What does a service-based business need the most?
Now… Most coaches and consultants will tell you that if you want to convert prospects into clients you need to:
1. Monetize your value or show what you bring to the table to your prospect.
2. Share testimonials or case studies to convince them that you are the right person for the job.
3. Showcase money-based ROI and value-based ROI. For instance, to showcase Money-based ROI, you need to illustrate how your work will help them make or save more money. To showcase Value-based ROI you can bring their attention to how it will free up their time and help them focus on the core of their business and grow it or spend more time with the family
4. Offer incentives like one time offers or even discounts.
The list is endless and while ALL of these factors do make a big difference in convincing a prospect to say “YES!”… there is one key component missing in these that plays a BIG role in acquiring clients.
THAT key component is what we discovered last year after we ran a nifty little experiment.
What is YOUR Prospect to Client Conversion Rate
Prior to May 2016, we had a Prospect-to-Client conversion rate of 40%.
Your prospect to client conversion rate is how many prospects or leads convert into paying clients. In this case, for instance, for every 10 prospects that contacted us, 4 ended up being clients.
While, our data showed that the biggest chunk of our prospects did not sign up for our services due to budget constraints… we knew there was definitely something more to it.
Digging Deep into Discovering the Average Value of a Client
Since, we’ve always kept our services at the pocket-friendly end of the price spectrum… we did not want to play on price to convert more prospects.
So we decided to run an experiment to see what could be some of the other factors that were keeping our conversions below 50%.
Now, at this point in our business, the average value of a client was $4369 for the service side of our business.
In other words, this was the average revenue that one client brought to the business for the services rendered to him/her.
Which means that while with some clients we worked on projects which were $1K and thereabouts, there were others that were in the $8K-$10K mark.
To arrive at our average value of a client, we looked at our total revenue and divided it with the number of clients we worked with in a year.
And that is how the average revenue a client was bringing in was $4369.
We had two main goals to increase our revenue in 2016.
A) Move our average value of a client to $7500, and
B) Convert more prospects into clients.
While I’ll share how we nearly doubled the average value of a client in the last 12 months in my next post…
Today, let’s focus on the ONE strategy that helped us increase our client conversions by nearly 30%!
The Client Conversion Strategy that Skyrocketed Our Revenue
After looking at the data for the last 4 years of business, we narrowed down on our use of email to convert prospects into clients as an opportunity area.
Here’s what our email conversation looked like.
We’d send a proposal and do one follow up.
If we didn’t get a response from the prospect we’d assume that they were not interested or what we offered did not fit the bill.
We’d move on to the next prospect.
Since we’d narrowed down on email as a key player in converting clients… We dug deep into figuring out why were we shying away from emailing our prospects more than once or twice.
Here are some of the reservations around following up that we had and maybe you do too:
- It seemed that we would bug the prospects if we kept emailing them.
- It seemed we would come across as being desperate or needy for work.
- It seemed that if they really needed our services they would email and reach out to us.
What we did NOT realise was THIS:
- Entrepreneurs wear many hats and as a result… they drop balls and let things slip through the cracks. So, probably, they forgot to reply to our emails.
- Budgets are tight so they might need our services but can only afford it later and thought that they would just reply to us when they do have the budget.
- Emails get lost in cyberspace and as we found out… there were many instance where people didn’t get our emails or they just landed in spam and no one ever opened them!
With ALL of these insights in mind, we implemented a robust follow up system with our prospects to see if they were actually “Not Interested”.
The ONE big change that we made to our client intake process was that we did not consider a prospect as “Not Interested” till they actually said that in an email or over the phone.
How did a robust follow up system boost conversion rates?
1. It took away all of the “what if” factors out of the equation.
People started to respond to our “Check In” or “Touching Base” emails and we no longer ran the risk of them forgetting or not getting the emails.
It also showed us that prospects were happy to book us now and start later since we were now communicating with them with consistency or they would ask us to get back to them after a couple of weeks or months when they’d have budgets.
2. Follow ups showed early accountability and built trust and showed that we cared
By engaging with consistency and not pushiness via email with prospects, we demonstrated that we valued our work, regardless of how big or small the project might be.
3. It allowed us to dispel any doubts/hesitations that prospects might have had
In our follow up emails, we’d ask prospects to let us know if they had any questions or if they’d like to get on a call and we’d include our scheduler link as well. This helped prospects clarify any doubts and last-minute questions.
The Results of Follow Ups and Our Client Conversion Strategy
We’ve used our robust follow up mechanism for the last 12 months and… our conversions have moved from 40% to 70%!
JUST one simple tweak made a 30% impact on our conversions AND our revenue.
Here’s a quick look at our conversion-boosting follow up process.
Have YOU been holding back from following up with clients? Share what do YOU feel are your client conversion challenges with us in the comments!
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