Online Client Booking System: How To Create A Free Consulting Funnel
In my opinion, client booking is one of the most challenging yet exciting parts of running a coaching or live event for a business. To succeed in attracting your dream clients, you need an effective marketing strategy. In case you don’t have such a strategy yet, I’ll be introducing you to an online strategy called the “consulting funnel.” This type of funnel is a great way for you to get customers. Read on to discover what this is about, and how it can work for you.
Client Booking Strategies To Grow Your Network
In This Article:
- The Consulting Funnel
- What Free Consultation Is All About
- The Consulting Funnel Roadmap
- Booking Clients To A Free Session
- Getting Clients Into Your Program
- Structuring Your Funnel
- Upselling Clients To Your Other Programs
- Utilizing Facebook Ads
- Creating Your Free Gift
- Creating Your Video Content
- Qualifying Potential Customers
- The Qualifying Questionnaire
- Other Ways To Qualify Potential Customers
- The Money Metric
- Advantages Of The Consulting Funnel
- Looking At The Numbers
The Consulting Funnel
The purpose of the consulting funnel is actually to book free consultations for you. You might have already heard about this before. A lot of times people refer to them as “free coaching sessions” or “free strategy sessions.” This is because what coaches or consultants do is they give away their time to learn about a potential customer’s situation. Then they get to tell that person about their services, thus creating a way for them to gain a client.
Going to networking events to meet new people and grow your network can get you new clients. However, ultimately we find that most coaches and practitioners don’t really have a solid system to get clients to come to them.
As we are in the 21st century, online marketing is a big thing. At the same time, it is also a big concept for most people. Most of them have a conceptual understanding of it, but they never actually build an online funnel that brings clients to them. That’s a problem.
Some businesses are built by means of referrals. While that’s a great model, and I’m sure it works for some people, it’s also an outdated model of client booking if that’s the sole means of how one grows a business.
Now, clearly, some business owners might be using referrals in an extraordinary way to grow their business. I don’t recommend getting rid of the referral system. I think it’s brilliant, and some of your best customers will even come from that.
However, if you don’t have a model that’s bringing in leads and traffic into your business, then there’s a problem. Especially if you don’t have anything to bring in qualified buyers whom you can have a free consultation with. If this is your situation, in my opinion, you don’t really have a business. Certainly, you don’t have a business set up for the 21st century.
What Free Consultation Is All About
Now I want to walk you through this funnel and share how we and our clients are applying it in our business. First, you need to understand what a free consultation is all about. It’s a 45 to 60-minute session wherein your goal is to ask your client questions (in our Message To Millions training, we teach the 12 critical questions to reveal your client’s most important goals).
In this one-on-one time with them, you will understand what they value most, what makes them tick, and what makes them take action. As you find these out, you can now make an offer for your services, products, or programs. That is the purpose of a free consultation.
So how do you bring somebody in for a free consultation?
The Consulting Funnel Roadmap
First, run a Facebook advertisement. This is actually the primary way we bring in traffic into our business. This Facebook ad leads people to a free gift. The goal here is to get your target market’s email addresses—ask for that as an exchange, so you can send their free gift.
Step three, get them to watch the “free consult” video. The Facebook ad brings the lead and drives the traffic. The free gift captures the lead through the email addresses. The moment they download the free gift, they are redirected to another page with a video. The goal of this video is to offer them a free consultation with you.
Typically, this video is five to nine minutes long. The challenge for you is to create good content that sells why your viewer should book a strategy session with you. However, the way you do it should also be able to pre-qualify if the viewer is a good prospective customer.
What you want is for them to watch a good amount of the video (if not the whole), because, by the end of it, they will be redirected to a booking calendar. You don’t want clients who will just book a free consultation with you without having any idea about what’s going on.
Booking Clients To A Free Session
The video we have been discussing has a very specific purpose: indoctrination. You’re getting your target market to consume your material. They’ll get to know you, your story, and a little bit about what you do. Then you’re going to discuss what’s going to be covered in your coaching session. The client will click a button, and a calendar will pop up for them to book a session with you.
When I say your dream clients being “delivered to you,” I’m talking about an ideal client booking scenario. This is you creating a Facebook ad that reaches out to your target market. Then you let your online marketing take them through every step of the process to get on your booking calendar. Rather than going out and chasing clients, you’re just showing up to appointments.
You can use a free online booking calendar or find the best appointment scheduling software for client booking. Some popular scheduling tools are AppointmentCore and TimeTrade. However, there are other different calendar systems where your prospects can pick a time, and it will be synced right into your calendar.
In terms of the funnel, your goal is to have your viewer book a session with you. Once they do that, your next goal would be to have them join your program.
Getting Clients Into Your Program
— Ted McGrath (@ted_mcgrath) September 9, 2017
A good price point to sell your programs depends on what kind you have. When you make an offer to your prospect, get your intention is for them to join a group program. Now, why a group program?
Most likely, you’d be selling this kind of program between $1,000 to $7,500. It can either be a six to eight-week phone coaching course or a live event — maybe even both. Remember that you will be offering this to your dream clients for client booking over the phone. I highly recommend that you choose what kind of group program you will have to offer.
Structuring Your Funnel
I want to talk to you about how you can structure your funnel. First, you figure out what your group program will offer. Then you set a goal for the number of clients you want to have. For instance, your program is a six to eight-week phone coaching course with ten clients. Let me share with you what one of my clients, Alex Moscow, did. He offered the same kind of program over the phone. He was able to price it at $5,000 for the ten clients he taught.
One of my other clients, Tyler Watson, had a goal of ten clients for his group course which he sells for $2,000. With the ten clients, he made $20,000. You can see how lucrative this funnel could be in helping you fill your actual programs.
Some of you might not have group programs yet. Maybe some of you have services that you sell, like a one-on-one consultation. You can still do that, but it’s much more lucrative to do it in a group. A group program will cut the time you spend for one-on-one sessions. It will give you more opportunities to coach more people, and thus earn more.
Now, I’m going to share with you how I learned that this client booking funnel really works. Once a client experiences your six or eight-week program, they’re going to want more. Your revenue is not really just from the initial group program. You can earn more by upselling your clients into your year-long programs.
Upselling Clients to Your Other Programs
I’ll give you Tyler Watson’s story as an example for this. For $2,000, clients get on a group course with him over the phone. Then, eventually, they come to his live event.
In those live events, he has 20 to 30 people, and he makes several hundred thousand dollars over the course of a weekend. One of his strategies for getting people into his live event is the 12-week group phone course he offers. He then bonuses his clients with a live event, where he eventually upsells them to his year-long program.
You can see that the larger revenue comes from upselling rather than new client booking. While you make some good money from your group program, more profit comes in when you upsell your clients to your year-long program.
Utilizing Facebook Ads
Earlier, we talked about creating Facebook ads to jump start your online marketing. Some of you might not know how to start creating and utilizing this marketing tool. If that is the case, then you need to learn how to do it. I and my team actually help our clients set up and successfully run their Facebook ads.
This marketing tool will help you gain leads, and it will grow your email list. Learning how to utilize Facebook ads is a critical component to apply the consulting funnel. Through this, traffic will come in and you will get people to download your free gift.
On the other hand, that gift should be something compelling that your target market wants. The moment they download it, they also become committed. They’re engaged in a different way because they’ve given you their email address.
Creating Your Free Gift
Usually, these “gifts” that are given away freely are in the form of a PDF file or an eBook. It can also be a free presentation template that teaches how to do an online presentation.
The cool thing about this is it shouldn’t take you very long to create. The tricky part is thinking through and coming up with the kind of gift you want to give. Naturally, it should be a slice of the services you offer.
For instance, giving away a free presentation template might work for one person. They might be able to get clients and build a business from doing that. However, that client booking strategy may not work for another person. You need to really put an effort into creating a free gift that is related to what your business is about. Plus, it should compel your target market to avail your offer and bump your client booking.
What I like about the concept of free gifts is that it moves people to take action. Not only do they download the free gift — they also give you their email address. There’s more of an exchange there, which starts the relationship.
Now, once they give you their email address, you will redirect them to your free consult video.
Creating Your Video Content
As I have mentioned earlier, the goal of this video is to get prospective clients to have a free consultation with you. This has the same idea as them booking a session. For your video content, you need to prepare a short topic that gives a gist of what you teach. Remember, you have five to nine minutes to talk about this, and try to sell the viewer for a free consultation with you.
I’ll share with you a template that you can follow when you create your own video content. Your spiel can go like this: “Hey, congratulations! This is (your name). Your free gift, the (free gift you offer), is on its way to your inbox. It will be there shortly. Before you go there, I want to share with you (the introduction to your short topic). I’m going to teach you that in this video.”
“Also, at the end of this, I’m going to give you an opportunity to get a free strategy session with me. If you want to take me up on that free strategy session, I’ll tell you in a little bit what we’re going to cover in it.” And then you start talking about your short topic.
In using this structure, you are seeding the fact in the beginning that you’re going to offer a free strategy session to your viewers. Still, the chunk of it is you teaching them and giving them a gist of what your program is about. This is so they can understand your system before they say yes to a free consultation. Just because you’re giving away a free gift, doesn’t mean you want just anyone in your strategy session. You want your potential customers to be as qualified as possible.
The cool thing is, you don’t have to be phenomenal with Facebook ads to get good results (although you do need to offer really good gifts). The real key here is to first launch the consulting funnel. Then, tweak it along the way so you can get your desired results and client booking.
Qualifying Potential Customers
You can actually sift your viewers for potential customers by structuring your free consult video in a certain way. One way you can qualify your prospects is by not placing the booking session button at the start of the video. Wait for at least five minutes before putting it out there. By doing this, you are making your viewers watch five minutes of your video to determine if they are really interested.
If they stay for five minutes, it’s a telltale sign that they are interested in what you have to offer. You might be getting fewer people to book, but you are getting more qualified people who are really invested.
“More qualified” doesn’t necessarily mean that they actually have the money. I will share with you later how you can qualify someone based on their income. However, the first way how you can distinguish potential customers is by the interest they show in watching your video.
The Qualifying Questionnaire
Another step you can have before the session-booking part is a questionnaire. Through this, you can pre-qualify your viewers before they actually book a session with you. So your process will go like this:
- Target market clicks on your ad and downloads your gift
- They watch a good portion of your video
- A button pops up where they will be given a questionnaire to answer
- Once the answers have been submitted, the client booking calendar button appears
I and my team also use the questionnaire to qualify potential customers. We have a series of 15 questions that the viewer needs to ask or answer. Once they complete this, they can now book a strategy session with us.
Think about it. After answering that questionnaire, chances are, they are now even more qualified in terms of their level of interest.
Other Ways to Qualify Potential Customers
There are some people whose goal is to set up as many appointments as possible. This is because they want to practice their skills in enrolling clients over the phone.
Then there some who are like my client David. He has a brand called Man On Fire. David has become really good in enrollment after he trained with me over the last year and a half. His business has grown so much that he doesn’t want to get on the phone with just anybody.
In his video, he talks about how you need to qualify for the coaching session. Then in the middle of the video, the viewers fill out a questionnaire. David’s team reviews the answers and that’s how they decide if the person is eligible for a phone consultation and client booking with them.
It’s not a disrespectful move at all, and I like it because they’re helping someone figure out if they’re a good fit for David’s program. Since the program is in demand, they’re also saving time by only picking those with potential. They are not trying to put anybody down by doing this. They’re sorting out quality leads by making sure that they are going to fit with the higher-tier programs. After all, that type of program costs a good amount of money.
That’s basic and simple. It’s an intelligent move to have a qualification process. Moreover, it will ensure that you’re getting on the phone with the right people.
The Money Metric
— Ted McGrath (@ted_mcgrath) September 7, 2017
Another qualifying system you can use is the money or income metric. In the questionnaire, you ask for the income range of the person. If their answer falls below the minimum amount you set, they will automatically be informed that they’re currently not qualified for your free strategy session. You might lose some people by doing this. However, at the same time, you’re going to gain more free time for quality people.
Through questionnaires and automated client booking, you will get to know your potential customers even before you meet them.
Advantages Of The Consulting Funnel
The consulting funnel is a great system, especially for those who are starting out in the coaching and live event business. Jumping right into selling your products online might be profitable. However, most likely, it’s going to be initially tough because of the labor you will exert.
Using the consulting funnel can be just as lucrative because you’ll be selling through the phone. Further, with this, you don’t need to exert so much effort just to sell. Plus, this system gives you an opportunity to earn more by upselling your customers to your higher-tier programs.
The results are, of course, case-specific. There are so many variables involved that I can’t guarantee results for anybody. What I can assure you is that the people who use the consulting funnel get leads. Plus, they gain buyers — which is what you want for your business.
Looking At The Numbers
Let’s go back to advertising. Remember that you put money into ads. Let’s say you put in a dollar for your ad spending — naturally, you want a return for your money.
I’ll tell you about what David did. He put in about $12,000 for the first 90 days of his ad spending. In doing this, he got 6,000 leads added to his list. You might be overwhelmed by the amount he spent to grow his list. However, you don’t start off a client booking strategy just by putting $12,000 in. You begin with a daily budget and you test to see if it’s working. You’ll know it’s working when you’re getting people to book free consultations.
Eventually, the $12,000 that David spent made him $20,000 in the first 90 days. He also made another $57,000 at his live event by upselling four clients to his higher-tier programs. Add that to what he earned in his first 90 days, and he earned $77,000.
He got his return in about 120 days, from the time he put the money into the time he got it back. He initially spent $12,000 for ads. Then he made a total of $77,000 in income. For every dollar he put in, he made nearly $6.50 back.
I highly recommend that you start learning the consulting funnel and getting in the game. Once you become a pro at this, you stand to have a lucrative business.
Client booking may be challenging, but it will certainly pay off once you master how to do it. One of the ways you can achieve that is by using the consulting funnel. Learn this system, practice it, and don’t hesitate to own it so you can produce the best results!
What is your biggest challenge in client booking? Let me know in the comments section below, and we’ll see how we can help you overcome it.