You are in the middle of a great meeting… You feel connected with your prospective coaching client, establishing trust and mutual respect through an easy, free-flowing rapport. Now it’s time to ask for the sale. And suddenly the room feels like it’s 20 degrees warmer. So what changed?
If asking for the sale makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone. In fact, as professional coaches (people who are naturally geared to supporting others), we all start out in pretty much the same place when it comes to the enrollment conversation. But it doesn’t have to be as stressful as it seems.
Your enrollment conversation can feel just like coaching where you are asking the questions and the client is indeed doing all the heavy lifting. With a process you move your prospect step-by-step through to the end where, ultimately, they make their own choice on whether or not it’s the right fit or time for them. So forget about trying to sell – just do what comes naturally. Be YOU! Because enrolling coaching clients is similar to coaching: they consider the options then make the choices. Your job is to make sure they have the right information they need to be inspired to choose you.
Here are five key secrets to keep in mind that can elevate your success in enrolling your next coaching client:
- Results-Based Title – Don’t call your initial meeting a sales conversation; give it a valuable name. How about “Life Strategy Session” or “Process Improvement Session”? The specific title should be related to the services you provide, using one or two of the buzzwords for your niche. Strive for a results-based name that suggests their time is well spent with you. Let them know what or how much they will gain from your time and services as a whole. And remember, no one wants to be sold. But it’s pretty hard to pass by something of value. Whatever you call your initial sales conversation, it’s the key to attracting your coaching clients and earning their attention and interest as they consider investing time with you.
- Step-by-Step Process – Leverage a process that literally walks the client through. Make sure they know where they’re currently at in the process so they can feel the progress. Use worksheets or PDFs for visual learners. That will put them at ease, reassuring them that you aren’t going to hold them captive for long. And offer them an “out” up front, letting them know that if at any time in the conversation they feel it’s not a good fit, they can just say so. This takes the pressure off of you and them.
- Use Your Coaching Skills – Ask then respond. Learn what matters most to them and follow your process, making sure to incorporate the information they are most interested in hearing about. NO ONE wants to be lectured. People want to feel like they are in a conversation and their needs and desires are being heard and addressed. This is how you’ll build their confidence in you.
- Work on Your Inner Game – If you are challenged by money issues or a fear of asking for it, get help. Your belief system surrounding money plays a big part in your ability to ask for it from others. If you aren’t willing to pay for coaching, how can you ask for others to do so? Hire a coach of your own. Inside our trainings, we often work with deeply held beliefs to heal old stories and write new ones about money and self-worth.
- Watch Your Language: Recognize trigger words and replace them. For example, instead of referring to your fee as a “cost,” call it “your investment.” By removing the focus from yourself and placing it on the client, you shift the perception of your fee from something that’s paid (like a bill) to something the client is doing for themselves (like a day at the spa).
BONUS: If it works within your business model, offer a money-back guarantee. Before you start to worry, yes, coaching requires that the client participates fully to work well. So make sure that your guarantee includes this condition. They’ll be happy they stuck with you, as their results will tell!
Having a step-by-step process in place removes the fear and discomfort involved with selling your services as a professional coach. Through training and related experience, you’ve already done the work. Now all you have to do is be yourself and let others see it. Use your coaching skills to focus on the step-by-step relationship building process and, before you know it, “yes” is all you’ll ever hear!
So before you take a meeting, remember: be yourself. You being you is what makes it easy for someone to trust and like you. Employ a step-by-step process and show them how well prepared you are to support them. And don’t forget to leverage the biggest benefit of your services as it relates to that particular client – the one thing that, without, their life or business may not be the same.