The Automated Consultant: Crafting a High Performance Onboarding Engine with Zapier 🚀 by Chris Bintliff

The Automated Consultant: Crafting a High Performance Onboarding Engine with Zapier 🚀

The essential how-to, hands-on, step-by-step training to working smarter, getting more done and delighting your customers by learning to automate your new client on-boarding process with Zapier.

You’re Wasting Time.

And when you’re wasting time you’re throwing money away. I know because I was wasting my time too. Let me show you how I stopped wasting time and how I can help you do it too. Exciting side effect: Your prospects and customers will have a better experience because of it.

Hey, I’m Chris Bintliff. I’m a marketing and automation consultant.

Many of my clients are consultants too, and we have a lot of the same things in common:
  • We have multi-step business-building processes.
    Stuff like generating leads through a website, qualifying them, working up pitches or proposals and making a sale. 

  • Meanwhile, we need to on-board our new customers into our processes and platforms.
    Some of this is public-facing, like sending them invoices or working with them through a project management platform. Other steps are just for us, like proposal creation or using time tracking tools. 

  • We don’t have a big infrastructure to manage all these moving parts and pieces.
    There aren’t multiple departments coordinating sales to customer care and finance. No enterprise level software to manage it all. Some of us have an assistant or hire a virtual assistant to keep it all in check. Many of us do it all – get the lead, make the sale, send the invoice, manage the project, nurture the customer, track the time and check the boxes.

  • Most of us start with some ad-hoc manual processes that work fine when we’re starting out or have a handful of clients.
    As soon as we get busy, though, we realize – geez I am spending a lot of time managing this stuff and remembering (or forgetting) to send the thing I promised and setting reminders to do the thing or not forget the thing and none of this is actually helping my business grow.

Here’s the deal – I’m not a logistics guy. I’m a creative person. I’m an imaginative, strategic, ideas guy. That’s why my clients hire me and it’s the stuff I do really well. So the logistics stuff – critical as it is – always ended up last on my to-do list. It’s no way to run a business.

The frustration of this reality came to a head for me when I had a particularly busy month with several new clients coming aboard at once. I was forced out of my rose-colored creative space and put on my Business Administrator hat to realize, because I was doing the same thing in repetition, what a slog my process was. A few lowlights: 

  • Too many bottlenecks.
    Everything required me to read an email, respond to a notification, or have the good sense to set up a task or todo to remind me to do something. 

  • Prone to human error.
    Everything from missing an important email to misspelling a customer’s name somewhere to forgetting or poorly prioritizing a step.

  • Inconsistency
    Because it was such a manual process, the timing, delivery, tone or language I’d use to communicate with my clients as they came aboard was inconsistent. Everybody got a slightly different version of everything.
     
  • Overinvolved.
    I’ve been hard at work on a project, on vacation, on my bike, on a boat or half asleep when a strong lead came in and I’d drop everything to at least get the first email response to their inbox. Newsflash: Those are not the sustainable behaviors one hopes to adopt when one is in business for himself.

As I was churning through the necessary steps to get a new customer going, I totaled up the hours I spent on-boarding these new projects, then multiplied that times a typical quarter, and then curled up in a shivering ball in the corner because I was shocked at how much time it was taking. A few minutes here, a few minutes there, heck just a couple minutes to create a new customer profile in Nusii (proposals), then Wave (invoicing), then Basecamp (project management) then Harvest (time tracking)…that’s eight minutes…multiply by…carry the two…square root of nineteen…divided by pi… turns out this small stuff turns into big stuff. And like any consultant, wasted time is wasted opportunity and wasted money.

I was wasting hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars a year on time taken in an ad-hoc, duct-taped, this-can’t-possibly-scale on-boarding process.

I don’t have time like that to waste! My minutes in my day are accounted for! I’m a busy dude! So inevitably these tasks would slide down my priority list, or I’d take a break-and-fix attitude; I’m too busy to give this my attention now so I’ll deal with it when it’s really screaming at me. Well you know how that went: ultimately my customers were suffering. “Hey Chris can’t wait to get that proposal, let me know when I can expect it.” “Chris you mentioned setting us up in Basecamp, just a friendly reminder to send that link when you can.” – if you spend any time with me you’ll learn about how essential I think it is to delight your customer, and how important it is to nurture aspirational customers by delivering a great experience and, well, I was falling flat on my face before they even got a mile down the road in our relationship. I wondered what others do about this, so I checked in with some colleagues and clients who are consultants. A few pay an employee or assistant to handle just these kinds of tasks. One uses a virtual assistant. Many just agreed it’s a huge hassle with one laughing that she didn’t even know where to start to try and improve that part of her business and just accepted that it was, in her words, “a train wreck.” I learned it’s not just consultants – many of the sales and marketing organizations I work with are plagued by some pretty systemic inefficiencies too. I started to map out my process in an effort to hand the responsibilities over to somebody else, and in doing that I had an obvious thought: I’m an automation expert. This isn’t a resources problem. This is a processes problem.

I set to work automating every aspect of my client on-boarding process. Using a powerful web app called Zapier as the brains of my engine, I integrated all of my digital tools to seamlessly connect, react and respond to my prospects’ actions and behaviors.

The result is a process that’s 95% automatic, where it’s the prospect’s behaviors – not mine – that drive the levers and pulleys for successful admin into my business. All I have to do is enjoy a meaningful discovery conversation with them and write a proposal - which is stuff I'm good at. Everything just works.

Delighted, I’m sure.

Something powerful happened as a result, besides all my sweet saved time and effort that I could dedicate to other parts of my business. My clients and propects loved it. They remarked how enjoyable and unique the experience was, they shared how appreciative they were of my responsiveness (not knowing, of course, that it was the automation doing all the work!), and they really loved my Launchpad – a special page I put together using some advanced automation techniques. The page is personalized just for them, sharing and showing unique content that’s based on the things they were sharing with me in the on-boarding process. Now I didn’t just have an on-boarding engine – I had a delight engine as well!

In this course I’m going to walk you, step-by-step, through exactly how I do it.

You can either copy my process entirely or just let it inform your own, using your favorite tools or steps. You’ll learn important concepts and practices to make Zapier and other digital tools work for you. This is a how-to, actionable, practical, skills development course that can, in less than an hour, teach you how to automate a process that can save you significant time and money. It’s a no-brainer if you spend even a few minutes of your valuable time hassling through the admin and logistics of setting up new projects, and you’ll learn things you can start applying to many other parts of your business as you start automating. And I’ll show you how to delight and impress your prospects by crafting pages that are personalized just for them as the cherry-on-top of your on-boarding process. 

What's included?

Video Icon 13 videos File Icon 1 file Text Icon 1 text file

Contents

Getting Started 👩🏽‍💻
Apps You’ll Need, Unless You Don’t
Ebook: The Essential Guide to Becoming an Automated Consultant
606 KB
Intake: Bringing Your Prospect Into Your Engine 🤖
The Path Ahead: Start Your Engine (+ a short lesson on Drip)
5 mins
Connecting Calendly > Pipedrive : The Long Version (Recommended)
28 mins
Connecting Calendly > Pipedrive : The Short Version
8 mins
The Path Ahead: Capturing and Using New Information
1 min
Connecting Typeform > Pipedrive CRM
10 mins
Processing: Developing Your Prospect Into A Customer 🙋🏻‍♂️
The Path Ahead: Preparing For Proposal
1 min
Creating a New Customer in Nusii With Data From Pipedrive
12 mins
Management: Getting Your New Customer Into Your Business ⚙️
The Path Ahead: A Whole Bunch Of Project Management Stuff
2 mins
Making a Nusii Accepted Proposal Kickstart Project Management
12 mins
Super Sweet Bonus Stuff: Turning Your Automation Game Up To Eleven 🤘🏻
How to Get A Text Message When A New Calendly Event Is Created
3 mins
Creating A Personalized "Launch" Page For Your Prospects (Introducing RightMessage)
9 mins
How To Create the "Launch" Page: Typeform + Drip + RightMessage
6 mins
Summary and Wrapping Up!  👨🏼‍🚀
3 mins

Testimonials

Just learning how Chris automates his discovery process with clients was a revelation for me. As a consultant I’m always looking for an edge, and The Automated Consultant delivers.
Mike, Sales Consultant
I’ve used Zapier before, but Chris’s course made me realize how under-using it I was. This course helped me create something that’s totally transformed how I start new engagements. The time (and cost!) savings are significant.
Scott, SEO Consultant
We didn’t even realize how our old, very hands-on way of doing things was getting in our own way and even hassling our customers. We didn’t just learn new skills in this course, we learned to think differently about our entire customer experience.
Amy, Fitness Coach