Here’s an answer to most of the problems experienced by coaches who are struggling to get more clients. Turn “no clients” or “few clients” into 20% to 70% of the people you touch giving you an appointment.
I do a lot of conference calls with struggling coaches. Here are the struggles that most coaches experience:
Typical Problems Experienced By Coaches
- Can’t reach the decision maker – get sidetracked to HR and HR puts you in with ALL of the other coaches, consultants, trainers….you are a commodity in their view.
- Can’t get the decision maker’s attention
- When you do get to the decision maker, and they even seem somewhat interested, the bottom line statement is “Don’t have time,” “can’t afford that right now,” “I’ve got to keep my nose to the grindstone.”
- Sending out pre-approach letters, but not getting any response.
- Cold calling but not getting through, not getting returned calls from voice mail.
Do any of these sound familiar?
One Solution to That Problem
Here’s something that has been working extremely well with coaches I’ve worked with. Some have said they get 20% to 70% appointment setting rates when using this approach.
The first thing to note is to “stop selling” and “start helping.” Be an unlimited resource for everyone you touch, even if you touch them only once. You will become known as THE expert in that field, in your region.
First identify, your target market, if you haven’t already. Make that a narrow niche market. Even if you believe you can help the world, pick a narrow market for this approach and target the messages directly at them.
Send a letter to your target market that mentions that you’ve had significant results in ________ [name the target market], and then define a value statement around that. That means that you will indicate just how much impact you may have made on some people, or companies within that target market. Then tell them that you’d like to share some ideas that have worked with others like them, and will be sending them over the next few weeks.
Then, over 3-5 weeks, send them a printed article each week targeted to a specific problem in that industry. If you have been writing articles in an ezine, then you might also send them to that article online. It adds credibility when you can show that you are published, expert author.
At the end of 3-5 weeks, send a letter asking them how much value they got from your articles, and that you’d like to call some time to ask what they got from the article.
When you call, get them telling you just how much help that was. Ask them to put that into dollars and cents, or time saved. If they got any value at all, ask if you can set down with them over coffee to hear more about their business….
Notice, that at no time did I indicate I have anything to sell. This was all about helping them achieve their goals, and freely sharing information. The doors will be open…unless you go into the “sales” mode, at which time the door will slam in your face.
You have an appointment. Keep that appointment on “exploring their business” not on “selling.” This should get you setting down with 20% or more of your target audience.
What happens if you don’t get the appointment, but they did feel they had gotten some good information. Then ask if they’d like to continue receiving that kind of information. Add them to your newsletter, or email list for ongoing information. Many will find additional value from those emails. You will have another chance.
- We’ll discuss what to do and say in that meeting.
- How to use that same approach, information marketing, in networking.