If you offer free consultations, or want to, this post is for you.
It'll give you an airtight strategy for scheduling more consultations and closing more sales.
Let's get into it – I present to you The Free Consultation / High End Sales Funnel ~
I'll use a few scenarios throughout this post to help better illustrate the funnel:
- Dental Surgeon (DS) – Dental implants
- Financial Advisor (FA) – Full wealth management
- Marketing Services (MS) – Sales funnel service
While there are a million and one ways to drive traffic to your sales funnel, I'm only going to focus on three categories for this particular funnel:
People that are currently on your email/contact list. They already have a general idea of who you are and what you do.
Search PPC / Organic
People searching for the service/solution you provide and arriving on your site in the process. This includes both paid traffic and organic (“free”/SEO).
- DS – Dental implants near Richmond VA
- FA – Financial advisor near Richmond VA
- MS – Sales funnel service
Facebook Ads / Other
People that don't know you, but likely have a problem you can solve.
- DS – People with dentures
- FA – Physicians in the “fellow” stage
- MS – Ecommerce businesses
Collecting Contact Info
The particular traffic source will set the stage for “how” you'll collect an individual's contact information and/or get them to schedule a consultation.
“House” & Search Traffic
Since these people know you and/or know they have a problem, you're able to ask them to schedule a consultation right away. There's little point in waiting.
For this reason, you will direct them to a dedicated landing page where they can schedule a consultation with you; however, I recommend giving the option to request to only receive more info as they may not be ready for a consultation.
Upon entering their email, checking the “To schedule my FREE consultation” box, and clicking the submit button … two things happen:
- They'll be greeted with a form to fill out in order to schedule their consultation (I personally use and recommend https://youcanbook.me; however, there are a ton of similar services and I'm sure you'll find one that works for you).
- Note: Instead of going straight into the scheduling of a consultation you could instead implement an application process where you'll ask for more pertinent information to make sure they're the right candidate before scheduling a call.
- They'll be added to the autoresponder tool where they'll be tagged as “Wants a consultation”; however, this tag will trigger the “Don't Forget” Email Series in 24 hours, if they do not schedule their consultation. If they schedule their consultation within 24 hours, the “Wants a consultation” tag will be replaced with a “Scheduled consultation” tag, which will trigger the the “Consultation Prep” Email Series.
If the individual checks the “More information” box, they're added to the autoresponder tool with the tag ” Wants more information”. This will trigger the “Education” Email Series.
Facebook Ads / Other Traffic
You need to treat people that arrive on your site via Facebook and other traffic sources (other than your contact list and search traffic) differently for two main reasons:
- They probably don't know you, unless you're targeting your fans and/or are “recognized”
- They're not actively trying to solve their problem unlike when they are conducting searches on Google
Instead of hitting them with a “free consultation” offer, give them something else that re-iterates the fact they have a problem, to qualify them, and to establish yourself as an authority.
I'm talking about a Lead Magnet. Here are a few examples:
- DS – Dentures vs Dental Implants – The definitive comparison.
- FA – About to make the big bucks? Here are 5 investments you'll want in place before the cash starts rolling in!
- MS – 7 sales funnel leaks 98% of Ecommerce stores have … and how to fix them!
Lead Magnet Tactics
There are two main ways you can handle the delivery of these Lead Magnets:
- Traditional – Make the Lead Magnet into a PDF or video, setup a squeeze page, and give it out in exchange for their email address
- Retargeting – Make the Lead Magnet a regular blog post or page on your site and run ads to your post. Then, retarget individuals that have seen your post with an offer to register for a free consultation and/or to receive more information (like the landing page example above). This method works because now they have a better idea of who you are, what you do, and the problem(s) they have.
Schedule On The Spot
As you see in the example Landing Page above, we only ask for their email and for them to check a box.
We don't ask them to schedule their consultation until after they've taken that first step.
Asking someone to schedule a call is a bigger “ask” than simply asking for their email. The individual will need to check their calendar to see when they're available, compare it to your calendar, then fill out a more in-depth form in order to schedule the consultation.
Because of all the extra “stuff” involved with scheduling a call, a lot of people won't set up the consultation right away.
They'll think to themselves, “I'll just do it later” … but, they wont … unless you remind them!
So, if someone says they want to schedule a consultation, but doesn't – follow up with a few reminder emails (“Don't Forget” Series) that direct them straight to the scheduling form.
Remember to re-iterate the benefits of the consultation, what they'll receive from the consultation, and how they have a problem that needs to be fixed.
While many people won't schedule the consultation right away – some will. Prep them with the “Consultation Prep” Series.
“Consultation Prep” Series
The “Consultation Prep” Series is a series of emails sent to an individual after they register for their consultation that “preps” them for the call.
You can give them something to read, ask them to fill out a survey that requests more information than what they gave when they scheduled the call, a read-ahead of questions you'll ask so they can have answers prepared, etc. Basically, whatever you need to send in order to make the consultation run smoothly.
The “Consultation” List is the list of individuals that have had a consultation with you. Ideally, the majority of these individuals will also be “buyers” and you'll have an established relationship with them. In this case, you'll have a normal client relationship that you'll need to maintain.
For the individuals that don't become “buyers” – treat them a little differently than the general public. They certainly know they want help in an area, but maybe they just weren't ready or maybe they didn't feel like YOU were the right person for them. Whatever the reason – they didn't commit.
And, while not everyone will be a perfect fit for YOU, they're serious enough to schedule a consultation and you can still help them get pointed in the right direction. Who knows, maybe that particular service wasn't a good fit for them; it doesn't mean the next problem they face wont require your services. Or, they may refer someone else to you if you help them the best you can.
“Education” Series / Article
The Education Series is a series of emails for the individuals that don't know you, what you offer, or their problems as well – the intent of the series is to educate them on those points.
This is accomplished by sending content that makes them aware of the problem(s) they're facing, the result of fixing those problems, handling objections like time and money, case studies, and other educational material that's helpful, informative, and motivates them to think the same way you do.
The point is to show the person they have a problem and you're the solution.
The call-to-action (CTA) is then to schedule a free consultation with you where you'll close the deal.
No matter how hard you try, even with all the fancy email series and autoresponders, most people will not schedule a consultation with you. (If you happen to prove this wrong, let me know!)
It's OK, don't take it personally.
It doesn't mean they never want your help.
People are busy. People forget. People get distracted.
The ultimate point here is they've at least shown some interest in you, your business, the service(s) you offer, the problem they have … something … and you don't want to just let them wander off into the sunset.
For this reason, add them to your “House” List where you send more generalized content, recommend other products/services you offer, and continue building and maintaining a relationship with them.
Who knows, maybe six months down the road they will finally decide to fix the problem and schedule that free consultation!
Do you want more awesome sales funnels like this one? Check out the Sales Funnel Training Vault!