4 Crucial Tips for Improving your New Client Intake Forms

Walk through this scenario with me...

A new client contacts you by email, requesting a free consultation meeting to see if you would be a good fit to hire as their new personal trainer. This same potential client has sent similar emails to two of your main competitors. What steps can you take to guarantee that you nail the first impression and the client chooses to work with you?

Or how about this...

A new client selects to work with you as their trainer. You email the client all 10 pages of your beautifully branded intake forms. The client receives your email, prints out the forms, fills them out, scans the forms back in and lastly emails the PDFs of the completed forms back to you. How could you improves this process in order to gain your new client's trust in the efficiency of your business practices?

Both of these scenarios are daily occurrences in the fitness industry, as well as opportunities for you and your business to stand out amongst your competitors in order to impress and better connect with your new clients from day one. Consider the four tips below while reviewing your current intake process and take immediate action in the areas where you can make the biggest improvements.

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1. Be Prepared

Whether your first interaction with a new client is by phone or in person, it is imperative that you gather some basic information from them PRIOR to any talks or meetings. Let's assume a potential client is recovering from a very specific injury that you have little experience in dealing with. By simply asking a few simple questions about their current injuries, health history and goals prior to speaking with them, you will have ample time to better research the details of their injury, in order to be well prepared and speak intelligently on the subject, consequently nailing the first impression. These simple questions can be included in your website's CONTACT form or simply sent to them by email.

2. Go Electronic

In this day and age, there is no excuse for anything to be printed and filled out on a hard copy. A well branded and cleanly designed electronic form can provide a tremendous first impression for new clients, while also differentiating you from your competitors and far bettering your chances of gaining a new client. Not to mention the elimination of having to store files and files of new client paperwork. At DIAKADI, we use Typeform for nearly all of our new client forms and find the product extremely easy to design clean, well branded forms that match the look, feel and voice of your business. Google Forms are free and easy to use, but do not allow as much freedom for branding and design. You can also create forms directly on your website when your site is hosted in products like Squarespace. Lastly, for all legal forms and liability waivers which require signatures, I highly recommend using Docusign, which is extremely easy to set up and use for only $10 / month.

3. Be Concise

Do not fall into the trap of thinking that the longer and more in-depth your forms are, the more impressive they are to new clients. Trust me that your new clients want the beginning of their relationship with you to feel efficient, effortless, and productive. Long forms are NOT impressive and are usually a BIG turn off. Ask only the essential questions which you feel are necessary in order to gather then information you need in creating their most successful and individualized program.

4. Do It Yourself

Now I am not saying you have to be the person who builds your electronic intake form, I am saying that once it is built, you are required to go through the process of FILLING it out, exactly as if you are a new client. This will guarantee that you know (a) how it feels to go through the process (i.e. Does the form flow well, make sense, etc) and (b) exactly how long it takes for a new client to complete the process. Do not skip this step! Trust me that it is a necessary step and every time you change it your form, I recommend repeating the process of completing it yourself.

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