How can you attract new clients and make sure you’re the right fit for each other? There's so much to talk about when it comes to client onboarding, and part of that is learning how to attract new clients and set the right expectations from the start.
A partnership is a two-way street
A partnership is absolutely a two-way street, which means your clients also need to know how they can help you serve them better. The magic happens when there’s transparency and you’ve set those expectations upfront.
When you get dialed in because people are looking for an accountant or a tax person, those are not relationships that people just walk out of all of a sudden. Otherwise, they’re leaving for two reasons. Either they didn't feel served, or they just couldn't afford you anymore. Ultimately, a partnership is similar to marriage – you have to be in it for the long haul.
At The Bottom Line®, we have what we consider our dream clients. We have also been really blessed to get referrals from our clients both former and present that have helped us grow our dream client list.
One of the things we want to make sure that happens is that our clients know they have hired a partner. We always want to be sure that we are all behaving like a partner in the relationship.
It takes some work for our relationships with our clients to be fabulous. We have had some hard conversations with clients throughout the process, but because of expectations that we set very early on, we are able to work through the hiccups. Let’s be honest, there are hiccups in every relationship. Getting through those helps to set us up for success in our partnership together.
Our Vision and Our Podcast
We have a very aggressive vision that we want to serve a hundred thousand entrepreneurs by the year 2030. It's not gonna be because we sell enough packages for clients to get into. Our podcast is one way that we serve people.
Our podcast is where we are really building that like, know and trust factor. We invest in our podcast. We want to, we want you to hear from us and see us and listen to our perspectives. We have created an environment where we invite our team members to join our podcast episodes so you can see a little bit of the team's flavor as well and how they process and think about information.
Customer Service Is Your Number One Marketing Tool
I always tell people that customer service is your number one marketing tool on the planet. You could be a million dollar service based business on referrals alone, your service is your marketing.
This is one of the things that we have said from the very beginning that was always gonna be the thing that drives us. And it helps us to attract our team members.
It's not just client attraction, it's team attraction to take care of that client to make sure what you're selling before they walk in the door, meets them in the same way once they're behind the door.
Our Proven Process
One of the things that we do is we also communicate about our proven process. We like to show our client how we work with them from the very beginning, all the way through to their year around the sun with us.
Our proven process has been a very effective tool for us too, to visually have that to show to our clients. What I love about our proven process is that it is a lot like a map. It's a map to kind of show the ideal process, to remind people of the ideal process and to create the most success in the relationship.
My personal favorite is when I don't know where the heck I am at in the process. It's a great reminder of how to get back to that tree and back on track.
I'm talking about us and our journey inside The Bottom Line®. I'm using us as a model of some ideas or some inspiration for you.
If you are an e-commerce business, and you're looking at adding coaching, consulting, you want to start selling courses or you're ready to start a program or launch a one-on-one coaching service, I think that this conversation is relative because the bottom line is every client is going to learn who you are.
Every client from that moment of awareness is going to decide whether they want to invest a little bit more time or not. They're gonna decide whether or not they want to engage with you, do business with you, or give you their email address.
We believe that selling is a service as long as we do it in a way that stays true to our values, true to our vision and that honors our clients. All the tools that we've put in place to make sure what you are being told is what is being received. That may not be perfect because we are human, but we at least have those frameworks in place.
The proven process has been very valuable. There's even a podcast where we talked about our proven process.
Setting those expectations in the beginning
Here's what I really love. When we get on that initial discovery call with a potential client, we begin setting those expectations right away.
They then decide if they want to explore a partnership with us more and will get a proposal with pricing. We kind of baked expectations right into that proposal with our partnership commitment.
We have some things that we want clients to know up front and right away before we even sign anything or take their money about the partnership. We have our commitment to how we're going to be in the relationship as well.
- We use Xero®
- Timely communication is important
- Our clients need to be coachable
- No co-mingling finances
Our Passion Pact Guarantee
We promise to be as passionate about your business as you are.
I think we have shown passion in several ways that are even simpler than that. I've seen our team sign up for our client's email list so that we are reading their emails and newsletters, or purchasing their books so that we can read their books.
I've seen our team follow our client’s on social media so that if you see an event that's going on, we know it is gonna impact their books and we're reaching out to them about that.
I'm not saying it happens with every client, every event, or every book they have, because our clients are up to some pretty fantastic things. To me, that's someone showing an active, passionate interest in someone's business and at The Bottom Line® we do that. And I love it. I love seeing that the whole team is getting behind understanding that about people.
That's how I know that our team is as passionate about our clients' business as they are. I just want to personally thank our team for being willing to invest at that level for our client's success and yours. It's important that your team's engaged, taking care of them.
Our Engagement Letters
When a potential client signs their proposal and says “Yes, I’m in” we will send them their engagement letter to read over and sign. Our engagement letter handles all the legal stuff and what we call our non-negotiables.
The engagement letter covers those non-negotiables of 10 things that we want clients to know upfront. These are things like our office hours, our company shut down at Christmas, how we handle tax season, our response times, how we communicate with our clients, and the importance of meeting attendance.
We hold what we call kickoff calls with our new clients so we can learn a bit more about them and their business. We don't want to just jump into your books and start looking at all your stuff. We want to know who you are, what you're about, what's keeping you up at night and where you're going so that we can help create the experience that gets you where you want to be.
Our kickoff calls are great because our team gets to know our clients and our clients get to know the team that is dedicated to them. This helps us in the process to know you better. We have our processes in place internally, and our service packages are in place. We do our best to continue to create systemized services but they're deeply personal to each of our clients.
We greatly value the feedback from our clients along the way as well. At the end of our kickoff call we always ask the question, “How are you feeling”. Some clients feel relief right away and some clients will still have that overwhelm that we work through in onboarding to resolve.
The best thing that we can offer is to meet your clients where they are. This is something that we do here at The Bottom Line® and it makes a difference to our clients. We work to get to the next step together in their journey. Everyone’s pace is different, much like everyone’s pace in business is different.
If you want to learn more about how to attract new clients, check out Episode 096: How to Attract New Clients & Set The Right Expectations From The Start.