This may shock some people, but here’s the truth: Getting more coaching clients, more students for your course, or more clients for your services business isn’t actually as important as getting the right clients.
To weed out the tire kickers and find your best prospects, you need to create a smooth client acquisition process. One of the best ways to do that is with a client intake form — a simple form on your website that asks for key information that helps you quickly qualify leads and prospects.
What exactly goes into a client intake form? Keep reading to learn the benefits of this client acquisition tool, as well as some best practices and sample questions you can use in your form.
Why have a client intake process?
The client intake process is a vital part of your overall client lifecycle. It’s the linchpin that helps you qualify your prospects, establish your professionalism, and lay the foundation for a long-term relationship.
Needless to say, it’s crucial that you get it right. And yet, there isn’t one set of questions that you can ask to get the information you need. It really depends on your business, your audience, and what you’re looking for in your ideal client.
In just a minute, we’ll give you six questions that work for the majority of businesses in most industries. But you’ll likely want to adjust those client intake interview questions to your own knowledge business. And that’s okay.
Still not convinced you need a client intake process? We get it. Most businesses do just fine without one. But there are a few benefits that could help you raise the quality of your services and your clients.
So why implement a client intake process? It will help you identify people who are a bad fit — or a great fit. That’s going to help you build a business that you enjoy.
It’s also going to help you close higher value clients faster. Because you gather information about the prospect before talking to them, you go into your calls with a good sense of who they are and what they want.
That saves time getting to know one another. It means you can get to the heart of your discussion quickly.
Not only that, the information you get from your client intake form is pure research. They’re telling you their hopes, fears, and dreams. And that’s going to help you provide a better customer experience.
By asking for this information before you talk to them, you send a clear message that you care about your clients, that you understand the problems they face, and that you know how to solve them.
That builds trust, which makes it easier to convert the prospect and build loyalty.
Client intake form best practices
To create your client intake form, you need to start with a strategy. Understand your goals: Are there specific qualities you’re looking for in your clients? What questions would help you identify them?
Then keep these best practices in mind:
Make it as painless as possible
A good client intake form doesn’t introduce a lot of friction to your sales process. Instead, it gets your clients excited about working with you. So how do you do that?
Minimize the number of questions you ask. Create a form that takes only a few minutes to fill out (for your client) while still giving you the most information possible.
One way to do that is to ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions invite the prospect to share more information — which you can then use to prompt deeper discussions when you talk to them one-on-one.
Understand its purpose
Don’t confuse a client intake form with a lead capture form. Although in some respects they’re similar, a client intake form asks more detailed and specific questions, whereas a lead generation form generally only asks for the user’s name and email address.
Both forms add the prospect to your list. But a client intake form gives them a way to let you know they’re interested in working with you. It takes the relationship to the next level.
Offer a personalized response
If you’re worried about creating too much friction, you can incentivize people to complete the form. According to Kajabi hero Luis Báez, this can significantly raise the completion rate:
“One client is a fitness instructor and is using [a client intake form] to have leads take a five-part video fitness assessment — after which my client provides feedback about whether they belong in their advanced or beginners class. They’ve had almost 30 people complete the assessment in the first week from one email to their list.”
Don’t overwhelm them
Ask for information that will help you serve the client better. But don’t get too personal. Avoid questions that aren’t relevant.
By asking the right questions, you can communicate that you understand the problems your clients face. Go too far, and you can erode trust. Always err on the side of fewer, more general questions.
Integrate your CRM
Once a prospect has filled out the intake form, you want that information to be readily accessible. The best way to do that is to integrate it with your contact management system (CRM).
In a minute, we’ll show you how to do that with Kajabi. For now, let’s look at the questions you may want to ask.
6 client intake interview questions
Asking the right questions can help you qualify your prospects, identify the people who you can truly help, and lay the groundwork for a valuable, long-term relationship.
With that in mind, here are six client intake interview questions that will get you started. Tailor them as needed for your business.
Question 1: Reason why
The first thing you need to know is why they’re seeking you out. Ask a question similar to these:
- “What caused you to seek me out?”
- “What got you interested in this program?”
- “What made you want to coach with me?”
This information will tell you three things:
First, whether you’re likely to be a good fit for their needs. And you’ll be armed with that information before you ever enter a Zoom room with them.
Second, how well your marketing and branding are working. If you’re a relationship coach, for example, and someone tells you, “I heard you were the best at helping couples mend their relationships,” you know your marketing efforts are working.
Finally, how they came to learn about you. This will tell you which channels and campaigns are bringing you good clients, so you can optimize them.
Question 2: Their goals
The second question in your client intake form should tell you what the client is trying to achieve: “What are some of your goals?”
Not only does this help you understand them on a deeper level, it helps you see what drives them and what it will take to give them real success.
Question 3: Their business or life
Your third question gets them talking about their current situation: “Tell me more about your [business, relationship, fitness routine, etc.]”
Ideally, you want them to paint a picture of the things they’re doing now: their routines, resources, and methods. This will tell you what they’ve already tried, what works, and what doesn’t.
Note: By asking an open-ended question, you’ll encourage the prospect to share more details. And the more details you have, the easier it will be to deliver a solution that will actually work for them.
Question 4: Their financial goals
If your coaching can help your clients earn more money, this question is key: “How much money would you like to make each month?”
Some people have unrealistic goals. You may need to temper their expectations or encourage them to aim higher.
Others haven’t thought about exact numbers. Their financial goals are fuzzy at best. If that’s the case, you’ll know in advance that you’ll need to do some mindset work with your new client.
Note: If your coaching doesn’t relate to money, think about the outcome you promise your clients or students. Replace this question with one that uncovers their feelings about that outcome.
Question 5: Their challenges
Now that you have a clear picture of what your prospect wants to achieve, you need to understand what they believe is holding them back: “What’s stopped you from achieving this so far?”
This is their opportunity to expand on why they need your help. That being the case, it’s one of the most important client intake interview questions you can ask.
Question 6: Their dream
“Tell me about THE DREAM.” This final question in the coaching client intake form gives the prospect one last chance to talk about their hopes and dreams.
On the surface, this question sounds repetitive. After all, you’ve already asked twice about their goals.
But this is different. It’s the catch-all for anything else they may want to say. It gives you insight into their overarching vision and why they’re seeking coaching in the first place.
These are by no means the only questions you can ask. But this is the information you’ll need in most instances. Use them as a starting point for your own client intake forms, and adjust as needed to help you gain the information you need to qualify your prospects.
How can you use your client intake form to engage with and retain clients?
A client intake form is the ideal solution for any offer that the client must apply for. They’ve got to talk to you before they can buy.
That means you can add one to any landing page. But it’s especially appropriate for a personalized, high-value offer, such as coaching, or a membership or mastermind.
When setting up your client intake form, your first step is to build the form in your CRM. This example comes from Kajabi hero Mike Blissett:
As you can see, this looks a lot like a lead generation form, but with more questions. That’s because it’s built in your CRM with custom fields. That way, the answers are stored in your customer’s profile.
That’s going to make it easier to reach out to your prospect and follow up with them. It also makes it easy to build automations that send your prospects the right message at the right time.
For instance, you can set up a Kajabi pipeline in just a few clicks to automatically respond to people who fill out your form, letting them know you received their responses and will be in touch within the next 24 to 48 hours.
But Kajabi pipelines do more than just send out an automated response when a form is submitted. You can also use them to nurture the prospect and keep them engaged until they’re ready to buy.
Tip: Build a sequence of emails that include educational content, testimonials from your prior clients, or other information that will warm them up to the prospect of doing business with you. Send it to anyone who fills out your intake form to begin nurturing that relationship.
How do you create a client intake form in Kajabi?
Creating forms in Kajabi, including client intake forms, is a simple and straightforward process. Open the Marketing Tab from the dashboard, click on Forms and then Add New Form.
From there, you’ll give your form a title, click Save, and start the customization process.
Set your opt-in settings. Then add custom fields to ask your client intake questions:
If you want to add the user to an existing pipeline after they submit the form, just click on Pipelines from within the Marketing Tab, either choose an existing pipeline or create a new one. Then click the Opt-In form inside the Blueprint Checklist.
Edit your form to your liking. Save it when you’re done. And you’re ready to go.
All of the tools in Kajabi are designed to work together. So your intake form is fully integrated with your website, marketing, and sales from the moment you create it — without clunky plugins, costly third-party tools, or other services.
And with Kajabi, there’s no limit to the number of forms you can create or the emails you can send. The basic plan lets you nurture up to 10,000 leads, giving you unparalleled flexibility with your client intake forms for your business.
The bottom line on creating client intake forms
Client intake forms are a strategic way to start the customer journey. They give you the information you need to quickly get to know your prospects and lay the foundation for a profitable relationship. They also position you as a seasoned professional who fully understands your clients’ problems.
Best of all, with Kajabi, you can build yours in just a few clicks. So what are you waiting for? Set up your intake form today.
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