Stop Chasing Clients!

Is your calendar full of networking meetings? Are you constantly on the search for new clients? Do you find yourself a bit desperate to tell the next prospect you meet what a great coach you are? Have you honed and honed your elevator speech? Stop. Stop it right now! You are wasting your time and possibly alienating prospective clients.

Let’s look at that elevator speech. When you give it most people don’t really care, especially if is so general that it means nothing: “I help people reach their true potential and live the life they have dreamed of.” Yawn – what in the world does that mean? Or, “I help people just like you achieve blah, blah, blah.” How do you know what I am like – we just met!

The bottom line is that coaching is a relationship business. It is beyond difficult to sell it to someone who doesn’t know and trust you. Would you really hire someone you don’t know and tell your problems, issues, secrets, hurts, etc. to them? It’s not likely. How can coaches expect other people to do it?

You have to build relationship and trust before someone will hire you for coaching. It takes time to cultivate that. Take the time to really get to know a prospective client. Don’t try to close a deal too soon. Give them real value so they know that when they hire you it will be a truly great experience for them. I buy a lot of cups of coffee and even some meals getting to know people. I send articles, books, anything that will be helpful to them based on what I know about them so I am sure my contribution will be useful. What do I expect in return? Nothing. My purpose is to serve and help people be successful. It actually turns out that very often a person becomes a client or refers someone to me that becomes a client. Those that don’t become clients are usually great resources and even friends helping me gain exposure in their community. It is a win-win.

For most coaches who have been led to believe that they need to sell coaching to individuals, a mind-set change needs to take place. Its time to shift from sales to enrolling; from making money to serving and adding value. When your purpose is to serve you never know what will happen in the future. The relationships you build and maintain almost always are beneficial in some way or another. If they don’t all bring clients it doesn’t really matter because you are building something for the long term and that will result in more business.

Other ways to gain visibility, provide value and build trust are speaking, doing webinars, workshops and seminars. They often become sales funnels through which coaches gain individual and group clients. Make and take every opportunity to develop your speaking skills. You can reach so many more people that way, adding value to more lives.

A side benefit of speaking is that you gain credibility, become seen as an expert and are exposed to new ideas that you can share to increase your value even more. Staying on the cutting edge is important. Expanding your knowledge and experiences is crucial to attracting a higher paying clients.

So, develop relationships, enroll your clients in programs and processes that they trust will be valuable and gain visibility and credibility. You will not only have the right clients, you will also build the business you want.