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The Complimentary Session

The Complimentary Session

Depending on the type of business you run, you may offer – or want to offer – a free call with you in the form of a Strategy Session, Discovery Session, Complimentary Session, 30-minutes with ME, etc.

If you’re not familiar with this concept – simply put, it’s an opportunity to engage with a prospect or a lead to determine if what have to offer is the solution to their problem.

When I first started to offer these sessions, there was a lot of manual work involved. Sending emails, coordinating a mutual time to meet, sending more emails to confirm time and ask for background information about them, sending more emails to get the answers back before the session…Phew that’s a lot of emails.

Well of course, I am always looking for ways to systemize and simplify the process – both for me and the customer (lead / prospect).

Here is the basic foundation of what a system would look like:

Identify time in your calendar for these sessions
This is an important step, as it can happen in the beginning that you just willy-nilly book in strategy sessions where ever you appear to have the time. The trouble with that, is in some cases you may not notice that you may be at another meeting – for example – and not able to get back to your office in order to have access to their information.

When you identify time slots in your calendar, it is also helpful when you’re out and about scheduling other appointments – for example – a medical appointment. You can easily see that you have time set aside for meeting with potential clients. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t schedule an appointment, but it just helps.

Create a Questionnaire to be given to the prospect to complete
To make the best use of your time together, it’s a great idea to collect information about the prospective client in advance. This way you can do a little homework and be prepared for your call.

Additionally, giving the prospect a homework assignment also asks them to put a little ‘skin in the game.’ After all, you are giving them some of your time for free – of course with the intention of turning them into a client if it is a suitable match. If a prospect isn’t willing to fill out a short questionnaire, they are not likely to be a suitable match.

Schedule the appointment
Depending on how you want to schedule the appointments, you may want to book the appointment prior to sending the Questionnaire to the prospect – or after they returned the questionnaire you can book the appointment.

In either case you will want to ensure that the questionnaire is returned to you well in advance – say 24-hour minimum – before your scheduled call. Some also have a requirement in place that if the questionnaire is not returned within a certain time frame, the call has to be rescheduled.

In this basic foundation – there can be a lot of manual work – and there’s nothing wrong with that in the beginning. But as you build your business and begin to fine tune this process, you will want to setup additional systems to reduce the amount of time either you – or a member of your team – is spending on setting up these calls.

Now here is a bit more advanced, automated system.

Identify time slots
The same as in the basic system, you will want to identify suitable time slots. You will also want to have your calendar connected to a scheduling tool like TimeDriver. This will allow your prospect to schedule an appointment with you based on the parameters you define, without you having to email back and forth with each other. They are able to see what times are available, and what fits their schedule. Additionally, they will receive the call instructions as you’ve determined.

TimeDriver will also send a 24-hour reminder to your prospect about their appointment.

Create an Online Questionnaire or Application
Again, the same as in the basic system, except this is available on your website as a form for the prospect to complete. Once they complete the form, it is automatically sent to an email address you identify.

The way that mine is setup is that once the prospect has completed the application, they are automatically forwarded to my TimeDriver calendar. From there they can select a time that works for them.

Notice how there is one less step in the advanced system?  That’s the beauty of creating an automated system.

Additionally, when the email about their strategy session comes in to my inbox, it is automatically filed into a Strategy Session folder using a rule setup in my Outlook client. I am able to just go to that folder and grab the email from the prospect. Easy to find!

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