I give everybody an opportunity to book in for a free session with me to discuss coaching and how I may be able to help them and their business through this link. It means that the people I end up speaking to are qualified prospects. That is, they have already spent time sussing me out and having taking the leap to show their interest by contacting me. A few days ago I was talking to a new client about using the very same services for her business, so I thought I would let you in to the secret of this very useful tool.
If you are any kind of consultant, coach, creative, counsellor, therapist, health practitioner and so on, you will undoubtedly need to offer your prospective clients a chance to talk to you first about what you do and how it may help them. You want to be in a position that the people you speak to are qualified prospects for you and your business, rather than those ubiquitous tyre kickers.
That conversation gives YOU an opportunity to talk to them and find out whether they are the kind of person that a) you love working with, b) that you excel at working with, c) you are happy working with, and d) fall into your target audience. (Note the order of these!!). I’m quite choosy who I work with, and I very often refer prospects to other coaches if I think they would be better for them.
This initial meeting therefore is a perfect way for you to find out – for both of you – whether that relationship is going to be right for both parties.
What you want to do though is to make it very easy for people to book time with you. Even better, you want people to book time with you in their own time – whether that’s 7.30am whilst you’re getting the kids ready for school, 11am whilst you’re with other clients, or 10.30pm when you’re heading off to the Land of Nod. Convenient for them and convenient for you. Win-win!
If you google “booking calendar system” there are a variety of options that come up. All of the systems sync up with your Google Calendar or your Outlook calendar, so it’s important to make sure you chose one that can handle whichever online calendar you prefer to use. However I can give you my experience of two: Time Trade and Schedule Once.
Time Trade was the first one I used and has a low annual fee. It’s very easy to use, BUT you need to physically put your available time in your calendar, which can be annoying. However, once you’re over this little sticking point (and it can drive you bonkers if you don’t know that’s what you’re supposed to do!) then I think it’s a great system.
I’ve since moved on to Schedule Once. This has a monthly fee, and is definitely not as low as it could be (great business model though!). It can also be a little complicated getting the appointment types set up (for example, I have a Marketing Insight session and an Email Marketing Strategy Session on the above link, but I also have a separate link for clients so that can book their coaching sessions in with me…saves email to-ing and fro-ing!). But they do offer a free help call (I got one the same day – at the weekend) and once you’ve got your head around it, it’s relatively easy to use.
Schedule Once seems a more robust system, and as long as your online calendar is up to date, it just finds the available dates and times for the person booking, depending on the parameters you’ve set. You can set it to allow for travel time, loo breaks in between phone calls, only to give options of booking three weeks ahead if that’s relevant and so on. So there’s a lot more you can do with it to suit you and your business life.
So, I would encourage you to have a look at what options there are, and find a system that you like and can use, and that fits in with your budget.
If you want qualified prospects, then putting a ”Book a Chat with me” link on your site is a must. But just think what you can do when you set up an automated marketing funnel. For instance: promote free ebook – send auto-responder series – ask then to book in for a free session with you. And all automated! All you get then is qualified prospects and leads dropping into your diary! Happy Days 😉
Let me know how you get on, and if you have any questions, please do drop me a line.
Dedicated to your success as always