How to Design aN Application Process That Works
Ask anyone who has ever offered a serviced based before and they’ll tell you that a certain percentage of clients simply will not (or can not) do the work. Sure, they love the idea of having a coach, consultant, or strategist. They might know a good one is the secret to business and life success. But for some reason, they just aren’t ready.
Maybe they aren’t as advanced as they think they are, and they choose the wrong program.
Maybe they’re simply professional students, who never intend to build a business, but instead just like to learn about it.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important that you eliminate these people from your potential high-end client pool.
This is especially critical if you are hosting a group event. It will be uncomfortable for everyone if you have 4 clients attending, and 3 of them are advanced students while one is just starting out. In addition, if you only work with clients who have reached a certain level of success, you’ll need to eliminate those who simply aren’t a good fit for YOU.
Pro tip: The ability to pay is NOT a good indicator of SUCCESS. Many people have (and spend) lots of money on training without ever doing the work required to get a business off the ground.
Design Your Application Process to Self-Select the Best Candidates
The easiest way to avoid clients who aren’t a good fit is to require an application before payment. This can be as simple as a PDF or email questionnaire with just a few questions. You can ask things such as:
• Who (and when) have you worked with before? What was the result?
• What exact results would you like to achieve from your experience?
• What type of business do you have? Is it successful?
These will all give you a feel for the applicant, and allow you to know ahead of time if she’ll be a good fit.
But you can help eliminate applicants who aren’t a good match simply by changing some of the language on your application. For example, you might ask about the applicant’s current income, but rather than allowing them to write in any answer, give them a list of choices. If you only work with people who are earning six figures and up, then a lack of those lower income brackets will be enough to make someone who’s just starting out think twice about applying. This is a way to make sure only qualified leads even make it to fill out your application. Now, people could fib here – of course – but there are other ways you can filter that out later in your application and contract.
You can do the same thing with language on other questions. If you only want to work with people who have a positive attitude about the services you are providing, then you might ask, “Tell me about the best experience you’ve had about (insert your service) and what you loved about it.” Negative Nancys will have a difficult time answering that one, and you’ll be able to spot them immediately.
There are many benefits to having an open ended way to get in contact with you and a very narrow difficult to fill out application for these VIP or business intensives. There is a place for both! And within this process, you can do both. You can use some easier answers to qualify them as a first round and get on an initial call (if you do calls), and then the much longer application once they pass the first round. Your workflow for the application process can go many directions but the point is to decide on the important questions and stick to them. Even if you only invite current clients to focus days (so you already know and like them) it’s still a good idea to have some kind of application process. After all, VIP days are far more intense than a monthly program or a 1:1 package service, so you want to be sure all applicants know what to expect. And the best way to do that is through a formal application. Be sure that not even your best client skips any question on your application. It will set the business intensive (or VIP day, whichever title you choose to give it) to the right foot!
If you ever need any help with your own workflow strategy, book a call with me and I would love to see how I can help you out!
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