website for your services, they sound all excited and motivated and you’re basically dancing around the room you’re so excited to work with them.
Then you follow up shortly after, answer the questions they had, give them a bit more info and maybe the next steps to get started and after that…
So you wait a couple days, ‘they could be busy,’ but you check your inbox again and…
You wait a bit longer, you look at your calendar of projects coming up and know the perfect time slot they could fill, so you’re still hopeful, but a couple more days go by and you still don’t hear anything.
After a week or two of waiting you cave and send another email.
“Still interested? We could get started on X date. REALLY, really looking forward to working with you on this project.”
And you guessed it, you still hear crickets.
Let me just say we have ALL been there.
Every service provider gets it, and it’s happened to all of us.
But it happens much less to some service providers.
I met a web designer named Nesha who changed just 1 thing in her booking process and she saw a drastic decrease in clients ghosting her after inquiring and a significant increase in the percentage of inquiries that she would book.
How did she do it? She changed up her onboarding and inquiry process to include a free consultation call.
Now, Nesha is a self-proclaimed introvert and HATES getting on the phone with people.
But she had been a designer for a while and was getting really frustrated with all these clients inquiring and then ghosting on her.
Around the same time she was having this ghosting problem in her own business she wanted to get some hand lettering work done, so she inquired with a few hand lettering artists and quickly realized that the artist which stood out to her was the one who had the best booking process, making her think ‘well, if she’s easy to get started with and book in with, she’d also likely be the easiest to work with.’
Nesha then changed up her onboarding process in her own business to include a free consultation call and noticed that her close rate, the percentage of inquiries that she’d book, significantly increased.
And I haven’t just heard this from Nesha, countless other service-based business owners which I’m friends with have said the same. And there’s a few reasons for this.
First, it simply makes you stand out from the competition.
If no one else is getting on the phone with people, you’re the one going above and beyond.
Second, it’s super efficient. You probably need to communicate your process, your next available dates, possibly check in to see if your standard package is okay or if they need any add-ons, it’s also best practice to just see if you’re a vibe fit for the client or if there’s any red flags waving when they inquire.
Your client also probably has some questions.
Maybe this is the first time they’re hiring for this service. Say you’re a custom cake decorator and you’re making a bride a cake for her wedding. Chances are, this is her first time hiring for this. And so she’s by far an expert at picking out the right item or a cake of the right size or organizing safe delivery of it without a bit of guidance.
On the phone however, you can sort that all out fairly quickly. And again, the faster you can go from them thinking “I really NEED that service” to booking, the better.
Now I’d say for 85% of service-based business owners, a free consultation call is the way to go.
It’s the right first step to get someone from your website to you two coordinating all the important details to actually booking as quickly as possible. But that’s not always the case for every service-based business.
Think about, what is absolutely mandatory in order for my client to be ready to book in? Let’s take our wedding venue example from yesterday. In that case, a call doesn’t make much sense, because even after the call, your client is still going to want to see the venue in person before they’re ready to book. That’s an example of when you want to offer a venue tour instead of a free consultation call.
Or maybe if you’re an interior designer or landscape architect, you’ve got to go meet them at their house in order to scope out the project and close the deal.
Alternatively, if you’re a custom dress maker, they’ve got to come to you in your studio to be measured and work together on the creation. In that case, you want the option to book that appointment on your website.
And finally, if you possibly have a service which is on the cheaper end when it comes to services, let’s say under $1,000, it’s also totally possible that your client might just book and buy straight on your website without ever needing to talk to you or meet at all.
In that case, you could go straight for the booking on your site. This is definitely the case for say yoga or pilates studios or tennis or sports club memberships and passes.
If you currently are using a contact me form, I want you to think about, what happens after they submit that?
Do you ask some follow up questions? Or send them more information on your services? Or then set up a time to get on a call?
Again, if you want your website to do the selling and booking for you, you need to give visitors all the info they need to make a booking decision on your website, and then put as few steps and roadblocks between them wanting to book and actually paying you money as possible.
And in 99% of situations, a contact form is a really inefficient way of making that happen. So, your homework today is pretty simple.
You need to decide what option is the right first step towards booking you. It should likely be either booking some sort of appointment directly on your site, like a consultation call, or a venue tour or an at-home visit, or buying the service straight away on your site.
Decide on the one next right step clients need to take to book with you!
Make sure it’s super simple for your potential client to do without contacting you first!