Updated Jun 26, 2023

S2 EP2 – How to Create a VIP Client Onboarding Experience

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How to Create a VIP Client Onboarding Experience

Hi, and welcome back to the Six Figure Sales Funnels podcast. I'm your host, Dawn Marrs, and I am super excited to be back with you, bringing you actionable steps to help you grow your business with the power of automated systems. Now today, we're diving into a topic that has the power to transform your client onboarding experience and really your business overall.

Not only will this make your clients love you and stick to you like glue, you'll also get way more referrals and can charge premium prices. Okay, so today we're looking at the art and science of client onboarding. Or the way I prefer to think about it is the magic of a first-class client onboarding experience.

Your Competition

Let's be real for a minute. We're living in a hyper-competitive world right now. There are lots of people who do what you do. Lots of people who do what I do, maybe not as well as we do it, but your potential clients definitely have options. So as business owners, we have the choice. We either become the Walmart of our niche and price our services to be lower than our competitors, which essentially becomes a race to the bottom.

Or we get creative about finding ways to make our services worth more, which is what I would always recommend. One of the easiest ways to start commanding higher prices is to give your clients an amazing experience.

Why People Fly First Class

Think about it when flying people pay thousands of dollars more for pre-boarding, a little extra legroom and a glass of wine.

And really creating a first-class experience isn't actually difficult and doesn't cost the airlines much at all, but people are willing to pay for the added perks and VIP treatment, and it makes them way more money per person. Now just like creating a first-class experience for your clients, right? It doesn't cost you very much more to deliver, but it definitely gives your new clients that v i p feeling as they step into your world and start working with you.

You wanna provide an experience that is so good that it instills even more confidence in your program or service, and makes them feel like the investment they just made in working with you is the best decision they've ever made. Regardless of how much more your services cost than your competitor.

Because when you provide this VIP-type experience, cost no longer matters. So today we're focusing on how to roll out a first-class onboarding experience for your clients. This is gonna be one that feels high-end, doesn't cost you a lot to implement, but it's also extremely efficient and automated.

The Olden Days

I've been in business long enough to remember what it was like in the before Times air quotes, right when everything had to be done manually. When I first started, I manually sent a welcome email that I copied and pasted from a Word document each time. Every new client got a handwritten thank you letter, and I'm not proud to say that many of these never made it past my glove box.

Every contract had to be signed on paper and had to be either scanned or faxed back, which most people didn't know how to do, or they'd have to go into a Kinko's or a place like that to actually fax it back to me. So, I created sort of a pain in the ass that nobody enjoyed. Myself included, but definitely not clients.

So basically, every step of the process had to be done manually, which meant that getting a new client was a double-edged sword because yes, you got a new client, but you also had to instantly spring into action and do half a dozen manual steps, which might take a few hours per client.

The worst was signing a new client on Friday before a family vacation, or if you had exciting plans because you really can't delay client onboarding unless you wanna deal with buyer's remorse and refunds. So, getting a new client really used to be a showstopper if you wanted to provide really exceptional service.

The Beauty of Automation

Now things are different. Almost nothing has to be done manually anymore, and the cost of the technology to make it happen is within reach, even for very small or bootstrapped businesses. Honestly, there's really no excuse to have a bad onboarding process. And it really, it's magic for your business. It allows you to provide an exceptional experience for your client and it saves you the hours of work it takes to onboard a new client.

So that means you can close as many sales as you want on a Friday, and you can still say yes to happy hours. Isn't that fabulous? That's the dream, isn't it? More time, more freedom, and more revenue, and that's exactly what we're aiming for today and all with the power of automation. Now, before we jump into the automation specifics, let's take a step back and think about the answer to a crucial question and one that not everybody asks before they start the process of automating.

And that question is, what should we automate? The answer to that question is hiding right now in that old pack of sticky notes that's sitting on your desk, okay? Yes, you heard me right? Even though we're gonna implement almost all of the process digitally, sometimes the best planning solutions are just old school, tangible, simple, like sticky notes.

Sticky Note Roadmap

Okay, so here's what you're gonna do. You're gonna grab a bunch of sticky notes, or if you really prefer to do everything digitally, then open up an app on your iPad or tablet, something like Notability or good notes. Those are both good ones that have sticky note functions, and you're gonna write down each step that needs to happen during your onboarding process on a separate sticky note.

Some examples might include send payment link, make payment. Send contract, sign contract. Send welcome gift grant course access, Send scheduling link and so on, right? There are a lot of things that might need to happen during your onboarding process, and I want you to think of this as a brain dump of every action that you, your team, or your system must take, and every action that your client must take to complete the onboarding process.

That part's really important too, and it's one that a lot of people forget, but this part might require reminders, for example, to sign a contract, right? So if you have more than one color of sticky notes, This is helpful to use a different color to represent who is going be tasked with each step.

So an example again would be you, your team, your system, your client, with the goal being that the vast majority of on the onboarding process is handled by your system. This is also going give you the opportunity to look at what's not handled by your system and figure out is it something that can be automated? The answer is almost always yes, other than an in-person onboarding call.

For example, the only steps a client needs to complete are to sign an agreement and fill out their onboarding form. Now I still like to do my client onboarding meetings in person, but everything else is done by either my team or by my system, which has allowed me to basically eliminate myself from the process other than to show up for that meeting.

So you might be wondering, why do I recommend that you use sticky notes for this process? Basically, sticky notes make it really easy to rearrange, add, or remove steps. They allow you to visualize the entire process in a nice, in-your-face, tangible way, and they give you the flexibility to create a sequence of onboarding events that makes the most sense for your business.

The reason for this is you probably won't brain-dump everything in the right order. So the sticky notes are going to give you a way to easily arrange things before you actually build them. And I promise you it's much easier to rearrange them now than to change the process once it's built. Don't forget, once you're done with your sticky note onboarding roadmap, which is essentially what we're creating, you want to make sure to take a picture, because once you've got it all dialed in, this is going to be your automation guide.

Or you can think of it as like a blueprint for creating a first-class onboarding experience that makes your client feel like they are the most important part of your business. Because when you think about it, they really are. Now let's take a minute and consider the typical process for automating the client onboarding of a coaching business.

Steps to Automate Client Onboarding

All right, so let's say you've just had a successful discovery call. Your prospect has just said yes to your offer, and they are ready to dive into your signature program. What happens next? First things first payment usually, right? So, whether it's a transaction made over the phone or online, you want a smooth, efficient process for this step.

If you're going to accept payments online, ensure that you have a system in place to send them a payment link right away, preferably while you still have them on the phone or Zoom. And I probably don't need to tell you this, but if someone says they're going to call you back with their credit card number, they're probably not calling you back.

Okay. As a side note, we have an automated process to take care of people who ghost like that too. But the rule of thumb is that you get at least a deposit while you're still on the call. Delays in receiving money are the last thing that you want in your business. Okay? So once you've got the payment sorted out, your system should send a welcome email to your new client.

This email is going to serve as their guide. Think of it as an outline of the next steps, timelines, and expectations. One of the biggest reasons for refunds and buyer's remorse is miscommunication of expectations. So make sure your new client knows exactly what to expect and how to access their services with you.

After the welcome email, most coaches have a contract or a client agreement that needs to be signed. If you don't currently have one, you probably should have one. Okay. The mistake that I see most coaches make is they have a Word document, or, some other type of, document creation tool that they fill out when a new client signs up.

They're able to save that as a pdf, and then they email that to the client manually, who then has to figure out how to print it out. And lots of people don't have printers, so you now you're sending them down a whole nother rabbit hole and then somehow send it back to you. Now, it might only take you a few minutes to create this pdf, but it's totally unnecessary manual work for you, and it also creates a new job for your client.

And nobody appreciates that. The people who don't have printers do not appreciate having to go to some kind of a store where they have printers and print this out and sign it and scan it back to you. Nobody enjoys that, so please don't do that anymore. Okay? Instead, let's automate the process and make everyone happier.

Once this is automated. This is going to be a pre-built contract template that gets customized automatically with your client's information. It gets triggered once a payment for that specific product goes through. So think your signature program, the client pays for it, and automatically that lovely pre-built template goes.

It gets customized with their information and goes out to them. Okay? Now, there are lots of ways to make this happen. It really depends on the software that you're already using. So if you need help figuring it out, book a call. I'm going to give you that information at the end of today's show so that if you need help, you can get it now.

The magic doesn't stop there. Once your client signs this agreement online, either on their phone or their computer, it triggers the next step in the process. And this is really automation at its finest because your client is able to advance through the onboarding process without you or anyone else lifting a finger.

They literally make the payment and the contract gets sent. They sign it, it comes back, and the next step starts. Okay? Now, Most of the coaches and therapists that I've worked with, they have some kind of an intake form that they get clients to fill out. And this form just asks your client for any additional information you need in order to perform your service.

If you don't currently use an intake form with your clients, I just want you to think of them as like the ones that you fill out a new doctor's office. And when you think about being at a new doctor's office, the information that they ask you for, it's necessary for them to perform their service, right?

But. Don't know anybody who enjoys spending 45 minutes sitting in a waiting room at a doctor's office filling out a form that they could have easily just sent by email ahead of time. Like it, it is just not necessary. So, automating this process and sending an online form not only saves you valuable time, but also frees up the onboarding call for more pressing matters that can't be automated.

Now next, and this is a totally optional yet super personal touch, send a gift or a thank you card. You can do this really easily. Now with online services, like handwritten is one that I really like. You can have a pre-written thank you card in a handwritten font sent to your new client. Your system just needs to notify the service with your client's name and mailing address.

It's literally as simple as that, and it can be triggered immediately when they sign the contractor or when they pay you whichever one you want. Now. After this, it's time for your client to dive into your online program. It's going to be triggered again by the signing of the client agreement, and they're going to receive their access along with a welcome message and all their login information.

Now, if you don't already have part of your coaching program on a course platform, do yourself a huge favor and consider doing it. Having some prerecorded content can really cut down on the time you need to spend with each client and further their progress between sessions. So again, it's good for them and it's good for you.

Now. Next, your client might need to schedule an onboarding call. Remember, it's all about streamlining, so make sure you have a simple, effective system for scheduling these calls online. Scheduling tools are incredibly cheap these days, and they're like, there are so many different ones to choose from. If you need help, again, book a call.

But what I'm saying is there is no reason to have this, like back and forth. Hey, what time are you available? None of that. Just send them the link, let them schedule, okay? Now, this is not nearly everything that you can automate in your client onboarding process, but I wanted to give you some ideas for some simple things that you could do right now to make your client onboarding experience amazing for your clients and for yourself.


Okay, so we covered a lot today. We've talked about the importance of automating your client onboarding process, explored the nuts and bolts of what and how to automate, and hopefully I've been able to paint a vivid picture of how automating your onboarding process can seriously elevate your business.

Now I know that it can feel overwhelming. I do. Trust me. I understand. But remember, this is one-time work that will pay off in the long run and oh my gosh, it will pay off so much for you, I promise. And we're talking about happy clients for years to come, who feel well taken care of, and tell others about their experience.

That's going to allow you to raise your prices. We're talking about saving countless hours over the years, right? Because once you've done it one time, it's just going to keep working for you. So you're going to save countless hours that you can spend growing your business, refining your skills, hanging out with people who you love, doing things that you love.

Just sipping a blue moon on the beach, if that's something you're into, right? That sounds like where you and I can meet up. But more than that, it's about making a killer first impression and creating a first-class experience. Your clients will tell other people about. And with automated client onboarding, you are ensuring that first impression is a great one consistently for every single client.

Setting the tone for great relationships and for future referrals.

Here's the best part. You don't have to do it alone. At Marrs Marketing, we've helped automate hundreds of businesses. If it can be automated, we have done it. And in fact, the client onboarding process that I just outlined for you today is part of our six Figure Sales Funnels program, which is currently open for enrollment.

So if you're ready to automate and scale your business, I am here and ready to help. Visit MarrsMarketing.com/booknow. Now, together we can create systems that work for you, freeing up your time and energy for the things that you love.

If you love this episode and want to continue the automation journey with me, be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. That way you'll never miss an episode of the 6 Figure Sales Funnels podcast. Remember, automation isn't just about working less. It's about earning more, living more, and making the most of your incredible potential.

So until next time, keep dreaming, keep growing, and keep automating.

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