Originally posted on JRNI.co
When I first left my full-time design job and started my business, I had no problem getting work. But that’s not the same as getting clients.
Right off the bat, I was able to secure several retainer contracts with companies who would send me small design projects daily or weekly. The money was great. The work… eh, not so much.
I spent my first six-plus months in business designing PowerPoint slides, white papers, and report graphics. Now don’t get me wrong—I’m grateful that I had work at all. Starting a business is scary AF and it was nice to have reliable income.
But when I decided to integrate life coaching into my creative business, I had NO idea how to sell my services to potential clients.
IF I could even get someone on the phone with me to begin with, I fumbled through the call with white knuckles and desperation. And I’m still not sure why those clients agreed to work with me (but thank goodness they did!)
I believe that there’s a lesson to be found in every experience, and ooof… did I learn some hard lessons over the following year. Here are a few of the biggies:
They weren’t born with some super power that other humans don’t have.
They aren’t even using a proprietary method of selling.
They simply understand that there are a few critical elements that are required to be able to sell effectively, authentically, and in sustainable ways.
What are they? I gotchu.
It starts with making sure your heart is in the right place. A sales conversation can’t just be about… the sale. If you’re not deeply committed to helping people, they will be able to feel that and will take their business to someone who is.
Next, you must understand what your client is experiencing in order to offer them a solution for their problem. If you took your car to a mechanic and they told you that you needed thousands of dollars worth of work done, but they hadn’t even looked under the hood of your car, that would be bananas right?!
We can’t sell solutions to problems our clients don’t have. This means understanding how their main problem is causing pain in other areas of their life — financial, physical, relationships, etc. In order to have a clear offer, which leads to a successful sales conversation, it’s critical to research your audience and understand where they’re stuck and how that’s affecting their ability to be whole and happy.
The most successful life coaches create a minimal amount of offers and pack a ton of value into each one. Instead of offering the client whatever they ask for, bending over backwards to accommodate, offer one to three things (services, packages, programs, courses, etc.) and let them choose from those and only those.
Being clear about your coaching offers makes the decision easy for a potential client—they’re either in or out, no wishy washy business.
The initial/informational call—that’s a sales call, whether you call it that or not. And there’s a script for it! For real.
You can customize it so it doesn’t feel scripted, but there are legit phases of the call and psychological evidence that those phases actually work. It’s a non-salesy, non-pushy, compassionate and empathetic method of selling to people who are a good fit for you. Being clear and confident helps you command your worth as a successful coach, and makes it much less likely that potential clients will try to take advantage of you.
I promise it’s not. And ANYONE—including you—can learn and implement these tools and strategies.
Here’s how you can start creating your own authentic sales process today:
1) Write down your WHY. It’s easy to embrace an attitude of service when we have a clear understanding of why we’re doing the thing we’re doing. Fill in this value statement: To [insert your contribution / service] so that [insert your impact / the benefit to clients].
2) Do your homework. Conduct some market research on your audience. Who are they? Where are they? What are their current struggles? Where are they stuck? Where do they want to be? What’s stopping them from getting there? In other words, what does that ideal client want? You may also look into other service providers who have the same audience and take note of any strategies or tools they’re using to connect with this audience that you might be able to integrate into your sales and marketing plans.
3) Create your offer(s). Write out and price each individual offer (up to three). What’s included? How long does it take to complete? How is it different from other offers in the market? Any bonuses or perks? How much does it cost? How can new clients sign up?
4) Craft your sales script. Write out what you will say on your sales calls. How will you empathize with your potential clients to validate their feelings and show them you understand where they’re stuck? How will you get them to where they want to be? How will you take their first payment? What are the next steps after a client commits? Or, how will you respond if they say no?
Organizing the elements of your sales process, and keeping them authentic to you and those that you serve, will create a sense of alignment that will boost your confidence on your initial calls with potential clients.
If you’d like more support implementing these strategies in your own coaching business, I cover all this and more, including the exact script for your sales calls, in Soul Centric Selling, an online course for service providers who want to learn a new system to sell more confidently and consistently, in a way that feels heart-centered and authentic.
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