As a sole trader or small business owner you tend to wear an awful lots of hats, most certainly in the beginning of your business. Many people chose to work to a regimen and either use checklists or folders to get work completed. I did both for a time but what really transformed my business was creating an onboarding form.
Why you ask? Simply because now I was offering every single person that contacted me the same product / service. I'm human and capable of mistake and having this simple form meant it took away the risk of forgetting to ask something. It helped me cross check with my customer and ultimately offer the same or at least similar experience to each of my customers.
This simple form also helped me garner analytics as well. By asking where they came across my information; either by referral, social media or Google search I was able to ascertain what was working and why.
Over time my form has evolved (as it should) and as I learn new skills, improve my analytics or better understand what my audience wants from me I add a new field to my sheet. In two years this form has gone from 11 headings on one page to a densely populated 2 pager!
The best place to start is at the beginning. They’ll always be the absolute minimum requirements, such as:
· Date Started
· Price Agreed
· Payment Plan?
· PO Number
What I mean by this - is information they offer freely when they first contact you. That initial email or phone call will pretty much always mention their main pain point. Your potential customer feels you can “fix” what is a problem for them – whether it’s a service or a product. By simply listening from the get-go you can establish very quickly what they are looking and determine a follow up.
On my onboarding form, I list a range of products and services I offer and as the customer mentions it I highlight what they’re looking for. This helps me respond and I then repeat back what they are looking to do with me and then list how I can help.
The very action of repeating what is a problem for them sympathetically and offering a useful response is normally enough to get you the sale. I appreciate some people call to “tap you” for information – it happens to me too – but the very act of someone contacting you means if you’re helpful enough you stand a chance of getting them to buy.
These are the wonderful moments when your customer expresses relief, happiness or surprise in how you have helped them. Over the years these moments can define how much your audience will end up working with you.
I know you may want to hold back on certain information until they have physically parted with the cash but if you explain in clear terms the feeling of satisfaction they are going to have after receiving your product or service (Features Tell, Benefits Sell) then you can entice your customer to a sale.
To this end I have a list of outcomes, phrases and testimonials that help push the sale over the line.
You may find adding elements like the ones listed below to ensure you follow through as well.
Added to CRM
Upsell – Item 1, Item 2
The whole point of an onboarding form is to simplify and streamline what you’re already doing. From the time I started implementing one I felt so much more in control and have improved the customer experience many times over for my business. Is time you considered one for yours?
If you have any questions on this or would like further information on any of my services, please do not hesitate to contact me.