By this I mean, the way they present introductory materials so that the other party can have an orientation that makes sense and effectively opens the flow of work around the project.
After you market and network and nurture, finally a lead converts to a customer. How do you say hello?
That magic moment immediately following your new client’s “I’m in!” What do you do with it?
Do you arrange a meeting? Distribute an info packet? Send questionnaires?
No need for me to be dramatic. Obviously, it makes sense to have a plan for this moment, a sequence of actions that will seamlessly shift your new customer from rookie to comfortable user.
What are the elements of your Welcome? Once the contract is signed, the client is probably hot to get some return right away, diving into requests for deliverables. And that’s fine. It’s likely that the VA loves jumping into the work as well. But adding in a simple process of Welcoming at the very beginning is a SMART thing to do.
Specific: Send ‘em to a web page designed as a welcome. Or mail a brochure to their street address. Maybe email them an ebook you’ve created relevant to the type of work you’re doing for them. Make an infographic detailing your policies and procedures. Send an email with a personalized invitation to connect on social media.
Measurable: Track visits to the web page or click-thru rates for your emails to ensure that your communications are being opened.
Achievable: I don’t recommend setting up a Welcome process and then forgetting about it for five years. But with revisions just a couple times a year, a Welcome process is easy, inexpensive, and fun to create and maintain.
Realistic: There is nothing more realistic than being considerate of the experience of our guests. When we treat newcomers with utmost sensitivity and care, we pave the way to success in the relationship. Providing a Welcome is an easy way to show your sincere appreciation.
Time-bound: This is a biggie. Your Welcome has to be delivered on time. As soon as a new customer signs on, they should receive your Welcome, before anything else happens. (If your business is online, therefore, a snail-mailed Welcome isn’t appropriate.)
But in a way, you can forget about the science of it. Smart or not, making new folks welcome is just how we do things. We ask them in, offer them a seat, give them something to eat and a chance to take in the surroundings. We let them into our circumstances with generous sharing. That only makes sense if we hope to partner with them successfully.