Archive for April, 2007

MM #80: Tips and Tricks for Signing Up Clients

Friday, April 20th, 2007

1. Announcements/Offers

What People are Saying About ’10 Super Coaches’

To find out how 10 ordinary coaches are earning $30,000 to $1.4 million per year, and how you can do it too, click here:

http://www.10SuperCoaches.com

“I’ve been doing the ‘invitation to an exploratory session’ or simply reconnecting with past clients, and it is definitely working for me. At first, I felt I was moving outside my comfort zone….but amazingly, things are really happening! I’ve had some great responses, I have doubled the size of my prospect list, and have arranged for three exploratory meetings already. This simple exercise has re-energised me. Fantastic – thank you!”
Christine Musson, United Kingdom

“Hearing the ideas of others who already have successful coaching businesses was very helpful. Some of my own ideas were reinforced, and I learned over and over what actually works. Your program has helped me tremendously to get myself moving toward my goal. Thank you David for sharing all your expertise!”
Eloise Becker, USA

Visit http://www.10SuperCoaches.com


2. FEATURE: Tips and Techniques for Signing Up Clients

Gaining confidence as a new coach is largely a matter of coaching as many people as you can.

After 50 sessions, regardless whether or not you sign up any clients, you will have learned much about yourself, your particular style of coaching and how best to have that conversation all new coaches dread: asking the prospective client if they’d be interested in continuing the coaching relationship on a paying basis. Here are a few pointers from the Explode Your Practice training series available on CD.

Tip #1. Fifty sessions can seem overwhelming to a beginning coach, so start by finding five people whom you would love to coach and invite them to do an exploratory session with you.

Tip #2. When asking someone if they might be interested in doing a session with you, be very clear in your mind why you want to do a session with that person and then communicate those reasons to him or her in an open, honest and authentic manner. For instance, if you know someone who is successful in business, let him or her know that through coaching, you’d like to help duplicate that success in other areas. This insight and concern for their well-being is sure to resonate with potential clients.

Tip #3. In order to conduct an exploratory session, you don’t need to have a bunch of paperwork prepared ahead of time. The objective here is to coach, not to perfect the forms you use during “intake” to learn more about your clients, their specific challenges and how you can best support them. That can come later once you are more confident in your own skills and abilities.

Tip #4. An easy way to conduct an exploratory session with someone is to simply spend 30 minutes to an hour identifying three goals he or she would like to set, but may lack the structure to actually implement. Out of those three, also really get firm with the client on which is the most important goal. Ask, “Which of your goals would make the biggest difference in your life if you were to take that first step towards achieving it?” If you try and handle all three in 30-60 minutes you’re likely to get bogged down and lose focus.

IMPORTANT: Have fun with the session! You won’t die – honestly!

Tip #5. In order to naturally segue into the conversation to convert prospects into paying clients at the end of the coaching session, ask how the session felt for them. Did they enjoy it? Did they feel supported during the session? Do they feel inspired to do something about their goals? If they do, follow-up by asking them if they would be interested in learning more about the coaching structure and how you can support them in the attainment of their goals.

Tip #6. Track your responses from each person you ask to commit to an ongoing coaching relationship with you. Include the yes’s, the nos and the reasons for both. This information can be invaluable in discovering what is working for you as well as how to combat the objections people may have to coaching. Armed with this data, you’ll be much better prepared for that conversation when the time comes to have it again.

Challenge them to commit

Tip #7. Sometimes the key to converting prospective clients is to identify the most pressing goal they are struggling with at the moment and then challenge them to “be bold” and take that first step towards fulfilling it – sign up for a month’s worth of coaching where they will have the opportunity to experience firsthand how the process truly supports what they are trying to accomplish in their lives. If you have to, really dig to find out what it’s going to take for them to commit to the process.

Tip #8. If money is at the root of the objection, don’t be quick to offer up alternative arrangements. Let them think about it a bit first before discussing possible options. Let them really take a look at what they value in their life, and where they spend money.

Then, you might offer options such as one month of coaching at half price and if they see the benefit and value of it in their lives, then subsequent months are at full price. Another idea is if they agree to commit to a three month contract, you will give them the third month free. Or, you could offer a “volume discount” of sorts, the longer the contract they commit to, the greater the discount they receive. For instance, for a three month contract, they would receive a 10% discount off the full coaching price, for a six month contract, they would receive a 20% discount off the full coaching price and for a nine month contract, they would receive a 30% discount off the full coaching price.

Tip #9. Perhaps most importantly though, assure prospective clients that coaching is a fun experience and can involve as little as a phone call once a week if they so choose, or 100% of their waking hours – they get to decide. If they would like action items and want to be held accountable to completing them, that’s their choice. The structure of the relationship and the role you are to provide for prospective clients is entirely up to them, providing you feel it’s in their best interest. How easy it that?

Signing up clients is at the heart of building your coaching practice. Keep these tips in mind as you conduct your exploratory sessions and you are sure to convert prospective clients to paying ones!

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Want more? This, and 100 other topics are covered in more detail in the full Explode Your Practice CD set, available now for shipping anywhere in the world.
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Action

  1. Make a list of five people with whom you’d like to do an exploratory session.
  2. Contact these people, keeping Tip #2 in mind.
  3. When you’ve scheduled the sessions, post at the blog, and post again the results once the sessions are done!

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Enjoy!

P.S. Got a comment on this article? Add it to the blog.

MM #79: How to Design a Teleclass

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

1. Announcements/Offers

What People are Saying About ‘First Fifty Clients’

How Did A Former Helicopter Rescue Nurse Get 17 Life Coaching Clients in Just 3 Months?!

Find out at:
http://www.FirstFiftyClients.com

“David’s strategies helped me get my coaching business up and running with 17 clients after just three months! And I couldn’t believe I had $3,000 a month coming in just from helping people with their lives!”
- Estelle Gibbins, Brisbane, Australia

“I have applied the information, with terrific results. I started last Monday, making a deal with myself to have a new client each day. So far, that has occurred – and I have ten new clients!”
- Julie Gleeson, USA
The Art of Living

Visit http://www.FirstFiftyClients.com


2. FEATURE: How to Design a Teleclass

A teleclass can be a very effective way to get a start with potential new clients.

And – a great way to ‘add value’ for existing clients.

In a way, it’s expensive for you to provide one on one time. By speaking to groups of people, your cost per person plummets. People can then access you at a lower price point (e.g. $75 p.m instead of $300 p.m) so you can reach a much greater market!

Or, you can ‘audition’ your services, so to speak, for 20-200 people at one time. Wouldn’t you rather do a trial session for 200 people over 1 hour, instead of 200 hours!?

Holding regular teleclasses can also help you keep your practice fresh with new ideas, and give you a solid base for generating materials to use in future gatherings – or even as stand-alone products!

Ideally, you should have an online presence in order to attract enrollees, but you can start with just a few email addresses. The investment you make in creating a website and newsletter pay dividends as they help potential clients get to know you and your business. Announce your teleclasses online, and send reminders to your newsletter subscribers.

Another tool you’ll need is a teleconference bridge. This is easier than it sounds, as there are a number of free telephone conference services available on the internet. These services allow you to schedule your call in advance and automatically email instructions to your participants. They need only to dial in and provide a pre-designated login code. Most free services will require your participants to make a long-distance call. Some offer a toll-free number for an charge of approximately $.10 per minute. One free service is www.FreeConference.com.

When Bigger Isn’t Better

What’s the ideal size for a teleclass? Ideally, your class should consist of at least four people – enough to generate questions and conversation. Some limit their class size to a maximum of six. This keeps the group intimate and workable. By keeping your class small, you have a better chance of getting to know the participants and their needs.

If you go above 8, your time doesn’t count as ‘coaching’ time for the International Coach Federation certification guidelines, but you get to reach many more people! So there’s a trade-off between numbers and the quality of coaching. Many of the classes I do are more like lectures. We have so many people on a given call, we often have to mute the participants because of background noise.

Note, too, that I don’t think I’ve ever charged for a teleclass. I’d like to, and soon – it’s just that I’ve used teleclasses as freebies; lead-ins to upsell to another product such as my coaching services, a partner’s products for commission, and ultimately my own products.

How many sessions should you provide in a teleclass series? Well – it could be just a one-off teleclass. Or, you could provide four, eight, or even 12 sessions, usually weekly. Multiple sessions becomes a ‘course,’ which is appealing to both the clients and often the coach. Consider offering your first class session as a freebie, so clients can “try before they buy.” If they like what they hear, it’s likely they will sign up for the rest of the course.

Teleclass Structure

Here’s a tried-and-true formula for a four-week teleclass series, whether the focus is on job search, weight loss, or relationships.

First teleclass: In your first session, begin by focusing on participants’ goals and vision. Use a conversation-starter to get things going. For example: “Do you want to be the locomotive in your life, or the caboose? Which one are you right now?” Determine where your participants are in relation to their goals, and how ready they are for change in their lives.

Second teleclass: After your participants have clearly outlined their goals, you can focus on strategies for change. What is one step each participant can take to get on the right track toward what they want? Discussing this question in a group format will generate ideas and excitement. As an added bonus, you’re creating a support structure!

Third teleclass: In the third session, it’s time to focus on action. It’s time to move up to the “locomotive,” so to speak, and leave the “caboose” behind – where it belongs. Participants can commit to one or more action steps, and prepare to share their experiences in the final teleclass.

Fourth teleclass: Wrap up the teleclass by reviewing all the previous topics (goals/vision, strategies for change, action). Allow participants to share what they’ve learned. Give them an opportunity for one-on-one coaching with you – perhaps at a special introductory rate if they are new clients. If interest is strong, you can schedule an ‘advanced’ teleclass for the group.

TIP: Have participants buddy up in pairs, so they can support each other during the week, particularly in completing action steps. I also love the idea of a discussion board online, so people can ask questions, and share what’s happening. Now you have a community!

Teleclasses are a great way to create camaraderie and generate client relationships. Customize a class for your niche – and have fun with it!
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Action: Create a teleclass

  1. Come up with a compelling topic for a teleclass. What is your niche? How can you tailor your class to your audience? What FOUR major things should participants know to be more successful in this area?
  2. Optional advanced: Schedule your class. Make a commitment!
  3. Post details at the blog.
    - and check in with your results after your class has begun.

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Enjoy!

P.S. Got a comment on this article? Add it to the blog.