Obviously if you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business. But there can be subtleties to get clients to commit to working with you. You have to ASK for the sale.
Today I’m talking about getting your clients and customers to make micro-commitments.
Lock them in with small, easy actions and you could create life long customers!
I had two interesting experiences lately to explain what I mean.
Always have something to offer your customers
I go to this local nail salon that NEVER turns away a potential customer.
Even if all the technicians are busy, they’ll sit you down, put your feet in some warm water and give you a magazine. Some even give you water. You’re committed.
Even if you sit there for twenty minutes, you’re committed. And you feel like you’re being taken care of, even if you don’t get service straight away.
You’re not going to dry off your own feet and leave because you feel like you’re in the process of being served. You are invested in being a customer.
Contrast this to another salon I went to on holidays. I just need a quick pedi. I hate the whole massage, soak thing. Just give me a quick scrub and paint.
The place was totally empty. Not a single customer. Yet, they told me they were booked out with appointments, but they could fit me in tomorrow? Nope. Can’t be bothered. If they had asked me what I wanted, I could have been out of there in ten minutes.
I’ll tell you how this applies to your online business in a moment.
Offer alternatives – gain a new, loyal customer
Then it happened again in another context – a restaurant.
Last week, we wandered into a half empty restaurant around 6:15pm. (When you eat with a toddler, you eat early – both for your sanity and out of respect for other diners!)
They couldn’t fit us in because they were booked out. Lots of apologies but we were out the door without a table. One of the tables was booked for 7pm. Seriously – eating with a toddler is NOT a long leisurely meal. We’re usually in and out in less than 30 minutes. Trust me, you don’t linger over dessert wine and coffee.
They could have found that out with a quick question, and we could have been in and out with time to spare.
Or they could have apologized, handed us a take away menu and seated us one of the SIX spare tables while they made our dinner to take out. Chuck in a free poppodum for Wilsy while we were waiting and we would have been customers for life.
By the way, any restaurant that gives free food while you’re waiting… I’m a HUGE fan. Just a few nuts, olives or in one memorable place, chips and salsa. You’re committed.
I’ve walked out of restaurants after being ignored for ages but if they gave me some free food, I’m committed. Instead we were out on the street with no food. My poor hubby with a hungry pregnant wife and toddler in tow.
Again – this has HUGE applications to any business. More on that in a sec.
But here’s what they were missing in that restaurant – they didn’t give us an alternative solution and so they just lost our business.
This is really common in the service industry – but guess what – you might be doing it in your business too.
You have to…
Tell people what to do next
When someone goes to your website or watches a video, you need to give them an action afterwards – otherwise it’s like a customer walking into a restaurant and being totally ignored.
Even if you don’t have a lot of products or services, tell people how to work with you. I see lots of entrepreneurs put out amazing content every week but they don’t give concrete solutions. They write thoughtful, useful newsletters and always give value.
Yet they ask nothing in return.
It’s okay to say –
“Here’s this free info you asked for, and if you want to take this further, here’s how you work with me…”
Otherwise it’s like you have guests over – you’re in the kitchen making lots of noise and delicious smells. You keep coming out to tell them how amazing the food is…. and then not offering them any.
It’s part of my “I serve, I deserve” philosophy that celebrates giving AND receiving (watch a video on that here if you struggle to receive).
For example, you might notice that at the end of every video, I talk about signing up to one of my free courses. And I’ll talk about it several times in this article. I’m not shy about it and neither should you be. Watch and see!
When you send out your newsletter, do you give people an opportunity to work with you further, by booking a session or taking an action?
Does your website have a giant “BOOK ME” or “WORK WITH ME” link? Don’t make people guess. A confused mind always says no. Give them what they want!
So, if that restaurant had given me a little snack while we waited, I would have been so happy!
In your online business, you can still use this marketing principle…
Give clients something while they wait
This applies for paid and non-paid customers. Let’s start with the “yet to be” customers.
If they come to your website, do you have a tasty little freebie to give them while they decide if they want to work with you?
For example – one of my most popular freebies is my free pricing course (more on that in a moment). It’s a sample of what it would be like to work with me.
Creating high-value free samples is a great way to get clients to make a micro-commitment (in this case, giving their email address in exchange for a free course), and they’ll see if they like your stuff enough to commit to paying for something else.
What about for paid clients?
One of my pet peeves is when you buy something online and then hear crickets. There is no excuse now when there is easy technology to help you.
For example: On the thank you page, tell them what’s going to happen. Set up an autoresponder, so straight after purchase, customers get an email telling them exactly what to do next.
That could be scheduling information or how to download their purchase. Don’t make them guess or wonder what’s happening.
This also helps clients avoid “buyers remorse” and makes them feel committed. Yes, they just gave you their money, but you want them to feel safe and secure about it, even after pushing the “buy now” button.
Have you ever had a client pay and then days later change their mind and ask for a refund?
Sometimes because it’s really unclear on what they need to do next, and they worry that they’ve made the wrong decision.
You can use micro-commitments directly after purchase like filling in a client questionnaire (this can also be an autoresponder) or an unexpected gift makes them feel committed. (By the way, make sure you also have really good refund policies in place too.)
Do you have free courses or samples in place in exchange for an email address (otherwise known as an optin)?
It’s best if they relate to your paid offerings in some way.
Do you have post purchase instructions in place, for example, download instructions or scheduling information? Make it super clear so there are no regrets.
Another great way to get strong commitment and loyalty from your clients, is to include:
Like the unexpected free snacks in restaurants, how can you surprise and delight your clients?
Now – a HUGE mistake entrepreneurs make here is over-delivering in ways that cause you stress and unnecessary wastage. (I talk about this in a recent speaking gig, where I admit to all the ways I wanted to over-deliver at my event, basically so people would like me. Warning – I swear a LOT in this video but I promise it’s worth it. Watch here)
When I started my first ever online course, every person got a pair of earrings. Yup. ACTUAL EARRINGS. It was a colossal pain in the butt to post them all out and it was completely unnecessary (and unsustainable).
This mistake is HUGELY common, and I talk about it in my free pricing course, which I’ll tell you more about at the end of this post (always offer something!).
There’s nothing wrong with freebies, but do it appropriately, and don’t make extra work for yourself unless it’s in line with what you’re offering.
For example – my web designer Ellissa Jayne sent me a cinema gift card when I signed with her, and flowers when we wrapped on the new site. This wasn’t a cheap project, it was a significant investment in my website and Ellissa treated me like a VIP. That’s appropriate. Doing it for someone who has bought a cheap course? No – that’s a pain in the butt and isn’t sustainable for your business.
Instead of posting out presents to every single client, consider value-added freebies that don’t cost you much but are awesome for them – for example – every student on my Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp get free access to all of my other courses and programs, including many exclusive ones.
Keep the physical gifts to a minimum (some people like me are devoted KonMari fans and don’t even WANT physical stuff) and save the high end stuff for your high end clients.
List all the valuable freebies you could add into your offerings. Think non-physical gifts for courses and more luxurious (but still appropriate) gifts for the high end clients.
Do you need to evaluate what you include in your programs to make it easier for yourself?
Okay – what next? Now this one is totally obvious but often overlooked.
You have to…
Ask for the sale
This is hugely important (you know, so you can pay your bills and feed your book addiction).
At the end of your freebie or sample – ask for the sale.
At the end of your blog post- ask for the sale and tell people how they can work with you.
If you’re on the phone with a potential client – ask for the sale – and get a deposit so they’re committed.
Ask for the sale.
For example – at end of my free pricing course (which is awesome and full of advice about how to make more money this month with a few easy strategies), I tell people that if they want to work with me further, they can join my Bootcamp. Some do, some don’t. No big deal. It’s still a great course.
And here’s my last piece of advice.
Don’t make it hard for clients to work with you.
Make it easy and a no-brainer to give you money.
Give and receive in return. It’s a beautiful cycle.
It’s your time and you’re ready for the next step!
Would love to hear from you in the comments about what micro-commitments you can put into your business.
Did you miss last week’s post? Check it out here: How To Stop Worrying About Money