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Monday, October 15, 2007

Building Your Coaching Business -- People Buy From Those They Know, Like and Trust

Here is something that could make a huge difference in whether you succeed at coaching, and by how much. There are some gold nuggets here that will either make your coaching business, or make it one of only 1% that reach over $100K.

Reduce Your Prospect's Risk

There is a difference between marketing and selling a low cost product or service, and selling what most coaches market and sell. If you are selling a $10 item, the risk is low, and it is easier for your buyer to take $10 out of his pocket. However, when it comes to marketing and selling higher end products, such as coaching, the buyer won't just pull that out of his pocket without knowing more about you, finding if he likes what you say and your approach, and learning to trust you first.

So, how does that happen?

Let me ask you some questions:

Based on whatever you've done to market or sell your business up until this point,
What percentage of every touch results in your prospect actually asking for the next step?
Is it 20% to 70%?
Do you get even 5%, 1%?
No? Not surprising when over 90% of all coaches fail within months, and most never make more than $20K.
Then seriously consider what I am about to tell you because when you use the approach with an understanding of what your prospect really wants, I've seen it regularly deliver in the 20% to 70% range.

Consider that the national average for most marketing ranges between 0.5% to 1% and good cold one-touch marketing can hit 5% to 10%, yet once you help your prospect to get to know you, like you, and trust you, then it is possible to get to 20% to 70% of a very targeted audience.

Go For The Throat Sales & Marketing vs Relationship Marketing

Most coaches "go for the throat" in sales, meaning that on the first touch they are "trying to sell" rather than building the relationship so that the ones they are touching get to "know, like, and trust" you. The typical result is an abysmally low marketing and sales success number.

I hear a few coaches out there saying, "We don't go for the throat. We don't aggressively sell. We do dig for what the prospect wants." But then you still "go for the sale" outright. I'll give you this, if you follow that process you should be getting 5% or so for your marketing returns and that is probably higher than 90% of all coaches out there. Great! But, once you get what I'm about to say, 20% to 70% is possible.

So, when you attempt any kind of marketing what is your current response rate? Do you get 1 out of 100, 5 out of 100, 50 out of 100, or anywhere near those figures?

Here are a some approaches that do work, and they are pretty similar.

How are they similar. They both are built around

  • Understanding your target audience's biggest pain, and desires.
  • Sending out information that actually shows them how to resolve that pain, and telling stories about others that had that very pain and removed it by doing [fill in the blank].
In short, give away a concept that can help your prospects. Give them a taste of what it might be like. You are not telling what YOU do step by step, you are only giving a hint or tip that has helped other clients and the value they got. The value is how much they benefited, how much their business grew, or for you life coaches, how much better their life is (the more measurable the better).

I always hear coaches grumble when I say "give it away." Many will say, "If I give it away then they don't need me and don't buy." Then, indeed, you gave away the farm. I've found, however, that you give enough of an idea that they do see that you have some answers, and then you help them discover that the last client [doubled his business, increased by $100K, $500K, or whatever]. And, then tell the story of a client or two that experienced the same pain as your current prospect, and how much he gained. That's all.

So, that's the overview. How might we do that. Here are some ways to "give it away" while helping your prospect to "get to know you, like you, and trust you."

  • Article Marketing On The Internet -- Write several articles a week around the concept above. Have a call to action at the end of the article that takes them to a single page that asks them to sign up for, an email series, an e-book, newsletter, etc. Those continue the "get to know you, like you, and trust you." A good target is 40-60% of those that land on that page ask for more.
  • Article Marketing Direct - Send letters directly to your target market introducing yourself, telling them the benefit you bring, and then send a few articles to them over the next few weeks, followed by a call to ask them if that was helpful. Response rates reported to date are 20% to 70% appointment setting rates.
  • Speeches or training - get out there and give as many speeches as you can. A good rule of thumb is a speech a week to trade associations, business associations (Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Chambers, and many others). One speech can lead to one or more clients. Make sure that you have a follow-up system that looks like the article marketing above. Keep the "getting to know you, like you, and trust you going". Then follow your list up with a call to discuss their issues and why they asked to get to know you.
  • Networking - Once you meet in a networking event, ask them what their goals are for their business, and, it is likely you just may have an article that you published on that topic. So, ask them if they'd like to receive that article, or sign up for your list. Send them the series of articles, and follow it up with an appointment to just see if that was helpful, or if they have another problem.
NOTE: a key point here is that everything is all about them and their problem, not about your sale. All of the articles answer a problem they have and indicate that you have helped others do that. Every contact, whether in networking, or a speech, is about their problem, and not about your product, your coaching, or you making any kind of sale. It's about them, and then showing that you have the solution.

The series of articles are to "get to know you, like you, and trust you." They now have sampled your wares and WANT you.

Please keep in mind, even though we are building relationships, helping them to "get to know you, like you, and trust you" that it still does require that you ask for the close in such a way that you are still emphasizing that you are here to help, not to sell. Without that call to close you've still left the best approach in the world just setting on the table.

So, does your current marketing and sales result in

  • 1%, 5%, 10%, or anywhere near 20% to 70% of the people you touch calling you?


Do you want to learn more about how to increase your coaching businesses?

I have just completed my brand new guide to coaching marketing success. You'll also get a free invitation to join a mastermind group of other coaches as they build their business. Hear what works and doesn't work.

Get your "How to Build a Super Star Coaching Business" for free

Alan Boyer coach's coaches, who want more business than they can handle, or at least more than they imagined...before this.....The reports have been "5-10 times more clients in just a few weeks, and still growing.


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