Turning Prospects in to Long Term Clients (lessons from real life)
When we first spoke to the design team responsible for the user experience and design of PT Distinction V3 we had in mind a simple design project to make PT Distinction look awesome that would take a few months and cost in the region of $10,000 - $20,000.
There's a massive lesson to be learned from what they've done to turn a potential three months of work in to us being lifelong clients who are 100% delighted to be working with them.
The project has turned in to a total transformation of PT Distinction with improvements made to every single part of every single feature. It will go live nearly a year after our first discussion and we couldn't be happier!
We've already spoken to them about further projects and annual updates to ensure everything is always at the cutting edge of design and user experience.
Over the years this will probably add up to millions of dollars of work.
If you value holding on to long term customers rather than constantly chasing new ones this is the guide for you.
While some of the specific examples fit with a high end coaching model, everything can be made to fit lower priced coaching models easily enough.
So here's what they did and how you can use it in your online training business:
Before we became their client
1) They got to know us and really found out what we liked and what we didn't, they tapped in to our ethos and values by simply asking and taking the time to listen to our answers.
2) They showed us their previous work and the results of that work. Their focus was on projects they had recently completed that fitted with our interests and goals.
This also planted the seed in our mind that they did far more than simply designing and making things look pretty, they were the best UX designers we had ever seen.
>>>> Making this relevant to online training – Ask genuine questions and listen to your clients answers. Try to make everything relevant to them.
Show success stories of clients similar to the person in front of you or looking at your website. Show great results of your long term clients.
3) They broke up the job in to smaller more manageable financial chunks. If they started out by asking for $150,000 we would likely have turned around and run a mile. Instead they asked for a smaller investment up front to get them started, managed our expectations as to what this investment would likely get and produced it in a very time efficient manner.
>>>> Making this relevant to online training – Don't ask for 12 months of payment before you've proven yourself. If you have very few client success stories then offer something free to get started and show your value. If you have lots of testimonials, pictures and success stories ask for a short term investment up front.
After we became clients
1) The big one! They delivered on time and WAY exceeded our expectations.
>>>> Making this relevant to online training – Offer an amazing but easy to follow service. Give your clients far more than they imagined they would get for the price they are paying.
Clients will be expecting training programs and food plans, with the training, coaching and communication tools in PT Distinction you can crush their expectations in less time most online trainers would take to deliver a spreadsheet or PDF document!
2) Their customer service is exceptional, I get almost weekly email updates usually with links to the most recent concepts and we speak to the team over Skype every 2-3 weeks where they talk through everything, ask us for feedback and move forward with our wishes in mind.
>>>> Making this relevant to online training – Always be there for your clients, comment on their progress, chat to them and build a relationship. Ensure your clients feel supported, cared for and listened to at every stage. However, try to be natural and not to rigidly structured with with your communication.
3) At no point have they pushed us for more work or more money, in fact in the early days they focused on what we considered the most important things so that we could end the relationship at any time and be happy with the work we received.
>>>> Making this relevant to online training – Nobody likes a pushy salesperson! Put your client first and do an amazing job. Clients will respect you hugely for this. Earning the respect and trust of your clients is a huge part of creating long term relationships.
4) They briefly discussed with us what the next steps would be if we chose to continue, again nothing pushy, just facts and ideas. I.e. this is where we could focus our attentions in the next bucket of work should you wish us to.
Having exceeded our highest possible expectations at the beginning we were always going to say yes.
>>>> Making this relevant to online training – Show your clients what they have achieved while working with you and talk to them truthfully about what they can expect to achieve should they decide to continue long term.
Once clients achieve their initial goals help them create new ones. Show them the importance of having goals but emphasise the benefits of training and eating well as a life choice not just a short term fix.
Having always exceeded their expectations offer them the chance to continue with your coaching programs and achieve even more success.
Be a great person, do amazing work, show your amazing work to potential clients.
When people become clients deliver on time and do everything you can to always exceed their expectations.
Get these things bang on and you will probably never have to search for new clients again.
These clients would stay with you for years and be very willing to refer you their friends and family as they know you would do an amazing job.