Bringing on new clients doesn't have to be an uphill climb. The more specific you are in meeting your client's needs the more handshakes you'll be having.
Many of us find selling the hardest part of running a business. Cold calling can be a cold lonely way to get clients, particularly on those days where “No, thank you.” seem to be the easiest words in the world to say. However, if you refine your marketing messages you'll find that sales contacts become easier and engaging new business isn't such hard work.
GET SPECIFIC - IDENTIFY AND DEFINE YOUR COACHING NICHE
One of the biggest problems that new coaches face is defining their niche. No-one can successfully be all things to all men. You need to define exactly what audience your coaching business will serve. Are you going to offer coaching to job seekers looking to get back into work following a career break or redundancy? Or will you be looking to coach Fortune 500 CEO's through difficult decision making processes?
Whatever you intend to do, you need to spend a little time examining the community you want to serve and then defining that community. That means developing an “elevator pitch” or a 2 minute (or ideally less) quick summary of who you help and how you help them. If you can't articulate this clearly, how will prospective clients understand what you do?
This will have another benefit for your business. Once you've defined your community, you can begin to target that community. That's a much better recipe for success than scatter-gun marketing with the general message of “Hi, I'm a coach.”.
GET SPECIFIC – IDENTIFY YOUR CLIENT'S PROBLEMS THAT CAN BE SOLVED THROUGH COACHING
Most coaches are brilliant at doing this in a coaching session. They'll ask plenty of questions to draw out the information from a client as to what they want to work on and what they need to achieve. However, it's all too easy to forget to do this when you're calling a customer. Instead there's a part of us that goes into “pitch” mode – we talk about who we are, what we do, how much we charge, etc. without ever really engaging with our prospect.
If you take a step back and play to your biggest strengths as a coach, the ability to ask a question and really listen to the response, you'll soon be converting prospects into clients. That's because you'll have created a need for coaching. The client will have identified a problem they want to solve, and you'll be offering to help them solve it.
GET SPECIFIC – SHOW EXAMPLES OF HOW YOUR COACHING HAS SOLVED REAL ISSUES
Don't be vague when it comes to talking about the benefits of what you do. If you're coaching businesses find some examples of where your coaching had a great business outcome. If you can put a dollar value on that outcome – so much the better. Which sounds better?
“I helped the CEO of a small firm reorganize his sales force.”
“I helped the CEO of a small firm change the structure of his sales team. The team had been consistently under performing compared to expectations. The reorganization was highly successful, within 2 weeks the team was selling 30% more than they had under the old structure. That increase represents an increased turnover of nearly $10 million a year, and over $1 million in extra profits.”
You should be able to find similar examples in any coaching niche. If you can show that your service adds value – you're one step closer to a sale.
You don't need to be pushy to sell your coaching. You do need to be specific. You must understand who you want to sell to, how you can help them and be able to demonstrate success. These are the keys to easier sales calls. Once you've identified your niche, there's a good chance that you really are the best person in it – if you can demonstrate that, the clients will come.