Monthly Archives: March 2011
This past month I asked you what coaches and consultants want and need the most, getting coaching clients.
85% said their biggest problem in getting coaching clients is “getting people who’ll pay for coaching.”
There are two sides to your marketing message, one is having a powerful, compelling marketing message. Enough so that it’ll compel those who need what you have to respond.
Two Sides to a Client Response . . . Marketing Message . . . and their Mindset
But the other side of that coin is the mindset of the people you are meeting with. For isntance, if I’m meeting with the wrong ones, I’ll usually hear “Wow, that’s great. I REALLY wish I could afford you.”
What that tells me is that my marketing message truly worked, they want me, but their own internal limits of not spending are blocking them from moving forward.
The 3 Kinds of Coaching Client Prospects . . . one you WANT, the other two you don’t
So, let’s look at three kinds of people you’ll run into
- Those that are constantly hunting for ways to grow (their business, their lives, their careers, etc). They are actively searching for opportunities. They are somewhat cautious and very selective of the advertising they read, but they are the buyers for the right products and services.
- Those that are standing still right where they are. They aren’t looking for ways to progress, but, on occasion, could be nudged into an idea or buying something that might help them.
- Those that are anti-education, or anti-spend. They look at any kind of advertising as b.s. and even if convinced, just couldn’t bring themselves to spend THAT kind of money on anything.
Target ONLY the RIGHT Ones
So, our first goal is to target the right people to talk to, and to qualify those we are talking to to be sure they are the right ones. Avoid wasting our time where we would never, or infrequently get a sale, and spend time where those people are actually looking for help.
It’s too easy for coaches to get stuck in the mode that “anyone and everyone needs me” and you tend to want to “sell to the whole world.” That’s a waste of your valuable time. The real secret to getting coaching clients who’ll pay is first, identify who’s looking, and who’ll spend if they hear the right marketing message, then give him a powerful marketing message.
Target the right ones, avoid the wrong ones and your coaching client acquisition ratio will skyrocket.
There are actually some in between the levels I mentioned, such as the ones who are actively looking for ways to grow, but won’t spend any money. They are just looking for freebies and may never spend money on the getting coaching clients. They’ll just set there waiting for handouts, hoping and praying things will get better.
You see, some people are self-limiters, while others actively search out opportunities to constantly grow everything they touch. You just need to be able to identify who they are. Those are the ones who will spend money to get help . . . as long as your marketing message proves to them that you have a high ROI.
One other little . . not so little really . . . concept is for you to TOTALLY AVOID anyone at the bottom of those categories I mentioned above, the anti-education, and anti-spend types. DO NOT make the mistake of believing that because you are a coach or a consultant, that you are SUPPOSED to be good at changing their minds. It’s a waste of your time.
You COULD Work Hard Enough to Convince Some . . . But Your Time is More Valuable when Targeting the RIGHT ONES
Now, don’t get me wrong. Yes, if you put enough effort into this you might squeeze one out of that low end crowd here and there. But that’s not a good use of your time.
I have divided my own target market into segments.
- Low end crowd (and when I meet with them I’ll always get this response, “Wow, I REALLY wish I could afford you.”
- The mid-range group, I get about a 35% close rate.
- The high-end group — When I go after that top group I get somewhere between 50% and 75% close ratio. So getting coaching clients is, guess what? A lot easier here.
So, it’s a total waste of my time to target anything but that highly qualified market. I mainly target them, and get a few of the mid-range group sneaking in, and that’s OK.
Since I learned that, not only has my business been SOLD OUT, but I’m now helping my clients do the same.
How do you separate the buyers from the non-buyers and tire kickers?
Let your marketing do the separating for you.
Let’s start with one criteria that’ll make a huge difference from the start.
- There is a sweet spot on the economic ladder for you.
- When shooting for the bottom of the ladder, the more desparate they are the less likely they will hire you. That seems almost counter-intuitive, but it’s true. Those at the low end have been conditioned to not spend when they are in trouble. Those at the high end KNOW that they have to invest to make things happen, and to get out of tough situations. So, if you dealing in the bottom of the economic ladder dealing with strugglers you’ll very likely see very few sales.
- When moving up that economic ladder to higher income people, and higher income companies, there is a sweet spot. Too high and you’ll have difficulty getting in the door to the CEO or individual. Too low and you’ll be fighting those things we mentioned above. So find the sweet spot.
- There is a sweet spot. Some of it is to do with them, and some to do with you, your confidence, and your marketing message.
For my own business, when getting coaching clients, and even getting consulting clients . . .I love the $1M to $75M business area. They’ve been conditioned to invest to make money. And they are reasonably easy to reach. You may find it slightly different if you are a business coach, and if you are a life coach, or career coach, you’ll be looking at the individual’s income and available funds as just one of the characteristics that’ll help you define your ideal target market.
I do not turn down those below that $1M, but they are not directly targeted. I do get referrals from existing clients to smaller businesses, but when they come with a referral there’s a big change in their characteristic.
There is more to consider in finding a qualified ideal coaching client lead than just their income level, but that will have a lot to do with whether they will reach into their billfold or not once you have convinced them with your marketing message.
How do you pre-qualify them as you start down this marketing path?
Set up a marketing funnel, give them an opportunity to take a taste of your wares, and see who nibbles.
In other words, don’t go out there selling coaching, or consulting. Go out there giving them an offer that will turn their whole business, their whole life, or whole career around (depending on whether you are a business coach, life coach, or career coach, or whatever coach).
Develop an Offer THEY CAN’T REFUSE
By giving them an offer they can’t refuse, something so valuable that anyone would be stupid to pass up, but at a price that they would be stupid to pass up.
At first, if this is such a valuable offer, you will get some from the top two categories taking samples, and maybe a tire kicker or two from the bottom category.
But then make them another offer they can’t refuse, but this one costs more, but only slightly more. Then you’ll start seeing the separation. Those that will spend will be the first ones signing up.
Now spend your time developing those that have just qualified themselves. These will be a much smaller group out of the total, but will be the ones prepared to go step by step buying more and more from you.
Develop a marketing funnel, a step by step, from free, to small cost, to more, to your final coaching or consulting. Pretty soon you’ll have a system that will separate the buyers from the tire kickers, and you’ll also get good at identifying the real buyers when you first see them.
In fact, you’ll start marketing directly to them from the start.
The $100K Small Business Coach
Helping coaches, consultants, and trainers reach another $100K – $250K within weeks . . . and to stop playing in the kiddie pool when it comes to attracting clients
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