If you're in the coaching or consulting business, you know that much of the success comes from the mindset of your clients and their commitment to doing the work.
But many of you have not created a sales process that recruits the right kinds of clients for your business. It may be because bills are starting to stack up and you need clients desperately... or it may just be because you're not aware that you're trying too hard.
When I guide coaches & consultants to build a better business, I make sure I understand their sales process. Those who have let me experience their system know that I get into the details and give them honest feedback. Many of you explain your programs too much that you forget to let the clients explain why they need you.
As a result, people buy but may not show the level of commitment you expect from your clients. They may blame you for not getting the results they're supposed to get for themselves.
Imagine this: you're a Coach for the Olympic Team. Does the athlete choose you, or do you choose the athlete? I'm not suggesting you put on an air of arrogance, but please make sure your sales process positions clients that their commitment is important.
Here are just 4 criteria you may want to include when you're recruiting clients. There are more, but let's start with some key ones:
1. Do you enjoy working with them?
Let's face it. The right client for Coach A may not want to work with Coach B. We are in the people business and we need to make sure that we can relate well with the people we're serving. When I built my firm in Indonesia, I equipped it with a variety of coaches that complement each other and can relate to many different types of clients. That's important because we want to serve the market and we want our coaches to feel comfortable working with their clients.
2. Will they make time to work on improving themselves?
Coaching doesn't work... The clients do! But many of them may be busy with other things that are happening in their lives. They may want change, but won't make time to do it. And you can't do it for them. Even if they tell you to work with their teams, you may not have the ultimate authority to make the change happen. So you've got to position them to make the time. Make sure they are ready to be coached and do the work. If not, then perhaps we need to choose a better time when they can focus better.
3. Do you both agree on the rules of the game?
It's better to talk about rules of the game upfront. Don't wait until negative things happen and be reactive. Some of you don't have the complete rules of the game sorted out in your contracts. This is what I look for when I work with people like you. A coaching contract is not like a vendor contract for other goods. There is a certain positioning that you must clarify so that the clients can optimise their results while working with you. You are also selling your time; your time is money. If clients do not know the rules and they waste your time by cancelling appointments last minute, or not showing up on time for sessions, then you are being disadvantaged as well. Set up a comprehensive mutually-beneficial rules of the game so that your relationship with your clients continue to be positive.
4. When do you say "No"?
You've got to have a rule for yourself about what kinds of clients you will not take. For instance, I will not take on a client I know in my heart I cannot help. But I will have a network of other coaches who can possibly help them. I will not take clients who come from an industry that conflicts with my values. I will not take clients who are not win-win. You get the idea. What about you? What are your rules?
I hope you will use this blog to examine some possible gaps in your current process. Message me if you want fresh perspectives and look out for my next course about Business Building for Self-Employed Professionals in the Member Events of this website.