On a recent call with UKAWP members many were highlighting the buying habits of clients this year is different to the last couple of years. The nurturing + conversion process is taking longer than usual with clients often ghosting them after a seemingly successful consultation/enquiry. We debated the reasons why and honestly I think it’s a combination of clients needing more reassurance that suppliers can be trusted + concerns about the economy.
I feel what clients want from you right now is confirmation you can be trusted and you are the right person to hire. Instead of being frustrated at a longer conversion, how can you offer the reassurance they need, without them asking? In this article I will highlight ways you can improve the client experience and take them from prospect to confirmed customer without being ghosted. For the purpose of this article we are assuming you have already received the enquiry, but the lead has gone cold. You perhaps have sent a proposal but have not heard back from them. In a future post I will speak more about the customer journey once they have been on-boarded.
Advocate a customer led approach
It can be all too easy to be swayed by outside sources, to start offering services based on what your competitors offer. Instead put the client first and consider what do they need? Don’t sell a service for the sake of selling; instead ensure it’s the best fit for the client.
At times clients will come to you for one service but actually need something different. It is your duty to ensure your client walks away with what they NEED. When was the last time you conducted any research into your ideal clients? Have you asked current and past clients what they want from businesses right now? Ask them questions to understand what they are thinking AND feeling.
What do clients need from you? And does your service or product match this? In other words have you created a concept that clients want or one you think they want? Knowing your client enables you to market your business which leads you to selling a service. You almost can’t have one without the other. When you truly know your client, their pain points and questions, only then can you market to them.
Think about questions clients might have about hiring you
Anticipate questions that potential clients have and provide the answers, before they even ask you. If your marketing answers the above they will already have an inclination they can trust you before you even send a proposal to them
- How will this service help me
- Does this service solve the problem I have
- Can they prove it works?
- Do I trust this company in terms of ethics and values?
- Is there another company that is better?
- Does the price align with the budget I have?
Are you providing potential clients with the information they need to make an informed decision? Create a bank of content that explores the above throughout your marketing.
Walking the walk of your client
When training wedding planners I would always recommend they walk through a potential wedding venue, as if it was the wedding day itself. When guests arrive what do they see? Can they get to the ceremony easily? Are there directions? When it
comes to drinks and the wedding breakfast are they being guided?
And I feel the same analogy works in business. Imagine yourself in your client’s shoes from initial contact to the end of the service.
- Are you directing them to what is next?
- Are you showing them the way “without” them needing to ask?
- Are you inviting them to confirm a booking with you?
- And if they do, do they know what happens next?
When nurturing a client to work with you it is important to showcase your authority. Clients need to trust you can do what they need you to do. So show them examples of your work and endorsements. Saying you can be trusted doesn’t hold as much
weight as showing them.
- Client testimonials
- Workmanship (portfolio , gallery)
- Press features
- Examples of you working with others on the same service
Asking for the sale
Are you being too passive in your selling? Sending a proposal then sitting back waiting for them to call with a yes or no? When you send your proposal / or quotation, ensure you include a section on next steps. Instead of persuading a client to work with you, take them through the customer journey with you instead. This is not about forcing someone to work with you, I
encourage you to sell in an ethical manner. Only selling what the customer actually needs.
If you are happy to proceed just hit reply to this email I will then forward a contract + invoice. Once received we are good to go and I will start working on PROJECT immediately. If your client is unsure and isn’t ready to commit it is time to pick up the phone and have a conversation. Understand more about what their objections are and why they are hesitant to book.
Reassure them you can take as much time as they need to feel comfortable, but you are conscious you only have [INSERT LENGTH OF TIME] to [INSERT OBJECTIVE] plus remind them no service is confirmed without a contract and payment.
Remember if a client says no, that’s ok. Not every client is the right client for you. Review the journey with that prospect and ask yourself is there anything you would change next time? What are your learning’s from it? Business changes so make it a habit to review and adapt your marketing and selling procedures.
How Important is your ideal client identification?
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