Getting More Coaching Clients — Asking Questions to Fan the Flames

Do you realize that your primary job in your business is marketing your business?

And that nothing else matters until you’ve got enough clients to generate the cash flow that you REALLY want?

Most coaches/consultants/trainers/speakers focus on the wrong end first. I call it the myth of the field of dreams. They believe that if they focus on what they do first, and become good at it, then everyone in the world will want what they do.


But even if they do go-a-marketing there is another myth that messes with their brains. We want to tell everyone how great we are. We want them to hear it from the horses mouth that we are just plain good, and even if we list some successful customers that SHOULD work SHOULDN’T IT?

WRONG again.

Your prospects have questions in their heads that need answering. Often we believe that by telling about us, about our products, and our services that those questions will be answered and the prospects will be jumping into our shopping carts.

WRONG again!

It’s the questions that we ask that make the difference. At least when we ask the ones that your prospects MUST answer before they will do anything, let alone hire you.

Here’s one that just might make a difference to your coaching/consulting/training/speaking business success?

What would you do if I told you that you could have the cashflow that you’ve always wanted by tomorrow?

Don’t get hung up on saying it exactly that way. In fact, just look at the thought that it produces, and play with that. Ask your own questions around that.

It could be “Would you like to . . .” and it could be something other than cashflow, but that does seem to be at the top of the most wanted list.

The point is that instead of talking about your great coaching/consulting, just simply ask someone if they’d like to have ________________ [fill in the blank with what you KNOW is their most desired outcome, but make it compelling, powerful, and measurable] and also give a timeframe for accomplishing it.

That will actually ignite a spark between their ears. You will almost see their eyes flash as the spark ignites. At least it will if your question hits the fuse between their ears. You will know it when you do it because you will see it.

And then, all you’ll have to do is ride along as the excitement builds. Your job is to keep the flames building toward higher and higher excitement. When you hit on what they want, get them talking about what they want. Fan the flames.

I can remember when I started in this business, and I’d see something like that happen. My first thought, at the time, was HERE’S MY OPPORTUNITY, and I’d immediately jump in with “I’VE GOT YOUR ANSWER.” Or “I’ve got the greatest thing since sliced bread to help that happen for you.”

But all I did was dampen the flames. I wasn’t fanning the flames, I was in the way. And that’s what happens every time you start talking about you, your products, and your services.

Keep the focus on THEM and the excitement that is generated. Fan the flames. Ask more questions about how excited that makes them? Ask them how important that is to them? Or simply WHY is that important to you? Actually that’s probably one of the best that you can use to fan those flames, to get the fire going higher and higher.

You want excitement, compelling desire.

After fanning the flames,make sure to mark what just happened. What was it they wanted? What was it that excited them so much. What was the value of that? And make note of those things for future reference. We’ll come back.

But then lead them in a new direction with more questions, while not letting the flames die.

“Wow, that’s exciting. So what has been in the way of you achieving that huge dream? Why hasn’t it happened already?”

Be prepared for the lights behind the eyeballs to go out. At first you’ll see the spark die. But we actually want to generate excitement and more flames on the other side of this.

Keep in mind, people buy emotionally and justify it with logic. The more excited they get on both sides of the equation the more likely they will do something about their situation. You’ll see them get excited, and sparks fly, about what they want, and their dreams. Fan those flames.

But, then by asking them, “So what has stopped you” and “Why haven’t you ALREADY achieved that” it’s very likely that those positive flames will reverse toward anger, frustration. Anger that someone or some thing stopped them, maybe even anger at themselves for not doing something, or for allowing the current situation to exist. Frustration that they don’t know how to fix this.

Fan the flames. This time get them excited over all of the barriers, and excited enough to do something about it.

The question then becomes not only why haven’t you done it, but what are you going to do about it now?

Help them discover the barriers, help them get excited enough to do something about it, no matter what they have to do.

Now, mark those down, the actual barriers, what they must do about it, and how DARNED FRUSTRATED and ANGRY they are about those barriers and the fact they haven’t fixed them before, or that they don’t know what to do about them.

And then lead them confidently toward the light while letting them know that you understand, and either you have felt that way yourself, or that you have worked with SOOO many customers that felt that way themselves. Empathize, connect.

“You know, that’s really normal. Many business owners run into that very situation. Many of my clients actually come to me for help with that.”

Now the question.

“Would you be interested in hearing a possible answer to those problems you are having?”

(Don’t EVER jump in with the answer. Get their approval before you jump in with answers. NOW they WANT your help. Only salesmen jump in with answers. Friends and helpers ask first.)

But even then, don’t go with all of the answers. Ask questions at every step.

Tell them an example of a previous client who had a similar problem as theirs, then give them the measurable outcome (not the process)” Ask them if they’ve tried this or that. And sometimes they may even say, Yes’ been there, done that but it didn’t work.

So, ask them the next question, did you _________,  At some point they will answer, No Never thought of that, boy you are smart”

Don’t linger in answers. Lead them with questions

What would you be willing to do to ___________ by tomorrow? (naming their most desired outcome)

What would you be willing to invest to make that happen by tomorrow? (or your own time frame)

Would you like to meet with me on ____________ (date and time) to see if what happened for those clients I mentioned would work for you?

And you have an appointment, and very likely a client.

It’s in the questions, the EXCITING questions, the spark generating questions. Fan the flames with the right questions.

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