So you want a thriving business, but you HATE thinking about sales?
Maybe you cringe a little when you hear the words “lead gen” or “selling in the DMs”?
Maybe you think of all the sleazy salesmen you’ve met over the years, the ones who pressured you into buying things and made you feel uncomfortable the whole time?
It can’t be just me?!?!
Honestly, the thought of “selling” in that way still makes my stomach churn!
I know there is power in it. I know it needs to be done sometimes.
BUT, I figured out a way to take the pressure off of my sales process and still thrive, and it’s been such a game-changer!
In fact, in a design firm I worked in previously, we kept our revenue in the millions and only needed to land 2-4 “cold” clients each year to do so sustainably!
What’s the secret?
It’s the client experience!
Seriously, that’s the key. Let me explain…
Some people will probably be a little annoyed at me for pointing this out, but I’m seeing it OVER and OVER again in the creative industry, and it is driving me CRAZY.
Right now, everyone is talking all about the client experience and how important it is.
Which is amazing! Because as someone who spent years as the Director of Client Services in an NYC branding firm, I appreciate firsthand how valuable a client experience is.
But then they go on to describe their client experience…and they start talking about their design or creative process – how they approach projects, why they are different than others, and how they deliver the work they promise.
When thinking about your client experience, you need to first and foremost be empathic to your clients. You need to think about every step in the process from THEIR point of view, by putting yourself in their shoes.
A well-designed client experience starts at the very beginning and follows through to after you deliver the final product. It considers your client’s struggles, concerns, the demands on their time, and the best ways to communicate with them at each point.
Ok, so you know you need to intentionally craft a fantastic client experience, but where do you even start!?! Well…let’s start at the beginning.
Before you can improve your client experience, you need to know what it is! So start by mapping it out!
Think about your most recent projects and clients. Draw a map of every single touchpoint, communication, milestone, and process they went through as they worked with you. Include it all, from sales straight through to the off-boarding process.
(PRO TIP: Use Trello and create a card for each map item. It will make it easy to rearrange, add, or remove pieces as you need to! And it can serve as documentation as you go forward and continue to improve and refine!)
Once you have the entire experience mapped out, look for opportunities and gaps.
You’ll probably notice that some steps are more complicated than they need to be. Other steps might be common stumbling blocks or be missing completely!
Now is the time to address these areas! Think about how you can solve or improve upon them.
Once you nail the right steps, start looking for places you can systematize or automate to make your life easier!
Think about leveraging…
There are so many tricks and tools to make your entire process run more efficiently and effectively!
And just to clear up a common misconception, automated and systematized DOES NOT mean it has to be or feel impersonal!
You can craft each piece to your audience and make sure it is authentic to you. Simple tweaks, updates, or customizable areas make everything feel tailored to each client without reinventing each step every time!
Establishing a consistent experience builds trust with your clients and allows you to offer premium service while simultaneously freeing up your time. Which means you can spend more time doing what you love and focus on delivering the incredible creative work your clients came to you for!
Now you have your roadmap. Your client experience is mapped out, streamlined, and optimized to a T.
But we’re not done yet.
Mapping your client experience is just the starting point as you begin to intentionally craft the best client experience you can.
We want your client experience to WOW your clients and turn them into raving brand advocates. We want them so blown away they tell their family, friends, dentist, hairstylist…everyone about you and how amazing your services are!
To take it up to that level, you need to consider the client experience from their point-of-view.
I want you to REALLY think about how they will experience each point along the way.
Consider how they FEEL at each point.
Ask yourself how you can…
You get bonus points if you can find little ways to add joy for them along the way!
Your client came to you for a reason. They have a problem they want you to solve for them. They have a need that they’ve acknowledged and are willing to invest their money, time, and energy to solve.
Your clients are not some faceless company, regardless of how big their employer is (or isn’t)! They are real people. And people are driven not just by their intellect, but by their emotions.
They never want to worry that you forgot them, dropped the ball, or cut corners.
At its core, an exceptional client experience must enable us to serve our clients to the best of our abilities. Not just by delivering a quality product or service, but in how we treat them, how they feel along the way, and how well we meet all their needs.
Carefully crafting your client experience this way will result in happy clients and raving brand advocates who keep coming back and sending more referrals your way!
How are you going to WOW them?
Because I promise…when you can really WOW your clients consistently, your business will BOOM! You’ll get booked out with recurring clients and referrals who love working with you, trust you, and view you as a partner. You’ll be doing the creative work you love and THRIVING!
And if you want a little help crafting, optimizing, or even automating your client experience, email me or schedule a free strategy call! I’d love to share some insights, give you some tips and tricks, and help you take your business from just surving to thriving!