So you’re now at a point where you have people in your community who want to learn more about how you can help them. You have attracted leads and prospects who are interested in what you have to offer, and may even be curious about your expertise.
What comes next is the most critical step to get paying clients to sustain your coaching business and your lifestyle. It is the point in time to GET THE YES during your sales or conversion conversation. Any response other than a YES is a No, including “Let me think about it and get back to you”.
Getting to “YES” is the make-it or break-it point that will determine whether you stay in business as a successful coach or join the ranks of struggling coaches with a side day- job to support your true passion.
But remember this: the path to Yes is fraught with No’s and But’s. Before you even pick up the phone to call your prospect, plan your conversation so that you stay in control and lead the conversation back to Yes.
How can you lead the conversation?
By finding out more about your prospect even before the call happens. Send out a brief questionnaire to your prospect with powerful questions that enable you to find out more about the person that you are about to speak with. If you get this right and plan your call right, your prospect will soon enter into a mutually beneficial coaching relationship with you.
Always enter a conversion conversation in the frame of mind that you, the coach, are going to help your prospect get what they want. In turn, the experience you gain from coaching new clients will help you develop further as a coach. You learn and grow from every coaching session. The more you coach, the more your skills are sharpened.
Don’t think of your time as a commodity. This would be a narrow-minded approach. Think big like a successful coach would. Think of the value that you deliver as a powerful coach who gets rewarded richly for helping your client achieve powerful things. It is up to you to clearly articulate the value you bring to your prospect.
The benefits to both of you are immense. No one is doing anyone a favor, so there’s no need to feel guilty or embarrassed to charge what you’re worth. It is not uncommon for successful coaches who earn 6-plus figure incomes to charge $500 and above per hour.
This may sound cold and harsh, especially for coaches who feel that it runs against their altruistic nature and ‘noble’ calling. But the reality is that if you do not get paid what you’re worth as a coach, you won’t be able to continue as one for very long. Would you rather be the noble coach who struggles and is continuously looking for clients that pay $35 per hour or do you want to be the valuable coach that commands $500 per hour and has prospects seeking you out? I hope the choice is clear.
After you get more information about your prospect from the questionnaire, do further research to glean more information about the person you’re about to have the very important conversion call with. Check out LinkedIn, Facebook, or their blogs or speak to people who know your prospect to learn as much as you can.
Plan the conversion conversation to steer it in the right direction. Be prepared with your responses should you encounter the No’s and the But’s. Allow your prospect to surface their fears or their reasons for delaying and not wanting to take your coaching service now. It is perfectly natural for them to do so.
The key is this: you need to know how to address their fears and their excuses to bring them back to Yes.
Other coaches offer “free sessions” hoping that they impress their prospects so much that they will immediately sign up for their services. While they may feel they are taking the easy way out, they are simply avoiding the ultimate conversion conversation or sales conversation, and as a result, they are leaving a whole lot of opportunity – and money – on the table.
How do you then effectively turn prospects into clients?
The topic of sales conversations is wide and deep and we cannot possibly cover every aspect of it in this post. Here are some of the key pieces of advice I’ve collected from various coaches I’ve spoken with which may be helpful to you:
1. Sales conversations may feel awkward and uncomfortable. That is okay. The more you have them, the more comfortable you will feel.
2. You can’t expect to help everyone or close every call with a sale, nor should you want to. That is why the filtration process for the ideal client is important. Set your own criteria as to whom you want to help then filter the prospects you speak with accordingly.
3. Remember that you can only inspire and empower people to solve their problems. You cannot make them or force their hand. You can only take them so far in their decision making process. In the end, your prospect needs to realize that they want this and they are willing to go the next step.
4. Use a system to keep track of prospects, leads and clients. Not only will this help you stay organized, it will also help you think and act like a more savvy coach. The more organized you are with your systems and tools, the clearer you will be in your conversion process. You’ll be able to manage your contacts, prospects and clients in one place rather than hunting through email folders to find the info you need!
Remember that the conversion conversation is a crucial step in your coaching business. Learning and mastering the art of closing the sale over the phone will make a tremendous difference in your success as a coach, a businessperson and an individual.
The CoachVantage app is a system that allows you to keep your contacts, prospects and clients all in one place where you can take notes about conversations you have with them. You’ll never lose sight of your prospects in your email pile again!
You can sign up for a free trial of CoachVantage here.