Asking all the right questions is the key to closing clients successfully. I am naturally interested in detail and processes, and many clients have told me over the years that I have asked all the best questions where others have just said “Yes we can do ABC and we can start right away”, and for this reason I have gained many clients where others have not.
By asking all the right questions, you can understand more about the client requirements, which means you can talk about how your services can meet all their requirements and help them to achieve their goals. You should also use the relevant language and terminology, for example if you are talking to a business owner you would talk about social media to help them get new customers or clients, if you were talking to a dentist you would say new patients rather than new clients and customers etc. You can also talk in general terms by referring to increased sales etc.
This needs to be done in a natural way with a genuine interest in their projects and business. During the first call you would introduce yourself but the focus of the call will be about them and their requirements. This is an introductory call and you should not try to close at this point. The only time you would close a new client on the first call was if their requirements were very urgent and they asked to sign up there and then, or if their project was a small one time project, rather than an ongoing monthly management project.
The goal is for the first call to be an Intro call and find out their requirements, schedule a second call to go through solutions and next steps. Do not try to close clients on the first call. Always adapt the questions and use your own words and language. You want the conversation to be natural and flow, so you should say things in your own words. You should also use your initiative, for example if a service request includes the business name you can look up their social media profiles ahead of the call so that you are prepared. You don’t want to be asking basic questions which you can see online, such as numbers of followers etc, however if the business name is not clear from the service request, then you would ask for this information on the call. Research and prepare as best you can ahead of each call so that you can convert more potential clients into clients.
Outline scripts and example scripts are provided in your free bonus client getting resources for easy reference.
Broadly speaking, an outline script would take the following structure:
There would be:
a discussion about their requirements
and their current situation
their goal or goals
the gap between their current situation and their goal
a recap of their requirements
a brief discussion about solutions and services
a discussion about timescales
and their budget range
along with timescales
any other questions or information you want to ask about
and then closing with next steps
Here is an example
INTRODUCTION Hi this is….. From…..
You would say hello and briefly introduce yourself in an approachable but professional way
INTRODUCTION I was calling about your request for social media and online marketing
Say you are responding to their request for social media management – mention specifically what they have said in their service request for the “overall” service required
So say something along the lines of:
I was calling about your request for social media and online marketing
Use the specific words they have mentioned in their service request
REQUIREMENTS I wanted to find out more about your requirements to look at how different solutions could help you reach your goal. Do you have a few minutes available now?
Set the scene and say you would like to find out more about their requirements, and their specific goal, task, project etc
So you could say something along the lines of I wanted to find out more about your requirements to look at how different solutions could help you reach your goal. Do you have a few minutes available now?
You should always ask if now is a good time to talk, as they may be busy. If they are busy ask when they will have a few minutes available and arrange to call them back then
REQUIREMENTS Ok, can you tell me more about your requirements? I can see that you mentioned XYZ in your service request…
Ask more about their requirements and goals
Say something like
“Can you tell me more about your requirements? I can see that you mentioned Facebook and Instagram social media management in your service request…”
You should always refer back to their service request for details so that you are not asking them to repeat themselves, you want to go deeper and cover additional information to what they have already mentioned in their service request
CURRENT Can you tell me more about your business and current set up in relation to marketing?
Ask about their current situation and setup, for example is this a new requirement, have they managed this in house before etc?
You should always do your research, and avoid asking obvious questions
But always take time to ask more about their company
You want to know the big picture and where they are at
If they ask what you would like to know just ask for an overview, in particular on the marketing side
CURRENT How do your customers find out about you?
Also, you should always ask about how their customers find out about them…
CURRENT [Look for any problems or pain points, low sales, want higher paying customers or more repeat customers, want to scale up etc as this will help with positioning solutions and the closing process]
Always look for any problems or pain points, low sales, want higher paying customers or more repeat customers, want to scale up etc as this will help with positioning solutions and the closing process
Cover their pain points in a tactful way and link this to the their requirement and your ideas for how social media management can help them with their goals
GOAL Do you have any specific goals in mind?
Ask if they have any specific goals in mind
CURRENT Who are your ideal customers?
You also want to know more about who their ideal customers are, for example a dentist may want more Invisalign or dental implant patients, rather than routine patients
GAP What would you like to achieve through your social media, more customers? Higher engagement? Lower advertising costs etc? How many new customers would you like to have on a weekly or monthly basis?
Establish the gap between where they are now and their goal, this will help you make a clear link between their requirement and your solutions
What would they like to achieve through social media?
Ask something like “What would you like to achieve through your social media, more customers? More repeat customers? Higher engagement? Lower advertising costs etc? How many new customers would you like to have on a weekly or monthly basis?”
REQUIREMENTS Did you have a budget range in mind? I can see you mentioned… in your service request. What areas were you looking to include in terms of social media and marketing management?
[Ask about budget range and specifics they would like included]
Did you have a budget range in mind? I can see you mentioned… in your service request. What areas were you looking to include in terms of social media and marketing management?
SOLUTION Which solutions have you considered?
Talk about solutions, and ask about how they see their ideal solution being implemented
SOLUTION Are you looking for a one time project or ongoing social media management and marketing?
You should also ask about if they are looking for a one time project or ongoing monthly social media management and marketing
SOLUTION [Briefly mention your services and how your solutions can help them with their goals]
BUDGET RANGE [Ask about budget range and specifics they would like included]
TIMESCALES When are you looking to start social media management, I can see you mentioned within the next month in your service request?
TIMESCALES Ask more about their timescales. If their service request says ASAP then this is clear already, and you can simply ask “Were you looking for services to start ASAP?” but if their service request does not mention a specific timescale, then you should ask about this
You can say something like:
“When are you looking to start social media management, I can see you mentioned within the next month in your service request?”
INFO [Ask about any other questions you would like to clarify]
NEXT STEPS Ok, thank you for your time and running through your requirements and your objectives. Let me prepare a customised plan for you and we can discuss suggested solutions. Does tomorrow or the following day suit you?
NEXT STEPS – thank them and say you will review and come back to them with suggested solutions
Ask when they are next free to discuss, ask about specific days rather than an open ended question
Expert Tips To Close New Clients Fast
1. Take time to research and prepare ahead of a call – each call is a potential new client
2. When asking when they are free for the second call, ask when they are next free to discuss, ask about specific days rather than an open ended question
3. Ensure your phone shows a caller ID number when calling a potential client
4. Use a professional or branded email address, not a nickname or Hotmail etc
5. Use a 2 call closing process with the first call as the introductory call and the second call to discuss solutions and answering their questions
6. Take time to research and prepare ahead of a call – each call is a potential new client, avoid asking obvious or basic questions that may already be included in their service request, or easy to find out online for example the number of followers etc
7. When asking when they are free for the second call, ask when they are next free to discuss, ask about specific days rather than an open ended question. Like “Do you have a few minutes available tomorrow or the following day?” or “Is Tuesday or Wednesday better for you” not “When are you available to discuss?”
8. Ensure your phone shows a caller ID number when calling a potential client, you don’t want a no caller ID to show as they are less likely to answer
9. Use a professional or branded email address, not a nickname or Hotmail etc
10. Use a 2 call closing process with the first call as the introductory call and the second call to discuss solutions and answering their questions
11. Remember the key is asking the right questions, going in depth on their requirements and looking at ways you can help them achieve their goals.
Through helping others achieve their goals and providing greater service, you can achieve all of your goals.
During the second call you can run through further details and any review / research / analysis you have done on their online presence. You can also talk about costs, you will get a feel from them if they are ready to proceed or if they are looking at a range of service providers and estimates before making a decision. Some business owners will make the decision alone, and some will want to discuss this with their team.
By talking to business owners who are searching for social media service providers, you can get all the clients you want and need. It’s simply a matter of talking to business owners, understanding their requirements and offering your solutions.
Depending on the fees you charge, you would only need a small number of clients to achieve a full time income, potentially only working part time hours. If you want to scale up your business and build a team and social media agency, you can focus on the client conversations and build your business so that you take on more and more new clients each month.
Asking all the right questions and understanding client requirements is the key to closing clients successfully and consistently
Developing the ability to close clients can give you confidence, and financial security and peace of mind, in the knowledge that you can always generate new income regardless of the economy
Familiarize yourself with the outline script
Access PDF scripts and reference resources
Start reviewing real time service requests and start contacting new potential clients or wait until the end of the article series for full details on how to reach your goals as fast as possible.