[podcast] The Secret to Getting More Coaching Clients – S1 Ep8

Hey, you guys. Brian Hilliard here, author of the bestselling book, Networking Like a Pro. And you are listening to Brand & Grow Your Coaching Practice.

Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret because I’m fired up today. You know why? I just signed a new client.

I got to tell you. Whenever it is, I don’t care how long you’ve been in this business, winning and signing on new clients never gets old. For me, personally, I like the idea of being able to work with people. I like the idea when people are able to see the value of my work. And I like the idea that, after working with them, they’re going to see a real transformation in their business lives.

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Transcript

And obviously, the finances, that doesn’t hurt either. You know what I mean? I like the idea of generating some revenue for my business. And I like the idea of being able to do stuff with that.

One of the things that my Dad always says is that “money doesn’t give you happiness, but it does give you options.”

And I like the idea of building a business that allows me to be able to live in the lifestyle that I chose.

So, yeah, I just signed on a client actually today, a person down in the medical profession actually. And it’s with another woman that we’re doing some partnership work with. And we were on the call together, and she says, “You know, Brian, when it comes to being able to get that business and all that other good stuff,” she says, “That call that you were on, that really wasn’t a sales pitch at all.”

As a matter of fact, that was just the truth. That was just you talking, him listening, you asking some questions, him answering, you providing some value, him talking some more, you listening. And she said, “You know, at the end, it was just”—she didn’t actually say it this way, but she was like, “That was not a sales pitch. That was more of the logical conclusion to how that conversation was going from the get-go.”

And I thought to myself, “You know what? That is absolutely right.” I would say one of my secrets to getting clients is what I’m calling the “anti-sales pitch.” And quite simply, it is this.

You still have to make an offer to people. That’s important. I see coaches who get squeamish when it comes to asking for the business and making an offer. No, you still have to make an offer to people. But you know what? That offer is precipitated by a ton of value as well as a vision of how you guys can work together.

That offer is precipitated by a ton of value along with a vision for how it is that you guys can work together.

Now, let me unpack that a little bit for us. When we talk about the offer, we’re obviously talking about asking for the business. And you need to be able to do that. You need to be able to say, “Listen, here’s what it is that we’re looking for. Here’s what it is, the cost or the investment. Here’s what it’s going to look like.” And you ask for the business. And we can get more into that at another point in time. I actually call that a “clear, firm offer.” So you have to have that.

But really, the important thing when it comes to this whole “anti-sales pitch” point that I want to make which is the secret to getting clients, it is precipitated by a ton of value and a vision for working together.

Alright! What does that look like? Well, a ton of value is you need to be engaging people. You need to be talking about things and areas that you could help. Part of adding a ton of value, first, you have to figure out where the issues are in the first place. I’m always asking questions. You’ve heard me talk about this before.

For anybody who’s heard me speak or maybe you’ve heard me on this podcast before or, I don’t know, maybe you’ve gone to my blog, I don’t know, but any time I talk about generating and growing your coaching practice, I’m always talking about adding value and asking questions.

You can’t add value without asking questions. Why? Because you don’t know what’s the pain point for that. If I don’t know where your issue is, if I just launch—and I see this too—into the 58 things that I feel like I can do for you, if I’m talking about monetizing a free speaking engagement and your pain point is building a word-of-mouth practice, you’re just thinking a bit to yourself, “Boy, this guy doesn’t know what I’m talking about. He’s not with me.”

Conversely, if I asked you, “Hey, listen, tell me a little bit about where you’re at right now” and you say, “Boy! My issue is I don’t think I’m getting enough referral-based business,” then bam! That’s where I can go. That’s where I add the value. And that is so important.

So, you want to ask a ton of good questions, one of them being, “Tell me a little bit about what you got here in the first place” if you don’t already know.

Now, in this case, I knew because this is actually from a presentation that I did. He pulled me afterwards after to the side and then we talked some more. So, I knew coming into this call what the issue was.

By the way, it was marketing infrastructure. He wanted us to help him set up his marketing infrastructure to automate his newsletter as well as his value-add emails. So I knew that going into this, fine.

I ask those types of questions. I got organized. And because I knew that, I added a ton of value. I talked about services that I use.

By the way, I would recommend MailChimp if you’re in that situation where you’re trying to get yourself organized from a marketing infrastructure standpoint. And what you’re really talking about is a content marketing strategy by the way if you’re talking about that. What you want to do is you want to use MailChimp as your platform, as your distribution platform because it really, really works. I use that for my bootcamps all the time.

So we were talking about that. I’m giving value. I’m asking more questions.

And then, remember I said the second part of my “anti-sales pitch” if you will which is part of my secret, you need to provide a vision for working together.

Now, this is huge, so hopefully, you’re paying attention here. When I tell people a vision for working together, I tell them a few things. I tell them what it is that they’re going to get. I tell them how we’re going to do it. I then talk about how long I anticipate it taking. And then, I talk about what the benefits are to them.

So, first of all, I’m talking about what it is that they’re going to get. That’s the benefit. I then talk about how it’s going to come across. So, in my mind and in my case, a lot of my clients, we do over the phone. I have a conference line number and that’s fine. Bam!

I talk about how long it’s going to take. Again, for me, usually, my conversations when I work with one-on-one private coaching clients, it’s usually a 90-day conversation. He asked me—which is actually a good question. He said, “Is there anything else afterwards that we would want to do or we would need or anything like that?” I said, “Listen, you know what? If you want to do some more work together, we can. But what I do, this is my personal philosophy, I like to get the projects done first, knock it out. And usually that takes two to three months.” And in this case, that’s what it’s going to take. So I told him that.

And then, I talked a little bit about how that’s going to happen. Obviously, I already said about over the phone. I talked a little bit about that we record the sessions. And then, I also talked a little bit about, like I said, how long it’s going to take and the benefit that they’re going to get.

What’s the deliverable?

“Well, listen, prospective client, what you’re going to get…”—and really, when you tell them what they’re going to get and the value proposition, what you’re really doing is just rehashing the benefits that you talked about initially.

You’re saying, “Listen, here’s what you’re going to get. You’re going to get a marketing infrastructure. You’re going to get emails that go out. You’re going to get things that are,” in his case, “patient-specific, content-specific.” We actually call it “condition-specific.” He’s a chiropractor, so he has patients that come in there for knee issues, car accidents, other things. And he wants a series of emails that go out towards those specific maladies or ailments for why they came in in the first place.

So that’s what I said. “You’re going to get emails that are condition-specific. You’re going to get a platform that’s based off of MailChimp. You’re going to get this. You’re going to get that. The first two sessions, we’re going to do 75 minutes. The first session is 75 minutes. There are going to be subsequent sessions over the phone. And then, what we’re going to do is this, that and the other.”

“And at the end of the day, it’s going to cost you x number of dollars. We’d love to be able to work with you.”

That’s the anti-pitch. You’re not, “Oh!” You’re just having a conversation with people. You’re having a dialogue. And they’re seeing, “Boy! You know what? This guy just spent the last 20 minutes” or “This woman has just spent the last 20 minute giving me a ton of value. He’s obviously met me where I’m at. He has a clear understanding of what it is that I’m trying to do. He’s asked good questions. He’s not talking at me. As a matter of fact, he’s talking with me. Yeah! Well, how much is this?”

And that’s exactly what he said. He says, “What is it that I need to do to move forward?” I swear to God, that’s exactly what he said. It was after about 20 or 25 minutes.

So, when people ask me, “Listen, Brian, what’s your secret to getting more clients and growing a practice?” It’s the anti-sales pitch. Now, I didn’t think of it that way until Cathy who’s the person I’m working with down in Houston, she brought that up to me. That really is what it is that we’re doing.

It’s the anti-sales pitch. It is providing a story. It is adding value. It is meeting people where they’re at. And then, it’s providing a clear, firm offer that, again, is precipitated by this value, by this vision where people are like, “Boy, you know what? I’d be a fool not to work with you.”

So, hopefully, that makes sense and hopefully that’s something that you can see yourself doing. If you’d like, we have our blog. We’d love for you to swing by. It is PracticeBuilderBlog.com. That is www.PracticeBuilderBlog.com. We’ve got all kinds of good stuff on there—some of them are free, some of them, you’ll have to pay for. But all of them are designed to help you brand and grow your coaching practice.

But in the meantime, my name is Brian Hilliard saying, “So long. Take care! And thank you for your time.”