So, you've had an enquiry but don't know how to turn your prospects into clients? Well, you're a coach. Do what you know - have a coaching conversation and ask powerful questions! Because it's all too easy to fall into the trap of trying to SELL what you do to your prospects, instead of asking questions to understand what they're truly looking for and letting them sell coaching (with you) to themselves!
Overview of How to Turn Prospects into Clients:
- LEARN WHAT THEY WANT: Ask questions to find out what they want and if you can help them.
- GET TO THE WHY: Ask questions to find out why this is so important to them. Connect them to their motivation, their deepest reasons for wanting change.
- MOVE INTO A POSSIBILITY FRAME: Ask questions to help them see it is possible and that they have the answers - or can find them.
- REFLECT AND RECAP: Be the Mirror. Show them you've listened - and heard them by recapping what they have said and asking for verification.
- GET THEM TO TELL YOU HOW TO HELP THEM: Simply ask your prospect to tell you where and how they need help.
- SUMMARISE AND SHARE YOUR VISION FOR THEM: Share how, specifically, you could help AND add value to them on their journey.
- ASK FOR THE SALE: Remember, they are a prospect and willingly entered this conversation with you - they WANT to be helped. If you want to turn prospects into clients - you must ask for their business!
Here are 7 Simple Coachlike Steps to Turn Prospects into Clients:
Step 1 - Learn what they WANT:
Have a conversation so you get to know THEM. Ask coaching questions to find out what they want. What are they looking for? What would they like to be different? What problem/s are they trying to solve? What are they trying to achieve? What is stopping them or getting in the way?
Then before progressing any further, ask yourself 1) Can I help them? and 2) Do I want to work with them? If the answer to both these questions is "Yes", move onto Step 2. If not, you can gracefully say this isn't your area of specialty - perhaps suggesting other coaches or resources if you can.
Step 2 - Get to the WHY:
Find out WHY they want the change and why NOW? And help them understand the value of making that change.
What is the 'Pain' of being or staying where they are? What is it costing them to stay where they are? (It could be a financial cost, or a time, energy, emotional or relationship cost).
What will be the 'Pleasure' of making the change? What are the benefits? What will achieving this change give them? What will it be like to resolve their issue or achieve their goals? How will they FEEL once they have solved their problems or achieved their goals?
Step 3 - Move into a POSSIBILITY Frame:
Ask questions to help them discover WHAT they need to do to make their dreams happen. Often we already know, but haven't been ready to do it before.What do you need to do to move this forwards? What are the next steps? What is the first step? Where do they need to start?
Up until now all sorts of things could have been getting in the way - a limiting belief, a fear, a lack of organization, support, resources or time. Help them see it IS possible, that they already have the answers - or at least the next steps.
Step 4 - Reflect and Recap:
Create real rapport by showing that you have 'seen' them. And help them 'see' themselves. This could look like:
"It sounds like you would like to have more work-life balance - to move into retirement AND find time to work on an exciting business idea you're really passionate about, a legacy for your children. But you feel exhausted and overcommitted - and don't even have time to plan your time. You're tired of working so hard, and would like to spend more time with your family - and you believe this business idea could really help you do that. What you want to do is set aside specific time to work on this and plan out your next steps, but every time you think about doing this, some new crisis pops up at work, so you're never any further forward. You're frustrated and disappointed and are looking for help to get this moving. Have I understood you correctly?"
Step 5 - Get your prospect to TELL YOU HOW to help them:
Just like they probably already know what they need to do, they probably already know what they need help with. Get THEM to tell YOU what they need from you.
Simply ask, "How do you think I could help you?" or "What do you need from me?"
Step 6 - Summarise and SHARE YOUR VISION for them:
Bring it all together and add value. Because you spent time learning about them, you know you can help them - and how. So don't be shy, let them know! Tell them what you would like for them and include any value you can ADD to this process. And make sure to sum up by letting them know you'd really like to work with them. This could look like:
"I'm hearing that you really want to see your grandchildren grow up - and to create that legacy you're dreaming of. But phasing yourself into retirement is a big change for you. And you already know that a first step is to stop working such long hours. I can help you do that - and create space away from your job to brainstorm ideas, plan and take action towards your dream. I can also help you explore and work through your fears and support you as you decide on next steps to make your dream a reality. And, as you mentioned, I will support, encourage and hold you accountable, helping you stay committed to your dream - even when the going gets tough. I think we'd be a great team and I'd love to work with you."
Step 7 - Ask for the sale:
You've let your client know you've seen them, that they CAN do it and that YOU can help them. They need to decide for themselves, but to turn prospects into clients you MUST ask for the sale - it's the only natural conclusion to this conversation. Try:
- When might you like to get started?
- What else do you need to know before working with me?
- It feels like we're a good match, so would you like to coach with me?
Then BE QUIET for as long as it takes. And wait for them to answer.
Final Tip: Even if they don't say, "Yes" right away, some people just like time to think and make sure. And I am one of those people! So, unless they say a clear, "No", make sure to agree a time to FOLLOW UP with them.
In Summary: Turn prospects into clients by spending a little time asking questions and really getting to know them. They will feel UNDERSTOOD. By asking questions that connect them to what they really want and why, you show them THEY already have the answers. You also show the power of coaching and help them believe that what they want is possible - with a little help from you of course!
So, if you want to turn prospects into clients, forget about selling. And forget about trying to get people to understand what YOU do, just have a coaching conversation, ask questions - and remember to ask for that sale. It really can be that easy!
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