Entrepreneurship

Tips for Small Business Lead Capture & Follow-Up

Your process should be your baby! This is what you should spend a lot of time ironing out. Why? Your process involves your clients and your clients carry your reputation. Your reputation will make or break you in any business. So, let’s be clear. It’s okay to not get it right in the beginning and to mess up here and there early on. But, your process is a process and should be taken with care, respect and seriousness. Adding your personality and your own unique thing that’s all you, will make it fun and memorable. Let’s get started.

How do you want your clients to find you? Website? Word of mouth? Social Media? Okay, they’ve found you, now how do they contact you? What does that look like? Is it by email only? DM? A contact form on a site? Or, is it just your website where you sell your products? Where you first meet your client is just as important and the product or service you deliver to them. First impressions are golden. For me, I have all of my leads and potential clients filter through my contact form on my website. There, I can measure my potential clients seriousness, and I can control their experience with me. From all social media to random emails that come through, I always direct my soon to be clients to my contact form on my site. That may not be the first step for you. It may be answering calls or responding to DMs. Whatever is ideal to you, start there and go through your client’s entire time spent with you. Step by step you should have a process of a client coming to you and leaving from you. Much like when you walk into a store. You’ve arrived and you are greeted by a friendly, nice looking and happy person who tells you hello and asks if you need assistance with anything. The same thing applies virtually. Answer inquiries, reply to emails, send clients through your funnel and ensure their time with you is well spent. 

My client management software has taken a lot of the grunt work out of responding and keeping track of leads and valuable contact information. Find a tool or process that works for you. Ask yourself how you would feel going through your own client experience. Is it smooth? Are there questions you can answer for your client before they ask them? Building a brand is all about building trust and matching that trust with consistency and premier customer service. So, what is it that may change your clients mind about you? Don’t let an unfleshed out process stand in the way of your profit. People are turned away easily and when they are not catered to or if they don’t feel valuable, they’ll gladly spend their time and money elsewhere. 

If you get a DM, respond. If someone writes under a post on social media, like it and respond. If a potential client is standing in front of you, open your mouth and give your elevator speech. You don’t have the money to lose to a foreseen flaw that could’ve been ironed out before you began. Setup where your clients will find you and how you will respond.

Once you’ve gotten in contact with them, what’s the sales pitch? Why do they need you? What do you have to offer that’s of value to them. Remember, they need your product or service and that’s why they’ve reached out. Give them a great experience and a great reason not to turn you down. Now, I am an awful sales person. I do not like to sell to people, I don’t even like to network. It may be surprising because I can be outspoken but I really don’t like to talk to other people and convince them they need me. It’s just not my thing. So, with this company, my pricing is right on my website. My packages and offerings are available for anyone to see. I need that there to screen for serious inquiries. Now, anyone that comes my way won’t be a waist of my valuable time when they find out my pricing. I know my worth and I know where my goals are so I cannot offer deep discounts or change what I know I have to offer. Do things change in my business, yes. And things change per business also. My pricing is not available on the website for Caldwell Homes and Interiors. That ensures the privacy of my clients for that particular industry. Privacy for my clientele is a high priority on my list. The pricing sheet is only sent to those who I know will be clients. Every business has a different plan and a different feel. The Caldwell Creative is not Caldwell Homes and Interiors even though they are owned by the same person. They are two separate brands and the sites have very different feels. My process is similar but it is not the same. CHAI has a different intake process and a different client experience. It’s more personalized since those services offered take place in someones home. TCC has more of a phone and email process since most of the work there is digital and done online. 

When thinking of the process of your business, client intake is the first thing to be considered. You’ve also got to figure out how to deliver your services or product. Do you require packaging? Do you need an automated email sequence? What is it that your client will be impressed with when you hand it to them? 

Once you think of those things, you’re well on your way to delivering an unmatchable product/service to your ideal client. Iron out the beginning, middle and end process of time your ideal client spends with you. And, who is that ideal client anyway? Let’s keep going. We’re almost there!

All our love,

Niché + Shameka

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