b) Meeting with clients

meeting preparedAfter you have made initial contact with families it is now time to set up a meeting to find out if you are a good match and get them to hire you.

The meetings can be set up face to face in their home or yours. You can meet in a public place a coffee shop, book store, etc. As well you can meet them virtually by  using Facetime, Skype, Google Hangouts and other such video chat tools.

One advantage of not going to peoples homes is that you can schedule back to back meetings say if they meet you in a coffee shop. For example every Wednesday from 4-6 pm you would meet with potential clients at that coffee shop.

I suggest that you limit the initial meeting to 30 minutes. Many doulas allow 1 hour for this first meeting, however in 30 minutes you should be able to find out if you are compatible. As the first meeting is usually free you have to consider how best to use your “free” time.  The 30 minute limit will also help you to be focused and concise in your meeting. You can now also see twice as many potential clients when you have 30 minute versus 60 minute initial meetings. So during your Wednesday time slot instead of seeing 2 potential clients, you could see 4 potential clients.

When running your business you always have to think about how to get more productivity and profit out of the time you have. From time to time you should always rethink what you’re doing…

What happens in the meeting

Think about what would be important for you to accomplish in this meeting…

You should assess if you are compatible. If you sense that you are compatible then you want to sell them on why they should hire you.

What information do you need to collect? Will you collect this in the meeting or can you collect it by having them email you the information ahead of time; which I suggest.

Explain your services and fees in the meeting. Also explain when and how you collect your fees.

Give potential clients a sheet to take with them highlighting your contact info, services, and fees.

Close Meeting

Be sure to end your meeting letting potential clients know what is next. Be clear. Say that you were glad to meet and give them a time line.

For example, “I know you are meeting with other doulas in the next week and will then make a decision. If you can let me know by (specific date). If I don’t hear from you by (specific date) I will assume you selected another doula.”

You should do some practice meetings if you’re new to it.

Here is an example Family Interview sheet and Practice Interview sheet for you to download:

 


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