You just got off the phone and got a new client! Score!
But now you have to write a contract, send it, hound her to get it back to you, get your invoice paid up, chase her to pay that, send her a link to your pre-questionnaire, get your first call on the books (14 emails later)…and that’s just for the first call.
Safe to say, without systems in place, it can get messy when it comes to managing everything you have to prepare for a new client. But it doesn’t have to be! Wouldn’t it be nice to just get off the phone, press a button and show up for the first call?
To fully automate this process, I recommend Dubsado as your client management system. Duck-taping a bunch of software to work together for free isn’t going to cut it if you want to get your time back so investing the time and money into a smoothly running process is key.
So here’s the juice on automating your client onboarding process:
You’re going to be creating what’s called a workflow. A workflow is a sequence of processes with which work passes from initiation to completion. The main components are Contract, Invoice, Pre-Questionnaire, Calendar.
Write an 80% templated contract for your clients. It’s important to have packages for your services, masterminds, etc… That way you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you get off the phone with a new client. There are really only 2 parts of a contract that may change – payment plans and timeline. That’s it. If you’re needing to change more than that in your contract, then you need to revisit packaging your offerings. Also, we recommend a lawyer look over your agreement to make sure you’re fully protected.
Place your contract in an e-sign platform (or into the recommended Dubsado). This makes it SUPER simple for your clients to sign because you don’t need them to print it out, sign it, figure out how to scan it, attach it to an email….you’re making your clients work too much. No wonder you’re having to follow up every 3 days.
Then once your contract is signed, create an integration so your invoice is sent automatically after.
Create an invoice that is easy for them to pay in full or choose their payment plans. This is usually a part of your accounting software (Quickbooks, Wave, Xero, etc…) or inside Dubsado. If they are on a payment plan or monthly retainer, you can create those automations within your software. Also, don’t forget to add your logo to keep it on brand.
Write a pre-questionnaire that prepares both you and your client for the project or offering. My pre-questionnaire takes about 45 minutes to complete. But guess what? Everyone fills it out because they can’t get on my schedule until that’s done. Don’t shy away from a lengthy questionnaire.
I preface the questionnaire like this – “If you want to get the MOST out of our calls, it’s important that I can prepare beforehand. This gives us time to just hop into the meat and potatoes when we talk. It may take you up to 45 minutes but that allows us to not waste 45 minutes on the call. ”
Use a calendar software to have pre-set times for calls. I use Acuity, but Calendly works great. Create the same times of availability. For example, mine are Wednesday and Thursday from 10am-2pm. That way you don’t have to keep updating your calendar with new times. If you need to take a vacation or take off, you can delete those times.
If you have these 4 components pre-made before you add a client, it will be smooth sailing from there which means you can dedicate more time towards benefiting your client than on unnecessary admin.