Key Values for me include fun, accountability, initiative and empowerment.
In every interaction I want clients and potential clients to pick up on these themes. One way this shines through is in the Welcome Process. (In corporate speak, this would be known as “on-boarding”!)
Your key values may differ, still I encourage you to clarify now what your vision is for serving your client. Having a process for bringing your new client into your tribe is imperative to you building a long-lasting relationship.
Why do you want a long-lasting relationship with your clients?
Clients who love you and have an excellent experience from the very beginning are going to be your raving fans. You’ve heard of them, right? These are the people who can’t wait to run around and tell everyone they know how awesome you are. When they’re running around telling their friends, family and clients about you, you’re saving time and money in the marketing and advertising department of your business, which means you can spend more time doing what you love. When you do more of what you love, you can serve more clients and ultimately make more money.
Making more money and serving people you love ensures that you qualify as a profitable palmist and extends the reach you have for changing the world in a positive way.
I want you to succeed so much – there are 7.4 billion people in the world right now. That’s almost 15 billion hands to be read! We need each other to serve humanity and help empower the people living around the earth!
Here’s how I welcome a new client into the Coaching by Hand tribe. Follow these steps and use this link to get the sample templates I use to create your own branded welcome wagon.
Before the Booking
Prior to booking I have a conversation with everyone who is interested in a Coaching by Hand preliminary reading. I’ve titled my readings this way to ensure my audience knows that I’m not doing predictive palm-readings and that I’m here for the long haul, helping them to become empowered and take action to live their best, most fun life. (See how that goes back to my core values?)
In a future post I’ll go into detail about my pre-booking conversations, but for now I want you to know that this is a really casual conversation, not a sales call. I ask them a couple of questions by email before we schedule the appointment, then I have some topics to discuss when we’re on the phone.
Once the client decides to book a session with me, I send them a link for payment and remind them to make sure that the address on their payment is the one where they want their welcome package to arrive.
For payment processing I use Paypal and have for more than 10 years.
After the payment is processed I send out a quick email to connect personally and confirm the mailing address. It drives home the point that the reading is going to be fun, that the client made a wise and empowered choice in booking a session and it gives them a quick idea of what to expect as far as timing of their package and returning their prints.
I process and mail Welcome Packages once a week and that’s noted in the email the client receives, that way they’re not wondering what’s going on and they have an idea of when to expect their goodies.
Here’s what I include in the Welcome Package:
- A cover letter outlining what’s in the package and thanking them again for choosing to work with me
- Ink sheet (I use Sirchie)
- Detailed instructions for making hand and fingerprints
- A FAQ sheet, answering the most commonly asked questions about making and submitting ink prints and detailing what to expect once I receive their pritns
- A client intake form
- A waiver allowing me to use their prints with non-identifying information for teaching purposes
- A Memorandum of Understanding,to clarify my policies on fees, what’s included in readings, and my scheduling and no-show policies. In addition this stresses that the client has 60 days from the date I’ve mailed their Welcome package to make and return their prints
- A handwritten note, telling them how excited I am to work with them and usually including a personal tidbit I’ve gleaned from our conversation.
(wanna see samples? I’ll send ’em to you when you fill out this form!)
Be Sure to Track Your Ink Kits
I add the client’s name, email, mailing address and date mailed into a chart I’ve created in my bullet journal. There is a column for date returned and date of reading, too. I love analog tracking because I have a history of blowing out computers through my own clumsy habits of spilling water across keyboards and similar shenanigans. The point, of course, is having a tool that you’ll use to keep track of where your welcome packages are going and when they come home.
So Who Wouldn’t Send Back Their Prints?
In the early days of my business, when I was trying to be everything to everyone, at least half of the people who paid for readings never made their prints and sent them back. It was frustrating to me and probably to them too. If you’re reading this, I know you are not the kind of person who wants to get paid for doing nothing. You want to deliver results to your clients, right? So did I.
I spent two years investigating this challenge and realized that my approach of trying to serve everyone, was actually a pretty bad approach. (I know, duh! I had years of corporate sales and marketing experience, which taught me to be specific in my approach but when it came to my own business somehow I was afraid of leaving anyone out. Don’t let this happen to you.)
I made a few tweaks — including adding a 60 day deadline in my paperwork, raising my rates, and finding ways to assuage clients’ potential fears prior to booking — and now 90% of the clients who book with me return their prints within a week of receiving their welcome package!
Once the Ink Prints are Returned
When the ink prints are returned I email the client right away. (You’re probably catching on that I’m an email type person. I prefer emailing over phone calls or texting. You may prefer something else, but it’s important to know HOW you want to do business and set that tone for your clients up front.) I call it managing expectations and the more ways you can do that for your clients up front the happier you both are going to be.
The email subject line is YOUR PRINTS ARE HERE! And the email tells them how excited I am that I’ve received their prints. I include a link to my scheduling system with instructions for them to use it and make their appointment. I use TimeTrade.com which syncs with my google calendar. My understanding is that it also syncs with iCal, Outlook and other calendars too.
Using Timetrade has made my life so much easier! I set up specific times for each of the types of appointments I make on a regular basis (new client chats and one-to-one coaching by hand sessions) and then I can forget it. The system automatically syncs with my calendar, so if I’m on vacation or already booked, I can’t be double-booked (as long as I keep MY calendar straight). I’ve also set up welcome notes that inform the client of the number to call for their appointment and ask any questions I want them to answer prior to our call/session. It’s a win-win!
I do Coaching By Hand calls on Mondays and Tuesdays and on Wednesday evenings. Those are the only times I make available. It’s up to the client to find a time that works for them. I make this clear in my Memo of Understanding and in all conversations and communication leading up to this point. This way no one is surprised to find that they may need to wait a couple of weeks to schedule their appointment. Remember what I said about managing expectations?
Once the client, has booked their appointment I send them one more email from me (not the automated system) letting them know we’re booked and reminding them what to do if they find they can’t make their appointment. This is a friendly reminder that they can cancel and reschedule without penalty within 48 hours of their scheduled time, using the timetrade system. It also makes the point that if they have an emergency the day of their appointment they should call or text me at my private number to let me know as soon as they know they won’t be able to make their appointment. I use my discretion in charging a re-book fee when this happens. This ties back to my core values of accountability and empowerment. My clients are always encouraged to make choices that are in their best interest and I give them plenty of opportunities to succeed. Since I make my expectations and policies clear at every step along the way, there are very few people who ever incur a penalty or miss their appointment – in the past year there was one person out of a few hundred!
In this email I also confirm that they have the number to dial (I use Freeconferencecallhd.com) and access code to use on their calendar. If they are an international client I confirm their Skpe information and remind them that they will be recording their own session if they desire a recording. This is also when I confirm time zones! (I discovered that while parts of Europe also has Daylight Savings time, their dates don’t always coincide with those in the US.)
How I Work with the Prints
Once I receive prints, I complete my portion of the Client Intake Form, review the question or topic they want to address and make notes for myself based on what I see in the hands.
My clients make and submit two copies of their prints to me, so sometimes I use one set to write on and I keep the other set clean to scan and use for teaching purposes.
Once I’ve done a quick overview of the prints I put them, the client information form, the signed paperwork and my notes in a file folder and set them aside by date in anticipation of their reading.
Conducting the Session
On the day of the reading, I pull out the client’s folder and review my notes, jot down any other questions or thoughts that come to mind and clear my space and my head to conduct readings.
I always ask for guidance from my highest and best self to be present during each reading of the day and set the intention that the client will receive the information that is most important for them at that moment in time.
10 minutes (or so) prior to each appointment I send the client an email reminding them of the number to call and their access code and then I get on the line to wait for them to call in.
Once the client arrives I welcome them warmly and let them know what they can expect during our time together over the next hour. I then ask their permission to start the recording and we go from there.
At the very beginning I remind the client that while I may be the expert on hands, they are the expert on themselves and therefore nothing in their hands should come as a shock or surprise. I remind them that our session is going to be collaborative and that my intention is that they leave their session with insight and an actionable plan to use going forward.
Throughout the session I pause and ask questions and allow time for the client to process what we’ve discussed and ask their own questions.
Ending the Session
At the 50 minute mark I take a break and let the client know we’re about to wrap up. I give them the opportunity to ask any final questions or to fill in any information they need. Then I give a brief re-cap of everything we’ve discussed and addressed during their Coaching by Hand Session. I enumerate the action steps we’ve created and ask them for their commitment to following through. Then I end by thanking them for their time and openness and ask their permission to follow up in 30 days to see how their action plan is working out.
As we close, I let them know that they’ll be receiving my newsletter if they haven’t already subscribed and let them know that I have various options for continuing in a coaching capacity to address the question they had at the beginning of our session.
If they ask for details about coaching, I give them a brief outline of how it works and let them know I’ll send the details in an email with their recording.
If they aren’t interested in coaching, I let them know I will be sending the link to their recording via email within 24 hours.
Once again, I thank my client for being open and sharing their time with me and encourage them to follow up with anything that they’d like to share after our reading.
You can see that I’m a high-touch practitioner. You can certainly automate many phases of this process, but I like building intimacy and trust through manually generated emails and handwritten notes throughout this process. This works for me because it allows me to incorporate my life lesson and life purpose throughout the process and feels most authentic for me.
Go ahead and sign up to get the templates that I use and make them your own!
What else do you want to know about welcoming new clients to your Palmistry Practice?