How do I get clients to take the first step and sign up for my services?
I am a small business consultant and offer a one hour free meet & greet meeting. I find potential clients want my advice, but when it comes to actually paying for my services they don't sign up. How can I get them to take the first step and sign up?
I have been in your shoes! Just know the first step is to realize you are a business. As much as you want to share your knowledge and expertise with others, this IS YOUR BUSINESS. During the first hour, listen to your clients, take notes. At the end of this hour, let the clients know what areas you have expertise and are willing to offer advice. Restate your charges while assuring them of your experience in dealing with their areas of concern. Finally, have them sign a contract for services outlining what you are able and willing to provide - with the fee expectations.
We all want to "save the world", however, this is a business for you and you have to ensure you are paying your bills as well.
It has my good fortune to be able to reach out to former employers and clients to let them learn about my services and my availability to them. Even long ago relationships can be warmed up and reignited.
in my experience for my first meet with new customer, i will gave them big discount or offer profitable package of my services, but if that was a very potential client i will gave them free of charge and i'm sure most of them will be interesting.
In my experience, it's best to limit the account of free consultation time that you dish out. 99% off all impressions are made within the first three minutes of meeting someone, so my recommendation is to get in, make a memorable impact and leave a business card on your way out. Offering something more then just your services is also a crucial part of securing a client, you have to give them a reason to start a relationship with you! Being lighthearted and easy going, or finding common things you both can talk about are just a few of the top of my head. Wish you all the best in your future endeavors!
I would not give advice that is Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, etc. until they have paid. I would outline what you desire to assist them with for their company's growth in general terms. In giving this one free hour, depending on how detailed you are with them, this does a disservice to your expertise. A consultation in my opinion should not include any specific advice or you lose money, and business.
I would say to shorten your meet and greet time to 15 to 30 minutes. Then tell them you have a 5 step strategy that would work great for them but only share 1 or 2 of them. In order to get the rest of the steps they have to sign up.
Meet and greet is great - as the others say, don't give too much away otherwise why would they come to you? Also, remember the power of silence. People generally hate silence and will do anything to fill the gap. State your business proposal then wait - and practice saying this before the meeting - you want to be friendly and not nervous or demanding. Don't keep talking and don't apologise.
You don't get them to. You don't convince them. They have to do that. Your job is to help them see the value. If you offer enough value (in their eyes - your opinion is irrelevant to their decision), they will take the next step. If you are seeing interest, but not getting sales, review how you are explaining the services. Center your discussions around outcomes, results, and value to the client. When you get this right, they'll sign.
Instead of giving away your talent, use a pay only for results strategy.
Send a contract to clients and not proposals. Also have a stop loss on each client after you reach you set time move on to next client.