3 times clients are most likely to hire you

3 times clients are most likely to hire you | Spruce Rd. | I’ve pulled together three times a freelance design client is most likely to book your services, so you can better prepare to capitalize off of these times and not be left wondering where they went.

Ever felt a client project slip through your fingers? I have, and it is disheartening to say the least! Should I have followed up? Why did they go to that other designer? Why aren’t they responding to my email?

All questions I’ve asked myself over the years.

I’ve pulled together three times a client is most likely to book your services, so you can better prepare to capitalize off of these times and not be left wondering where they went.

Let’s dive in!

#1 The initial inquiry

Once a potential client reaches out for your services, this is obviously the #1 time they are likely to book your services. So, why even bother adding this to the top 3 times a client is likely to hire you? Whelp — plain and simple. I think we’re falling short during this first step. Notice I said we. Yup, I’ve been kicking myself for some missed opportunities during this initial inquiry.

Here’s a few ways to capitalize off of this lead:

  • Be prepared. Create responses to common email inquiries and place them in your Evernote or to gmail canned responses. These swipe files will save you loads of time in responding to the ideal client that comes knocking. Better yet, you won’t have to fumble over what to say each time.

  • Create packaged services. In order to respond quickly to potential clients, create packaged services to easily reference. Likely clients will inquire about similar services, so bundle them up and have a price handy.

  • Respond within 1 business day. Easy enough once you have your packaged services and canned responses ready to go! Don’t let this potential client slip through your fingers, as they await your reply. Respond quickly and offer to schedule a time to connect, or take the next step to booking your services.

  • Create a follow up plan. People get busy. Their inboxes are full. If after your initial response you don’t hear anything from your potential client, schedule a follow-up message later that week to see if they had any questions or would like to book a call. You’d be surprised how receptive people are to this gentle reminder! Just don’t go overboard… we’ve all been on the other side of those automated sequences. Use a tool like Right inbox or Boomerang to schedule follow-ups.

#2 After they just booked a project

You just wrapped up a call with a potential client, and you’re 95% sure they’ll book a project with you soon! This is the time to sit back and watch the first invoice roll in, right?

Ok, maybe. BUT. What if this was actually a time where you could encourage more services booked? Instead of only sending the quote for the services they initially inquired about, you could add a few a la carte items that would interest them as well. These could be marketing materials you discussed during the consultation call, or collateral you anticipate they’d get use out of for their brand. Either way, it’s a great time to “upsell” (if you want to call it that) the client.

Here’s a few ways to capitalize off of this lead:

  • A la carte menu: Have a collection of priced a la carte items. These can just be in Evernote, or in your quote management software. Think through items you anticipate they’d need — business cards, packaging, web design, etc.

  • Send 1–3 a la carte items that relate to your client’s service package along with the quote. 17hats makes this easy to have “add on” services that don’t affect the primary package.

  • Prepare them for ongoing support. If anything else, it shows your clients that you’re available for these projects down the road. It’s one more impression that mentions how you can serve them beyond this initial project.

#3 The project wrap up

Did you realize there is a much higher increase in purchasing behavior from past clients? What I mean is that once someone works with you, they are significantly more likely to book your services again as compared to a potential client who hasn’t worked with you before. This is because your client has already climbed over that barrier of trust during the initial package, and is more open to continuing the relationship.

Knowing this tidbit has changed how I wrap up client projects. Rather than sending my clients off with a “so great to work with you!” or “here’s a gift of my appreciation!” I’ve created a plan to encourage continuing design work.

Here’s a few ways to capitalize off of this lead:

  • Provide a pricing sheet. Send your clients the final files and notes from the project, along with a pricing sheet, or even a private page on your site listing your services. The hesitancy clients have with reaching out for continuous work is their fear of pricing and bothering you. Make it known and transparent that they’re not a bother, and prices aren’t as skyrocket as they fear!

  • Make it easy to book. Tell your clients the best way to reach out for ongoing support. If they used a project management system during your time together (like Basecamp or Asana), then they might not know the best way to follow up. Inform them the best way to get in touch — and as a bonus, include this on your pricing sheet too!

  • Offer an incentive. To sweeten the deal, you can offer an incentive for the first 6 months after their project wraps up. Something like a discounted rate, hourly packages, or whatever you feel comfortable with.

And there ya have it. Three crucial times a client is most likely to hire you, and how to capitalize off of these times so you won’t let a client project slip through your fingers :).