Should You Automate Your Bookings?

by | Jul 8, 2021

Video transcript:

Hey, everyone, welcome. I’m doing a video today about whether you should automate your bookings. So this mainly applies to service-based business owners, for example, dog trainers, which is my largest business coaching section of the market, because as you may know, I started out my business journey as a dog trainer, and I still do dog training as well. And I also help business owners with addressing subconscious beliefs that hold them back in their business, as well as implementing the right strategies to help them grow their business, while not burning out because being flexible and free in business and in life is one of my top values and priorities. And I would love that for you as well as many people can relate to. I’m just going to share this video with the Dog Matters Pro group.

That’s all done. And today, I wanted to talk about automating your bookings. Because if you want to get more flexibility in your business, one of the things that you want to decrease is your administration time. So should you have just a booking link on my like on your website or your Facebook page that just says the price and people can just click to book? Well, like anything in your business, and when you’re making a decision on this, it has pros and cons. So let’s talk about what they are.

Firstly, I want you to know that I have been doing this for a while now for my dog training business, where people can go to my website, and they can just click and book a lesson. However, just because I do it, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing for you.

And in fact, a lot of people who follow me that are dog trainers or other service-based business owners should not be worrying about doing this just yet, because of some of the downsides that I’m going to talk about today.

So there’s often a lot of discussion about this in various training groups and things like that, where people are talking about, yes, you should do it because it saves you time. And it cuts out people that are just price shopping. And it enables people to just see clearly what the terms are, what the payment is, and just make the decision on the spot without having to talk to them. Now that without having to talk to them part also creates a downside.

Now you might not realize what that is if you are like many animal traders who don’t like getting on the phone, because you don’t want to talk to people as much as possible. If you’re like many of the traders that are out there.

However, the downside is, it is a lot easier to get a sale and a booking from someone after you’ve had a conversation with them. Now, it’s easier to do this as a phone conversation rather than a text conversation. But even a text conversation is better than just then looking at your site and making a decision before you ever know that they existed. And that’s the main downside.

So when would this apply to you? Because let’s say you’re booked out, you run off your feet, you don’t have time for admin, you don’t have time to return all of your calls and you’re already struggling with that, then it would make a lot more sense to reduce some of that workload. And just put a booking link on your website where people can do it automatically, automatically be shown the schedule that fits in with you and your timeframes, automatically processed the payment.

So it’s all done and out of the way, makes perfect sense is going to help you to streamline and grow your business. However, if you are just starting out, you’re new to the business, or maybe you’ve been in in a while. But you haven’t got to the point where you’re able to get consistent bookings so that you can predict how many people you’re going to be seeing this week, this month, how much you’re going to be making as your income you can rely on that you feel secure knowing that if you’re not at that point, and you still need to find more clients, put yourself out that they’re more getting the word out there more and getting those inquiries up and not being able to afford to miss out on some of those inquiries, then I think you should not have an automatic booking link on your website or your page, whatever you’re using wherever your place is to be found on the internet. That’s a whole other topic.

By the way, where do you need a website but wherever you found on the internet, you should not just use an automatic booking link and leave everyone to it if you need more clients, and because the dog trainers that I’m usually talking to are in that position of needing more clients, I survey them all the time and it is the top Question and the top struggle that my audience has is getting more clients in the first place. So if that’s you, and you’re in that position, and Hi, if you’re watching can see a couple of years, they’ll say hi in the comments.

If you are in that position that you need more clients, let’s not waste opportunities where people are looking at your content, your page, your website, whatever it is, and then leaving making a decision based on maybe a number being the price, rather than making a decision on having a conversation with you.

So by getting them in a chat, getting them on the phone, you’re a lot more likely to actually make that booking happen and close the deal. But there’s another reason that we might want to talk to people that a lot of people don’t consider, hey, Natalie, how you doing good to see you.

There’s another reason we might want to get people into a conversation one on one. And that is to learn about our customers and to learn about our target market. It’s not just always about getting the booking, there’s a lot more to it.

It’s about finding out and discovering who is following me, what do they need? What are they like, as people, what are they struggling with the most, because even if they don’t book, if you’ve got that information, you can then tailor your marketing towards addressing those problems, you can tailor your content towards talking about those problems that people are actually having in your target audience.

You can also use the language of your target market, when they have these conversations with you and you just find out a little bit more about them. You can not just address what their main pain points are, but the language that they would use to talk about that. And that’s another thing that’s sort of a big thing to remember in dog training as well is we want to talk to our target audience in the language that they would use. So often as trainers, we’re always surrounded by other trainers were having training discussions were learning in-depth theory, we’re looking at the scientific studies, we’re learning all these methods with fancy names that people have put out there, we’re going to seminars, and we’re talking with other experts.

But if your target market is not other experts, and it is in fact, pet dog owners, which is usually the sector that most trainers in business are talking to, they are going to feel likely overwhelmed or confused if you use all of the scientific jargon and the dog training terms that people are using. And that would go for any market as well if you’re in a specialty niche, and you’re surrounded by other experts sharing your knowledge all of the time when you pass that on to your target audience, and they are the layperson and they are not the expert, hence needing you, you want to put it in a language that they can understand and that they would use themselves.

So for example, when someone says my dog won’t come when cold, they usually word it that way, instead of saying my dog doesn’t have a solid recall, for example.

So understanding and gathering information about your target audience is another reason why if you need more clients, I don’t recommend automating your bookings just yet. Now, if you are further along and you’re really busy like Natalie’s just let us know that she is and you don’t even have time to be answering all your inquiries. That is when you can put up an automated booking link and have people do that just on on-demand automatically.

They go on there, they can just book a time with you. One other downside, though, that you might want to consider about that sort of, either way, is, again, you’re not having a conversation fast. So for some people, they’re booking an initial lesson or a free discovery session, and that’s the conversation. But I don’t know about you guys, but I think as a trainer and a lot of trainers prefer to know what they’re sort of getting into, know that they click with the person know that they’re able to help with the behavior issue that the person is inquiring about, and know that it’s going to be a good fit to work together basically.

So while I do have automated bookings, at this point in time, that is one thing that I don’t like about it, that makes me sort of question whether I will keep that for the long term because I do like to have a sort of preliminary discussion. With the prospect first to make sure we’re going to be a good fit working together.

Because guess what, you don’t have to take on every single person that inquires to you, as a client, someone might ask to book in with you, but you are getting a gut feeling that it’s not going to be a good fit, and you feel really hesitant about it, and you don’t want to do it.

You don’t have to do it. You can say no to people, you can say, I’m sorry, I can’t take on that booking at the moment. Hey, Keith, good to see you. I’m your number one fan. So you can turn people down if they asked to work with you.

And you have any kind of hesitation or feeling that you don’t want to do it. So automated bookings do remove that potential possibility as well. So you may find another solution to that another step in that booking process.

But it’s something to be aware of that there are some downsides on missing out on that initial conversation. Now, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about today. Let me know your thoughts in the comment below. Comments below.

Please let me know if you already automate your bookings. Or if you don’t feel ready yet, or if it’s something you’re thinking about doing, but you’re not sure. And let me know your thoughts about that. And how you’re finding it if you’re already doing it.

Because there are some obvious benefits as well. It can save us time, that’s a big one, making our admin process smoother, etc. What I do really love about having a booking system is having automatic appointment reminders sent out. But that’s still something you can do if you talk to each prospect before booking them in as well.

So once they’re in there, they get reminders to dramatically decrease any no-shows to your appointments. As usual, there are so many different facets that come along with this conversation. So if you have any comments or thoughts or questions, please put them below and make sure you’re registered and have your seat for my live webinar that is coming up. In the last week, I think of this month, the 20th of this month.

So a couple of weeks to go, we’re going to be talking about getting more training clients for professional dog trainers. And not only that but clients that are your ideal client and are good fits for you as well. So I’ve put the link below it’s talking about, and make sure you come along so we can hang out live like this, but for longer, and really cover a training session of how we can get more clients straight away and have a reliable system that we can use repeatedly to continue to get more clients as well and ultimately grow our businesses and have success because that’s what we all want for each other. And that’s what I want for you.

The second thing I know, it’s very naughty of me to have two things to promote at once. But I did just release something new and exciting yesterday, which is a new client relationship template kit, which is relevant to the conversation we’ve had today.

You can get the training workbooks that I use with clients to help keep them accountable and get them to do their homework and therefore getting better results. It also comes with my training agreements. So all the agreement terms are clear from the start of the client relationship, which helps a lot with that as well. And my puppy toolkit, which is a socialization checklist and a toilet training schedule for clients to use that, have puppies.

It also has templates for my pre-session behavior questionnaire and training report template as well. And I’m sure one or two other things that I’m not remembering.

So I will also put the link to that below and if you’d like to grab that it’s $29 until the 16th and then it goes up to $39 so make sure you get on that today and I will see you around in the Dog Matters Pro group and right here on the Tenille Williams page. Have a fantastic day go out there and get those client bookings and grow business. Wishing you every success. See you later.