I often talk about implementing systems in your business to keep everything running smoothly. Lots of people talk about systems and processes, but very few actually explain what that means.
Last week, I was *out* of the office for 5-6 days recovering from surgery. During that time, systems which I instituted months ago kept things running so smoothly that most of my team didn't know about the surgery until after I was home from the hospital (where I spent 3 days).
Here's an example of something you can, and should, institute in your own business -- no matter your industry:
1. Place a buffer between you and prospective clients.
Create a process whereby prospective clients do not speak with you until they've spoken with someone else on your team.
Your team member should schedule the call on your calendar and gather info about the prospective client, including: why they want to speak with you (are they looking to purchase your service or sell you something?), what is their website (so you can get some background info beforehand), how long will the call take (unless you have a process for this -- mine is a 20-minute "Get Aquainted" call), etc.
If you don't yet have a team, create a questionnaire which does the above and ask prospects to complete and return it 24 hours before your call.
2. Create a "New Client Welcome Packet".
Can you imagine if every time I had a new client, I had to discuss the same "welcome" speech and guidelines around working together? AHHHHHHH!
Instead, I've created a "New Client Welcome Packet" which every new coaching client receives and which outlines our relationship, what to expect from me, what I expect, fees, confidentiality stipulations, etc. Once we decide to mentor together, this is the first thing every client receives and our first coaching call doesn't happen until this has been signed and returned.
3. Create a schedule for your marketing activities.
Different members of my team are responsible for different aspects of my marketing activities: posting articles online, posting articles on my blog, sending out press releases, etc.
I've created a strategic marketing action plan which includes who does what, when. There are certain things I do weekly (write my ezine on Mondays, for example), even daily as well as my team. By having a schedule, everyone knows what needs to be done when, and by whom, and I don't have to *remind* anyone.
And, just as importantly, when unexpected things pop up, we have a backup plan so that my clients and readers continue to receive the service they're used to.
Your Next Action Step
What processes can you create and implement in your business starting today? What one thing can you decide will be done on a certain day every week (by you or, preferably, a team member)?
Sandra Martini may be contacted at http://www.SandraMartini.com
For the past 5 years, Sandra Martini has been showing self-employed business owners how to get more clients consistently by implementing processes and systems to put their marketing on autopilot. Visit Sandra at http://www.SandraMartini.com for details, compelling client testimonials and her free audio series "5 Simple and Easy Steps to Put Your Marketing on Autopilot".