by Christie Mims
This is part 4 in a six-part series on how to start your coaching practice. You can see part three right here.
Okay, you are in your coaching business. You know your business model, and you understand how to talk to clients and how to package your services (click here if you don’t!). Yay!
The next step? Get some clients.
I’m a big fan of new coaches starting with a few private clients before they do anything else. Why? Because it gives you confidence and success stories, practice making offers and coaching, and it’s a way to test out some of your ideas fluidly before you structure them and turn them into a big group coaching program or book.
It’s also profitable.
Why? Because all you are using with private clients is your time, and you can charge a premium for your time that will instantly put you in the black. Plus, you only need one person to start making a living :).
Quick note: Before you go after clients, make sure you know your rates and your packages (here’s a place to get worksheet that can help). I can’t stress this enough: If you don’t know what you are offering and how it fundamentally helps people solve a big problem, then you won’t have success.
Now, let’s talk about sales
It’s really really hard to ask people for money.
You feel weird (you should just be helping them, right?). You feel lost (whyyyyyyyyy????). You feel awkward (Pay me, please?).
And clients know that and respond. You can have a great conversation with someone and then it’ll just fall apart.
Why? Because you ask them for the sale and your whole body changes and you feel skeevy. And then they think you ARE skeevy.
So a good sales conversation is one that starts with you and your mind. And here’s what I want you to think about:
1. Do you believe that your coaching will help change their life in a positive way?
2. Do you believe, after talking with them, that they can truly benefit from YOUR help?
How can you not offer to help them?
It’s like watching someone bleed from a cut and having an extra band-aid, but not offering that band-aid. If you know you can help you should at least offer to, right? 🙂
Note that I used the term “making an offer” versus “making a sale.”
What you are doing is offering them a choice, an option for what to do next. You are NOT forcing them into something that they don’t want to do.
So let them make that choice with all of the options on the table (especially your coaching services).
How does that conversation work in a way that feels good?
Well, the most important thing is that a great offer conversation is full of the word YES.
But before you get to all the YES, you should be doing a LOT of listening first to make sure that you understand their need and also have a solution.
Then, you continue the conversation, slowly leading to your offer, but always making sure you get their buy-in at every step along the way.
You might get into a consultation or even a random conversation with someone about their career. They tell you that they have no passion in work, and they are desperate to find some. Given that you are a career coach specializing in passion, this is up your alley.
You listen, ask questions to make sure you understand their situation, and then say to them: “Have you ever considered getting outside help to find your passion, and working with a career coach?”
They say: “I don’t know honestly. I’ve never thought about it.”
You say: “In my experience, coaching can be incredibly helpful in your situation – would you like to hear more about it?”
They say: “Yes.”
And off you go! You describe how what you do helps solve their problem, and then you say: “If this is resonating with you, then I’m happy to talk to you about my coaching services and packages.”
They say: “Yes.”
And then you make your offer!
So, when I talk about an offer conversation being full of the word YES, what I mean is that you only move forward with each stage of the conversation after confirming with them that they want to hear more.
The wrong way to get a sale:
Potential Client: “I hate my job.”
You: “Have you thought about getting a coach? I’m a coach and I know I can help you find your passion if you work with me. I hope you do. My services are reasonable and we can start whenever you say yes. Yes?”
Potential Client: “I hate my job because of my long commute. I love my career. Is that George Clooney?” *walks hurriedly away.*
Okay, let’s sum up:
1. Make sure you feel good in your own mind – you are making an offer, not being salesy.
2. Make the offer conversation one that involves a lot of YES from the potential client.
3. Always get their buy-in before you move on.
You can absolutely do this!
Do you know the 4 things all successful coaches do well? Do you *also* like free and fun worksheets? Come on over here and get both, plus a sneak peek at a successful coaching practice. Note: Nosy parkers are encouraged :)!
Christie Mims is a professional Career Coach, founder of the Forbes Top 100 Website The Revolutionary Club, and lover of anything covered in chocolate. Her other big love? Business building! (Because world domination is fun). She’s been paid to speak, write, and help other coaches build their businesses (and make thousands) – because more than anything else, she wants you to have work you love. In her opinion, owning a successful coaching business is a dream more people should be able make a reality.
Want her chocolate-covered help to solve your coaching business issues? Check out her magical coaching mentoring and her sparkly website right over here. CLICK. (It’s waaaay more fun than feeling stuck in your business).