You want to win coaching clients, but the approach you're using isn't working?
That's just how we were at our coaching practice, Accelerated Success, when we launched in 2003. We didn't know where to start with winning clients and tried pretty much everything, from face-to-face networking to cold-calling. All with very limited success.
Thankfully, things are very different now. We work with high performing leaders in global ICT companies. We build long-term relationships with a small number of client companies, where we win a lot of further business year on year. And we enjoy our marketing!
We've identified five key fixes that got us up and running, here are the first three (the final two crucial fixes will be featured in Part Two of this blog):
1. Know who you want to work with
In the early days we targeted anybody and everybody as potential clients for our coaching. We ended up with no one. We got on a lot better once we'd nailed down who we wanted to work with. All of a sudden we were clear on:
- Where to connect with them
- How to connect with them
- What to say to them when we did connect
If you do the same, you'll start having conversations with people you want to work with. It's a start.
2. Know how to introduce yourself
We used to attend a lot of networking events. Chasing likely looking people around until we finally got in front of one.
We would then excitedly chuck everything we had on coaching at them in a 2 minute tirade, while at the same time wishing, hoping, praying very hard they'd buy some coaching. It didn't work.
When you first meet people you want to tell them who you are, who you work with, the problems they typically face and the outcomes they want. Something like:
Hi, I'm Kev. I work with bee keepers. They're always getting stung. What they want is protective clothing to prevent this.
If they're a bee keeper, they'll know you work with people like them.
You can then ask:
How have you managed to solve the getting stung problem?
An open question. They're talking and you're listening. What could be more natural for a coach?
3. Know how to continue the conversation
I enjoyed networking. The trouble was conversations would end and the potential client would walk away. Blast! They didn't buy any coaching. Or you could say:
I've written an article, The Top Ten Perils of Bee Keeping, that I think you'd be interested in. If you give me your card I'll send it to you.
And would you mind if I call you next week to see what you think of it?
Clearly, your article would have to be relevant to your target market It could be a 'ten mistakes' or 'how to' article, or a case study of a previous client. One of ours is called "The 12 mistakes to avoid when writing a 10 mistakes article"!
Whatever it is, the principle is: offer your potential clients something of value and follow up.
These crucial fixes helped us build more relationships, in the second part of this blog we'll go on to explain the final two fixes that helped us turn those relationships into loyal clients.