41: Bring the WOW to the Customer First Impression

The first contact a customer has with your animal, equine or pet-based business often sets the tone for their entire experience. Today, Kim and Cara have some great ideas about how to create a wow factor right from day one AND how you can feel more confident handling the initial inquiry from potential clients.

Our Big 3 Takeaways

Focus on the Relationship FIRST

Don’t get so wound up in the selling process you forget this is about your CUSTOMER not you. The customer you just made is your best source of new business, so you need to stay focused on the relationship and not just THIS sale.

Create a Closing System

It’s hard to wow someone when you don’t know what you’re doing or are unsure of the next step and stumbling around. Get all those details lined out ahead of time and make sure all the ts are crossed and the is dotted.

Follow-up Quickly

Don’t drop your customer as soon as you’ve collected money or before you perform the service or move the product into their hands. Send a personalized thank you / confirmation email at the very least. Do more if you can — check in phone call, preview, etc

“I love the Business Animals and have learned so much from their podcast!” <— does this sound like something you might say? YES! Please leave us some stars and a review on your favorite podcast app. Reviews help us to reach more entreprenuers just like you who are seeking support on their business animal journey. You can use the SUBSCRIBE button above to make it easy to access our podcast page on all the apps. Once you “hit the stars,” on most apps, you’ll be able to leave a review. If you see something we can do better — or have an idea for us — please email us at podcast@thebusinessanimal.com rather than leave a review so can respond accordingly. 



Join the Business Animal VIP List so you don’t miss a thing!



Transcripts are autogenerated and may contain typographical and grammar errors. This transcript is copyright©2021 Kimberly Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. DO NOT COPY in whole or part without written permission.

Open the Transcript
Kimberly Beer 0:00 The Business Animal podcast is proudly sponsored by WP Engine your resource for managed WordPress hosting. And keep the premier CRM software for small business, head over to the business animal.com for the best deals on these two amazing products Jaz 0:21 Welcome to The Business Animal podcast. settle up for a gallop to the top of the animal industry, where you’ll learn how to tame your wild business beast with tips, techniques, and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school, and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts Kim Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. Kimberly Beer 0:43 Hey there business animals. It’s Kim with Be More Business Cara Taylor Swift 0:46 and Cara with Fast Horse Photography. Good morning. Kimberly Beer 0:49 Good morning. You know, people may not be listening to this in the morning. So good afternoon or good evening. Cara Taylor Swift 0:55 Yeah, I thought about that when I said it. And I was like, just because it’s morning when we record oftentimes doesn’t mean that like people are listening in the morning. So good afternoon. Good evening. Happy Saturday out there. We feel you. Yeah. Yeah, So I’ll work on that. Kimberly Beer 1:10 work on that. Cara, I have a sidebar conversation this morning, because we were trying to decide whether we wanted to record in the morning or record in the afternoon. And we both decided we’re better in the morning. So you guys get the best of us when we record in the mornings. All right, well, I’ll get on to our topic for today rather than mindless banter cuz Cara gave me a look like, let’s not get off topic. Alright, then. So we’re actually talking about handling initial inquiries or bringing the Wow, to that customers first impression in your business, I want to define starting out with the part of the customer sales journey that we’re talking about. And it’s that moment where they’ve reached out to you, but they haven’t actually made a purchase yet. So this is that weird, awkward time that I know people struggle with. Because when we asked, or this topic came up as the big round table topic at Powderhorn. And so this was one of the things everyone wanted us to talk about was that weird moment when you have to be able to talk to somebody about your business, but they’re not necessarily a sale yet. So how do you handle that? How do you create an experience in this particular stage of the customer journey that really wowed them and sets you and the customer up for a lifetime of success? So it’s an important moment in all of that. Cara Taylor Swift 2:44 I would say this is probably one of the most common questions that we get asked, or at least that I get asked because it can be one of the biggest game changers when you have someone first make that initial inquiry. And what do we mean by initial inquiry? Well, that a lot of times is an email today, it’s mostly digital, I would say I probably next to never get a phone call anymore as an initial inquiry. Kim, do you ever get phone calls as initial inquiries? Or does it usually come in for you as an email or a direct message? Kimberly Beer 3:13 I do get phone calls. But I’m going to phrase that to be phone calls that I don’t answer because my cell phone is my public facing phone number for most things. Most people don’t use my I have a toll free number, but most people don’t use it. And the toll free number tells me you know, that’s a business call. But with all the spam calls and stuff these days, and the fact that I’m super busy, a lot of times that ends up being a message that’s left and then I have to return the call. And I don’t think I’m the only business owner that has that situation or that consumer, I think consumers kind of get it. And I do think most people now use a digital method for that first step, they’ll send an email or a messenger message or WhatsApp or you know, any any variety that the truth is, is that, as Cara pointed out, when we were prepping for this, there’s a there’s a lot of different ways people contact you to get started with that inquiry. So you have to kind of be on all of those things all the time. You need to have a really good system for watching how people are going to contact you and making sure you can recognize that but no, I don’t really get a lot of phone calls anymore, which is kind of nice, in my opinion. How do you feel about that? Cara Taylor Swift 4:31 I don’t mind. I mean, my goal is going to be to get people on the phone. But most of my initial inquiries come in through social media, Facebook, Instagram, primarily a few LinkedIn, and then email and I get a lot through email. But you know, you mentioned that you need to be on all of those things checking in. One of the things that I do is I refuse to be a slave to my cell phone and to my apps. So a lot of times I have it set up with automatic responses. If you come In any of the social channels, you’re being directed to my email, and that’s how you’re going to reach me the fastest. So that way, I’m also collecting their information into my database. So I totally get what you’re saying. But digital is where people are starting these days. And that’s usually for me, the way that I first initially respond back is the way that they reached out to me, is that typical for you, Kim, Kimberly Beer 5:23 it is it is. And I want to address something you just said, like you do the automatic responses more and more places like Facebook Messenger and other similar applications. So I’m not going to discount that there’s others out there. But messenger seems to be a popular way for people to contact you, they are increasingly using something called a chat bot, which makes it feel like an actual conversation with the person on the other end and can can handle little pieces of what we’re talking about today. That being said, I will respond on the platform that they chose. And I do get more and more messenger messages these days. But I just like Cara, both of us want to move the conversation off of the digital format and into some type of an in person experience. So either a phone call, or a zoom, a meeting of some variety or even an in person meeting with COVID we we’ve kind of switched off of the in person stuff a lot of times if it was a client that I really want to work with in mind you I sell big ticket my working with me is is an expense that people have to consider. And I and working with Cara is the same way. So if you have something that is a little bit less, like people have think about it before they commit to working with me, but I used to invite them to coffee a lot, like let’s just meet for coffee somewhere and have an in person conversation. But with COVID, that has been certainly hard. So everything has kind of shifted over to zoom, I like to get visual clues from who I’m working with, especially when I’m selling. That’s why I like the virtual meeting versus the phone call. Because I can’t see what the person is up to. And also on Zoom, people have to stay more focused, because you can see them and they can’t multitask like they can’t on a phone. So not least not at the same level. So So for me, I try to direct into the Zoom call, because the Zoom gets me a lot more feedback on where I am with them and how to direct the conversation, which we’re, we’re going to talk about as we proceed through this today. There’s a lot of ways to do this. And if you sell a product versus having a service, it changes the aspect of it as well. I’ve sold products for many, many years. And again, I would want to be on the phone. And if zoom would have been an option, I would have definitely wanted to get on the higher price products that I’ve sold in the past, I would definitely want to get people on the phone or on a zoom call. Cara Taylor Swift 8:06 Awesome. So why don’t we talk to people just a little bit about why we think that it’s important to even consider this situation. So first of all, we know that the first contact that you have, as a business sets the tone for the entire experience, that’s a great way to think about it. And you know, you think about it, why is it even important to consider your approach to handling the initial inquiries from potential clients? Well, we know by being consumers ourselves that people want to get the best possible experience for the best possible price, we know that they want to feel connected to the person they’re working with and confident that the animal based business that they’re going to be working with can actually do the job that they need it to do. So really how you handle that initial inquiry can and I’d say will give you a leg up over your competitors. I mean, if you’re the one they get on the phone that answers the questions, versus somebody that doesn’t have the answers or maybe is, you know, not someone they can relate to, that’s going to make a huge difference. Kimberly Beer 9:01 Yeah, I want to add one thing to that this process is not just about getting the sale for us as business owners, I think we focus on it as I need to convert that person from somebody who’s interested into somebody who’s a customer, and that’s great. But this process like Cara said, it sets the tone for the that customer’s entire experience and not just this experience. It sets it for the entire relationship you’re going to build with that customer. If you have a business where you depend on repeat business or you depend on a long term relationship with your customers. It really shifts a lot of their attitude about how they’re going to approach doing business with you when you show up in this moment as confident knowing what you’re doing a good leader having all of your T’s crossed and your eyes dotted and really conscientious about what what We’re going to talk about all three points that we’re going to talk about in our big three today, when you show up with those things in mind, then your customer is a better customer for life. I mean, it really ships it for life. And if this process and I don’t want to put too much importance on it, because I don’t want people stressing about it. But if this process goes badly, it’s a lot more work to have to clean it up and set it right. So you have that positive relationship moving forward than it is if you consider it ahead of time and kind of get it sorted out and really lined out in a way that works well, for you and for the customers. And I think that unless you have something to add brings us to our big three, Cara Taylor Swift 10:43 I think what Kim and I are talking about today is that initial inquiry, it usually especially for me, and you can tell me the same Kim, it comes in with two things. Usually it comes in with what do you charge? And are you available? Right? Those are the two biggest things that I probably hear in the initial inquiry. So what we hope to answer today was the the big three is first focus on the relationship first. So even though they’re coming at you with what do you charge? And are you available, we want to try to shift that to focusing on the relationship First, create a closing system as our second of the big three. And then the third one is following up quickly. So we’re going to go through each one of those for you guys. Right now. Kim, do you want to jump in on that relationship piece? First? Kimberly Beer 11:27 I sure do. Because I think this is probably the most important piece of sales that people don’t do. I have like I said, in my past, I have sold high end products and high end services, things that people have to think about before they purchase. Also things that have a lot of alternatives that don’t cost as much those two factors are right there means that you need to be more on your sales game than typical. And I can tell you from being successful as a salesperson and somebody who actually really likes sales. I mean, I didn’t start out that way. But I’ve really grown to like sales, this is probably the most important thing. And if you only take one thing away from this episode, I think this is the most important and that is Don’t get so wound up in the selling process that you forget that this is about your customer and not about you. So as entrepreneurs, we’re typically hungry, we typically want that business, and we are very focused on us. So how do I move that person into my workflow? How do I get that person to pay their invoice? How how do I move the money from them to me? How do I get the product from my place to them that it’s Mee Mee Mee Mee Mee focused, when you’re in this moment, stop a minute. And remember, this is really their experience that they’re having, and they’ve chosen to have it with you. And that’s no small factor in their lives. So it is about your customer. It’s about focusing on building that relationship. Cara Taylor Swift 13:07 100% If I were to answer those inquiries that come in, and they say, Hey, what are you charging? Are you available next month with what they’re asking me like just saying, This is what I charge. And these are the dates I’m available, I am not going to win a pricing game in my community. Because I am one of the higher priced photographers in in Northeast Florida. If I come in with that game in their price shopping, they’re going to move right on. So it absolutely is about building that relationship. And you know, like Kim always says, that customer that you’re working on is your next source for new business. So you’ve got to stay focused on building that relationship and think about that part of it. First, I do believe the speed of your response is important. However, when I get an inquiry that comes in to me via social media, I will I will take a breath, and I will click on them and look at their Facebook page, for example, or their Instagram feed and just see what they’re all about, you know, and really determine do a little bit of pre screening to determine if they probably are a good fit. Or maybe they’re not located in your service area. And they just don’t realize that you’re not a good fit for them. And then I will respond to them in a very timely manner. Because that is important. I mean, we’ve all been out there. And we want it we have a question we need answered and then it takes someone a week to get back with us. It’s just not a great way to respond to your clients and get your your information answered. With that being said, I also have boundaries around when I respond to clients. And I’m sure you do too Kim. after a certain time in the evening. I shut that stuff off. And I’d let people know that I’ll be correspondence with them within 24 hours, or if it’s a weekend that following business day. So you have to find that balance but that speed of response does matter. Kimberly Beer 14:48 It does and the chat bots on messengers help with that because they can let people know that it’s your business hours are from point A to point B and that you respond to during those hours and And then you’ll be back with them. It’s there’s a lot of this particular process that is about setting expectations and making sure that the expectations are in line with where you are in in your business. I do think speed of your response does matter, especially when it comes to this initial inquiry. I think it’s super important. And if you can rely on the chat bots a little bit to help you with that, I think that’s even better. If you’re a business owners running your own business. And you’re you’re you’re everything, chief cook, and bottle washer on top of it all, you need that extra help from the technology. This is also where CRM software comes in so handy is because it’s able to send out automated responses that really give you what I call sales superpowers. So that’s very helpful from your customers perspective. And again, we need to make this particular part of this about them. The other thing that I think is really important here is to stop and listen and to make sure you ask questions and good open ended questions that you listen to carefully. Now Cara made a really good point. And that’s when people call you for this initial inquiry, they usually have two questions. What is it cost? And when can you do it for service oriented businesses? For product businesses? It’s going to be similar. It’s what what does it cost? And when can you get it to me cost and when is really important, the cost piece of things is where I think a lot of people really flub up this process as a entrepreneur or business owner, and that is that they’ll answer that question right off the bat, this is what it costs. And if you have a higher ticket higher priced item, and you’re not positioning your sales based upon the fact that your price is lower than your competition, which I don’t advise, I think it’s better to offer the premium piece for a lot of the things that are out there, the price is one strategy, this is another, if you give the price, before you’ve established a value in what you provide, then you’re going to lose that customer if your prices are higher. So make sure that before you give the price that you establish your value. And the way that you’re going to do that is by listening and asking open ended questions. So when someone says, you know, what does it cost, I always stop for a moment and say I have a really wide range of services. And there’s a wide range of prices that come with it. Let me ask you a few important questions to be able to establish what would be the best pricing structure for you and your situation, and then we’ll go over options for that at the end. But let me get to know a little bit more about you and take the focus off of that and put it back on the customer. And when you’re asking those questions to them, focus those questions around getting information about what is their pain point? What are their goals, and then look for clues in their answers to establish what their pushbacks would be. So every customer that you meet in sales is going to have a push back, it’s going to have some reason why they can’t do it. So it’s something in there generally triggers a little bit of something. So you’ve got to try to figure out as a salesperson who you’re talking to on the other end, and what that pushback might be, and the clues are generally in their conversations about their pain points or their goals. And if it’s a specific problem, I will typically ask them what have they tried in the past that didn’t work? Every small business owner wants to gain traction in their marketing. After three decades of working with small business owners just like you I have developed what I call my four by four marketing method. In just one 90 minutes session, you’ll discover the four major focus areas of a successful marketing plan. And together we’ll uncover where your business is getting stuck, you’ll leave this session with an action plan of next steps that engage your revenue engine drop by bemorebusiness.com To request your session today. That’s bemorebusiness.com. See you there. Cara Taylor Swift 19:09 I’m always when I get people on the phone trying to offer that value across the board. And that’s a great question that I ask as well as you know, for in photography, for example, I’ll say, well tell me about the last time that you were photographed professionally, what was that experience like for you? And you know, what did you enjoy about it? What did you find challenging, and that’s just a way to get them talking because you are trying to establish yourself as an expert in the subject matter that they’re concerned about. And you are the authority on how they’re going to have their problem solved or how you’re going to hit their pain points. So it’s about building that connection, you know, answering those questions, providing value educating and then when you’re working through that you can start establishing and showing where their investment is going. So usually once I have a conversation and we’re working into it, I’ll get to a place where I am able to come back to that pricing question that they have and it used Looks like something. Okay, well, based on what you’ve talked to me about today, let me go through the process with you. And I can tell you how that this works. And then that’s when I start talking about, you know, the initial pricing and their investment and how it can vary depending upon the product that they purchase. And that’s where, because you’ve done that groundwork in the beginning to start kind of establishing yourself. So I think that you have to do that work around, you know, getting to know them and their pain point first, and also the emotional piece of it. For those of us working with animals. We know that a lot of people have really heartfelt connections, if you’re working in a pet industry, for example, or if you’re in the equine industry, working with horse owners, what is that emotional connection they have? And how can you connect to that, you know, for me, I do a question in senior portraits, and being able to talk to a mom about capturing this time in their child’s life and all of the things that they were interested in, and the beauty of the connection they have with their favorite horse at the barn, how important that is going to be, you know, when they’re in their 40s, like I am now and they get to flip through that album to see all those amazing things that were wonderful to them when they were 18. So you’re building that emotional connection on top of it all in your what, as you establish the relationship. So and then that’s your initial phone conversation. And like Kim said, a lot of times, your next step is you’re going to get a zoom, you’re gonna be doing a Zoom meeting, or maybe it’s an in person meeting. And it really depends on your industry. Kimberly Beer 21:24 It does. And I love what Cara said about getting to know the person a little bit on social media, if you have that opportunity to go take a look at their profile, and a couple of more tips around this relationship building, make connections with the person, you know, share your common interests. That’s why doing a little social shadowing sometimes helps you with that conversation, you can take a look at their social profile and be able to see if there’s something there that you could establish common ground with. And that all builds trust, it builds that relationship and relationships are really two way streets the customer wants to feel cared for and catered to. But they also want to feel like they’re part of the process. And that they’re in partnership with you for a lot of it is again, especially if you have a higher ticket price tag on what you’re doing, or you have a high level of service, both Cara and I’s businesses or high service level type businesses. And I realized that my product people are out there probably listening going, but is this for me. And yes, it is for you. Because even when you’re doing this in smaller, shorter bursts, when you’re selling product, it still is really important. The more you establish that relationship, the more that person is going to refer people to you come back for future sales. And and more importantly than that, they’re going to come back to you when they have a problem versus going on social media or somewhere else and complaining about you. So being helpful offering solutions to them. When I get an initial inquiry, I always do a 15 minute consultation is scheduled 15 minutes in the person’s calendar, it is always scheduled for 30 on mine so that I can under promise and over deliver. So I have 30 minutes because very rarely do I get through a business consultation in 15. So the 30 minutes is on the calendar, I will spend the extra time with the person and I will offer suggestions or solutions. Even if I don’t think or the customer doesn’t think they’re a good fit, I will go above and beyond to make sure that that 15 to 30 minutes that they spent with me was highly beneficial for them and their business and that they’re always going to have a positive association with my company. And if it’s somebody who does want to go on and work with me, then we’ve established a really nice relationship of trust and open endedness that moves forward into the working relationship. Cara Taylor Swift 23:56 I think that moves us right into big three. Number two, creating a closing system. What do you think? Absolutely, absolutely. Because I mean, we all know, confidence is part of this. And it’s really hard to wow someone on the phone or in that initial inquiry when you when you aren’t comfortable or don’t know what you’re doing or unsure of the next step or you’re kind of feeling like you’re stumbling around. If you’ve got to be in a place where you feel confident about what you’re talking about. I highly suggest I’m a person that has to I have to practice things and have the words kind of put in my brain before I even get on the phone. So you know, sit down and get all those details kind of jotted out and lined out way ahead of time before your inquiries are coming in so that you’re prepared for them and make sure that all your T’s and i’s are dotted and crossed so that you really feel confident and ready to answer questions. When you first get people on the phone. A lot of times you get those you’ll start noticing you get a lot of the same questions over and over and over again. So those are your your FAQs is those are your frequently asked questions. It’s okay to sit down and write those out in pre write your responses and then have that handy so that you can either have it memorized or that you can refer to it when you need to. Anytime I get clients on the phone, I have a couple things in front of me. And one of them is my workflow. And the other is my pricing guide and my process and it helps guide me through questions that I want to make sure I get covered with every inquiry. And that reminds me to talk about certain things that I want to make sure, you know, that are part of that sales conversation. Kim also likes to talk about making sure your payment system is in place. Do you want to just mention that real quick? Kimberly Beer 25:31 I do. And I also want to talk about the other piece of this? Well, first of all, one of the things I see people struggle with in this area a lot is that they close differently, every single client, you can’t do that you need to have a solid system for being able to do this, and you need to work it out in advance. So when somebody says yes, I want to work with you, what’s the next step. So make sure you have your steps in alignment. And one of those steps is to get paid. So Don’t postpone the payment. When you have somebody that says yes, I want to work with you be prepared to be able to either take full payment or a deposit right then right there on that phone call. And whatever that means for you. Maybe that means setting up a PayPal account, maybe it means having a merchant account where you can swipe their card or enter it into your phone or whatever, whatever it is, have it situated. So you’re not like, um, well, I have to send you an invoice or I need to call you back and get your credit card number No no. If you have a contract you want people to sign. That’s not super complicated. Make sure you have that in place. And that you can do the contract while you’re in that initial thing. Say here I have the contract for you. Here’s where you sign, here’s where you initial, make it a service feature to make that inquiry when they say that they’re ready to go make sure you know what go means. And also know how to ask for a sale. That’s another piece of the puzzle that I think that a lot of people struggle with is is how do I this person on the other end is obviously interested? How do I move this from being a obviously interested conversation into a sale? At some point in there, you kind of got to feel your way through it. But you do need to ask. And if you are selling a service, like Cara is or I am you need to ask a question that doesn’t let them say yes or no. So this is an open ended question. We’re going to get to closed ended questions. There’s a purpose for those in sales. But you want to ask them when would you like to schedule your initial appointment with me? Or when would you like to schedule? Cara? Do you do like a pre booking session or something? A pre pre session? So when would you like to schedule your pre session? Okay. You can ask that if you’re selling a product at a booth or something you can ask would you like for me to ship this to you? Or would you like for me to send it? You know, so they have to choose ship? Or send or say no? Right? So you want to ask that? When it comes to the appointment questions and things like that you want to offer specific choices like would this Thursday work for your initial conversation? Or would Friday be better, you know, whatever you’re wanting to do, make sure that you offer clear and concise options, which means you kind of have to have your your proverbial stuff together, before you get on the phone with people. Which is why I think it’s great what Kara said, to have your information sitting in front of you. Here’s the thing that I don’t want you to do, which I also hear people doing when they’re doing sales like those frequently asked questions. Once you’ve been in business a few years, you have a ton of those and you’ve answered them a million times, and you’ve probably typed them up and put them on your website because they’re good website content and fodder you probably have written some blog posts about them when you’re on a conversation with a client. And it’s the first real conversation you’re having with them. And they ask a question that is in your FAQs. Don’t say Oh, I answer that on my website in my FAQs. Here’s the address. That’s fine if they’ve been your customer for a year. And they’re still asking the same question to say those are covered in the frequently asked questions. Even though you probably just answered that question 10 times earlier this morning. Remember, this is not about you. It’s about your customer and so smile on your face and answer that question. Cara Taylor Swift 29:31 You’re equine based business has unique needs. It’s your job to tell the story of your horse brand. You know what you want to say? But creating or finding powerful storytelling images that grab the attention of your ideal client can be a challenge, especially when you’re busy running your business. That’s why equine industry business leaders turned to fast horse photography and a library featuring 1000s of searchable images available for businesses just like yours. And guess what? 100% of those images are horse related Now finding the right horse images for your website, social media, and all your other needs is easier than ever find the perfect images for your equine business right now at fasthorsephotography.com. That’s fasthorsephotography.com. This is also where you might see the objections when you start talking pricing or you start talking about Okay, the next step in my process is we need to set up you know, it’s the precession consultation. I’m available on this dateand this date, which one of these dates works best for you? So I’m asking for something specific. So you This is where you might start seeing objections. So objections to me that covered this point or something like, oh, man, I didn’t realize that horse photography was so expensive. Or they might say, Gosh, I’m not sure I can afford this right now. Or I also hear I need to, I need to talk to my husband about this first, oftentimes, they need more information, or they need to think through but knowing these objections that are common for your industry allows you to have your answers ready to go. So you’re ready to follow up appropriately. So for me, I know that those questions might be coming, or those comments might be coming. And I know what I’m going to say when they do in advance, like I’m prepared for that already. I like that part of it. And I like that we’re talking about this, because this is the phase where you might start to see some of those objections. And I would challenge people, don’t be afraid of that. But be prepared for it. Because you know that its potential and be ready to respond to those push backs with the facts and with answers that you feel really good about. And then I would follow that up with you don’t have to push try to remind yourself that sometimes the follow ups can take time, and that this client doesn’t owe you anything, kind of think of it as your it’s part of your job to be patient through this process and understand that your product or service is an investment for some people. So I would just challenge people, the more prepared you can be in advance, the better you’ll be for this part of the inquiry process. Kimberly Beer 31:57 I love your consider patients as part of your job description. You didn’t say that. And it’s in your note, and I absolutely love that. Because that’s that’s the truth here. And another thing that’s in your job description is to not be defensive about things like I didn’t know horse photography was so expensive, it’s really easy as an entrepreneur, again to refocus that back on you. And it’d be a criticism of you, it’s not about you, it is about them. That is not a statement on your quality or your value as a service provider. What it is, is is a statement on where they are at in their lives. And you can’t get defensive of your business based upon something that has nothing to do with you. So when you hear those questions, and you hear the pushbacks check your attitude, dissolve the defensiveness before you answer it. Because that’s a piece of the puzzle again, that it’s it’s going to be good for you even if you’re not for them, the price really is a factor. They can’t afford it. And they can’t hire you trust me on this. If you treat that moment well, and don’t get defensive that customer a lot of times will save up for you. I have had clients that have called and booked their appointment two or three years for photography after they talked to me and said they couldn’t afford it. And because I handled that moment, well, they said I have been saving up so that I can have you come out here and do your magic with my horses. That is the biggest feather in my cap not only as a photographer, but as a salesperson is that that person considered me so highly and their experience with me. They went out of their way to save money so they could work with me. And you Durn tootin’ I’m going to give them a fantastic experience. Cara Taylor Swift 33:56 I know we’ve talked about handling sales objections on another episode of the podcast. But I would just remind people that for me, when I think about objections like that, I always viewed them as a need for more information. So if someone’s saying, Wow, I didn’t realize it was so expensive, then that’s where I need to talk more about the value and what they’re getting with their investment and really talk through that process with them a little bit more. And like Kim said, at the end of the day, if it’s not a good fit right now, how you handle that with grace and how you provide them with other options potentially or talk through your payment plan options if you have them or maybe you have product or services that are in their budget, maybe you don’t but if you do, that’s when you talk through some of that stuff. That is where you are going to remember that they might not be the right fit for you. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t mention you, you know to someone else down the line or be back when they’ve saved up like Kim said Kimberly Beer 34:53 absolutely, absolutely. And I think that delivers us beautifully into big three no Number three, which is to follow up quickly. So after you’ve had that initial conversation, regardless of whether the person purchases or not, you need to follow up. So even if it’s the end of the conversation is I just can’t do this right now. It’s okay, follow up with that, if they did purchase, do not drop the ball, go ahead and get something out to them in between that moment before, after you’ve collected the money. And before you move the either the service or the product into their hands, let’s make sure to focus on saying thank you, I believe a good place to start is a personalized thank you confirmation email, at the very least, or communication back on the original contact platform. So if they originally contacted you through messenger, go in and send them a personalized thank you. And by personalized I mean, draw back on something that happened during the consultation or the inquiry that is specific to them so that they know you wrote it, because you worked with them. Another thing you can do is to just do a check in phone call, or maybe build excitement by providing a preview or something along those lines. Onboarding. So when I do a big website, package sale, what I do is I have an onboarding call. And the onboarding call is usually a repetition of a lot of the things we covered in the inquiry. But it is in a way more formalized way. And it’s a lot of me being able to love on customers and let them have an opportunity to have all of their questions answered. So that’s a piece of my puzzle kind of in between. In between that moment, we have an onboarding session so that I can make sure that their service level is really, really high. For me, this creates a endearment factor with clients, it builds on their competence that they made the right decision, it bypasses buyer’s remorse. So that sometimes happens a little bit. And then it also shifts their attitude, if they do have a problem moving forward into being more comfortable with coming to me and expressing something so that we can address it versus it getting really dramatic, which I really, really, really do not like. And it also establishes me to be able to build that loyalty that I’m going to rely on later on with that client, Cara Taylor Swift 37:29 I will also use this follow up time period I’ll use it as a time to educate and help kind of establish the process. So even if I’ve collected money collected, the retainer I’ve booked, I’ve got the contract, a lot of times I will still send you know a style guide over to help support them through the process of getting ready, you know, we’ll be talking about hair and makeup options, we might have a Pinterest board going that we’re using for inspo. And that’s all part of that follow up that nurture that relationship building. But the big thing is, is that you’re not taking the money and disappearing like you are building their confidence on the back end of that Kimberly Beer 38:09 you are and building the endearment factor and in knowing that they made the right decision of who they’re working with. And that’s part of leveling up the quality of of how you provide your service in your in your business. So I think this pretty well brings us to a close on this particular little moment in this whole customer sales journey. It’s just a really important moment. So just to review for you, our big three are to focus on the relationship first do remember it is about your customer, not you, you get the sale, you can go celebrate after the inquiry and make it all about you. But in that moment, it needs to be about them. Make sure you know what you’re doing. When closing a sale, have a system think through it, try to get a repetition process up, concentrate on making sure again, that stays focused on your customer but you are asking for the sale and you know how to close a sale and have all of the things in place to be able to do that. And then lastly after the sale has made or if the sale fails, and so just after this inquiry period, make sure that you follow up either with a Thank you Sorry, it didn’t work out kind of deal or to make sure that your customer feels super loved on and that they are treated really well and are very confident in their decision so that they can be happier with you moving forward and develop that nice loyal base for you to keep moving on to any final thoughts Cara? Cara Taylor Swift 39:42 No, I just wanted to say I’m excited for this episode. And I would love to hear from those of you out there. What are your favorite ways that you follow up with your clients what’s working really well for you? Or if you have something that just doesn’t work? Well we’d love to hear that too. Go over and give us a follow on Instagram or Facebook if you haven’t already. Ready. And don’t forget, we are always looking for help with ratings and reviews. So check your app, your listening device, the platform that you use, see where you can give us a star rating or download or subscribe or a follow. They’re all a little different. But we would love for you guys to support us in that way. It really helps us get found on those apps and helps our podcast move forward and helps us show up every week for you guys. So thank you so much, and we wish you all a great week, and we’ll see you next Tuesday. Jaz 40:29 Thanks for listening to this episode of The Business Animal. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. And if you learn something today, leave us a review. To learn more. Find us at The Business Animal comm we’d love to hear from you. Until next time, keep your business well trained with The Business Animal Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Earnings disclaimer: Every effort has been made to accurately represent the information in this podcast, our programs, and the educational value they provide. However, there is no guarantee that you will earn any money using the techniques and ideas in these materials. You should not rely on any revenue, sales, or earnings information we present as any kind of promise, guarantee, or expectation of any level of success or earnings. Your results will be determined by a number of factors over which we have no control, such as your financial condition, experiences, skills, level of effort, education, and changes within the market. We provide this content without any express or implied warranties. By continuing to use our site and access our content, you agree that we are not responsible for any decision you may make regarding any information presented or as a result of purchasing any of our products or services.