Yes, I am aware that this brings up MANY questions for many people🥴
Some of you are probably like…girl, I applied to work with YOU in 2020/21. OR maybeee you currently have an application process in your service-based business (no shade just hear me out).
Before you jump on me, let’s jump into why I am so strongly against the “apply to work with me” model now.
First, for anyone that doesn’t know what I’m talking about. In 2020/21 MANY service providers got inundated with client inquiries. It was during what I call the “Covid Boom” in business, and people were hiring service providers like crazy. To ease an overwhelming number of inquiries AND to properly vet potential clients before getting on discovery calls.
Many service providers got on this “application” bandwagon during this time. And guess what...I was one of them! And guess what again…it worked!
I had plenty of people filling out my extra long (too long) application and it seemed to be all good.
So why then am I now against this process?
Side note...before I get into my reasons why AND introduce you to a new strategy, I want to caveat this by saying always do what works for YOU! This is my opinion based on my experience and expertise and my strategy that works for ADER. Take what you need and leave what you don't agree with💕
Here are the top 3 reasons why having an application may be turning OFF your ideal client:
It sets a tone of superiority. I often refer to clients as partners or collaborators…because we work on their project together. Why then, would it make sense for me to force them to APPLY to work with me like they are an employee? Make it make sense. If your messaging is about working WITH and partnering with your clients, making them apply doesn’t fit that messaging.
It’s too time consuming! Listen, I know the line, “if they don’t have time to fill out this then…” no. The bottom line is people are busy, just like you and asking them to spend a long time filling out a form with questions you can ask in a 10min call is insane! Again, it’s this feeling of superiority…like your service (or potential service) is the most important thing in their lives. We need to be realistic and understanding as business owners. When’s the last time you filled out a long application to see an attorney, or doctors office, or home services? So why in the online space do we feel entitled to make people jump through hoops?
It gives you a false sense of security. We all have done it…that CRM email comes through saying you got a new application, so you look it over and SCORE! It’s a great application so you get excited at the potential of a new client. But come discovery call day, the person is late getting there, then you realize during the call you aren’t a good fit at all! But what happened? They answered all of the questions “correctly”? What happened is, you didn’t talk to them so you didn’t accurately assess if it was a good fit! You depended on typed answers to have a conversation and convey feelings and attitudes about things. Now you’ve gotten dressed for a zoom discovery call, blocked out your calendar (so missing out on other calls), and worst of all…gotten your hopes up. Here is the takeaway from this last point…don’t let an online form do what you should be doing. Automation is great, but know when to use it and when NOT to.
Not picking up what I'm laying down? Well, then let's take a very well-known coach for example: Amy Porterfield.
If you visit Amy's website, you won't find one single application or long drawn-out form. Things are straight to the point of sale or point of contact (or waitlist as pictured below). It's literally name and email. Why? Because her team knows they will vet when they need to..and someone visiting your website to simply show interest is not the place. I visited SEVERAL millionaires pages and the same was true. People that have been millionaire service-providers long before the "Covid Boom".
I don't know about you, but I personally want to take my cues from those that have sustainable business models that have been operating for decades IN A SUSTAINABLE MANNER.
So now what Krystal?!
So, now I’ve told you (or maybe offended you sorry) about why an application isn’t good in my opinion…so what should you do instead?
The short answer is a QUICK, scheduled 15min call. So, let’s break this down. And this is what I currently am using in my business (ADER Branding Co) as well:
Place a short contact form on your website (name, email, phone, best time to call, how can we help you).
When potential clients fill out that form, you will coordinate a time with them for a 15min call. (Set a Timer!)
During the call, ask them your top qualifying questions and find out what they need (and if you can help).
If you are a good fit, after the call send a proposal.
Now, you can actually end here with the proposal if you want to!
I personally add another step:
(Step 5) Schedule a proposal call answer any questions, review your contract, and secure your start date. I have found that a surprising amount of people don’t read contracts, so I prefer to go over them along with next steps on a call.
This process cuts out the “application” process, adds more authenticity and personal touch to your funnel, and is simpler for both parties.
What I love most about it? It sets a tone for TRUE partnership with clients❤️ And as a bonus...it removes the urge for you stay on a long discovery call giving away free strategy!
What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you currently have an application process?
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