After a relatively rough year of 2020, especially for small and local businesses, we want to help small businesses bounce back in 2021— beginning with getting more quality leads.
It’s a classic question that a lot of businesses have: How do I get more sales? How do I increase revenue? How do I get more leads? And more importantly, how do I get more quality leads?
While seeking answers to these questions, many business owners wonder if they should offer free consultations. Is it worth it? Are they effective?
1. Get Specific
One of the things that we are currently working on is getting more specific with our free consultation call to action.
Let me give you an example. Often, we see “click here to get a free consultation” or “schedule a free consultation.”
But we can make that more specific. Here are some better examples:
- “Click here for a consultation with me, where we will review your marketing challenges and put together a road map for success”
- “Schedule a consultation with our advertising expert where we will develop a three-step advertising strategy”
- “Schedule a time with me to review our marketing roadmap template”
The later examples are better because the person who visits your website will understand exactly what to expect and what benefits they are going to get out of a free consultation.
2. Have Structure for Your Free Consultation
Whenever I find out that a business is offering a free consultation, my immediate questions are, “Tell me exactly what you cover in that call. Do you have a script? Is there an agenda? How long is the call? What are some of the talking points that you go over?” It’s always surprising to me how unscripted it is.
Now, I’m not saying that it needs to be perfect; you don’t need to write out word for word what you will say. But you should have a structure for your consultation that will help you stay on track.
Whether you admit it or not, the people receiving this free consultation are very aware if the structure of the call was planned beforehand or not. If we go into a consultation call winging it, it’s not going to be nearly as effective as a structured free consultation. You need to have a few standard questions that you cover, in addition to a template or a roadmap of a three-step process.
One thing is for sure: you should always have a time limit set. Your time is valuable and so is theirs. Going into the call, they should know how long the call will last. This provides relief for both parties. I know I get frustrated when I go into a meeting and have no idea how long it’s going to take, so don’t cause that frustration for others. That’s never a good situation. Make the call short, make it packed full of value, have a structure, and include a deliverable such as a roadmap, a guide, or an assessment.
3. Follow Through After the Free Consultation
Last, you should always follow through after the consultation. I am shocked at how many people will do a great free consultation and then don’t follow up whatsoever. It’s almost like they’re expecting me to have such an awesome experience that I’m proactively going to reach out to them a couple hours later, or the next day, or the next week. It is rare that the customer will follow up, so you need to take on that responsibility.
Returning to bullet number 2, including some form of custom asset in the call that you will provide them with later is a great way to drive follow up. For example, the next day you may send the client an email that says, “Hey, Bob, thanks for hopping on that free consultation with me yesterday at 2:00 p.m. I really enjoyed our conversation. As we discussed, here is a three-step strategy that we think would be effective for you. If you’re interested in discussing this further and engaging with our team, we would love to chat and get started. Let’s schedule a follow up call next week.”
Simple as that. Do what you said you were going to do by offering that custom value, and then follow up.
In review, get specific in your free consultation verbiage– what you’re asking for and what you’re telling them they’re going to receive. Prepare structure to your free consultation, don’t just go in there and wing it. And make sure you follow through multiple times after a consultation.
We hope you can apply these principles to your free consultations to make them more effective in growing your business. There are a lot of awesome tools out there that can help you automate this process. Now here is our free consultation offer to you: reach out to us at Big Red Jelly, schedule a free call with us, and depending on your industry, we will dive into the top two or three tools you can use to automate this process and make this free consultation tool powerful as possible.