Are You Giving Up Too Soon?
[This is a guest post by my friend and colleague, Julia Sarver of Health Coach Uprising.]
Lately, I’ve been having a lot of conversations about the best ways to enroll clients. I’ll be perfectly honest: some of these conversations have involved tears and flat out frustration because so many coaches feel that although they’re doing everything they can, they just aren’t signing clients at the rate they want.
In all of these conversations, I’ve noticed a theme: people are giving up too soon.
This is one of the most common blocks I see for coaches who are trying to enroll clients. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix for this very common problem, and it’s easier than you think. In order to enroll and sell out your programs and classes, you have to get very good at one thing: follow-up.
Most coaches start their relationship with their clients by engaging in a short conversation about their health and wellness goals, a “getting to know you” call, which usually ends with the coach sharing about her programs and inviting the client to enroll.
This is a strategy I highly recommend, however, most coaches drop the ball after they hang up the phone. This is a huge mistake, because once you’ve disconnected, your potential client will move on with their day, and you’ll likely sit in your office wondering what to do next.
Fortunately, I have the answer!
This is where follow-up becomes key. I know it sounds too simple to be real, but quality follow-up will set you apart from your competition and will help your potential client come to a decision about working with you.
I know that follow-up can feel tricky, which is why I want to share my top strategies for following-up with potential clients. These steps make a huge difference in my ability to keep my client roster full, and I know they’ll help you sign more clients, too.
Strategy #1: Make a follow-up plan
Make a habit of ending each official “getting to know you” conversation with a follow-up plan. It doesn’t have to be over complicated, but it’s important for you to say that you’ll be following up.
Try this: “It’s been so great chatting with you, Betty! I think you’re a great fit for my private coaching program, and working with you would be a pleasure. I’ll give you a few days to think about it and then I’ll follow up with you by Friday to answer any questions that come up.”
Then be sure to follow-up when you say you will.
Strategy #2: Always come from a place of service.
Many people tell me they feel awkward about follow-up, and I think it’s because they aren’t focused on being of service. This is where follow-up can feel salesy or pushy, especially when you’re doing the follow-up just to make a sale. I know this because I’ve definitely made this mistake myself, especially when I was first starting out. That said, if you can reach out to your client with intention of being of service, with the goal of answering any questions, the experience will feel drastically different. You won’t feel as nervous about making the call, and the client won’t feel backed into a corner. It’s a win-win.
Try something like, “Hi Betty! I just wanted to follow-up with you to see if you have any questions about my coaching program. Like I mentioned, I think you’re a great fit because _____, and I’d love for us to get started working together. What are your thoughts?”
Strategy #3: Don’t give up when your client says no.
Follow-up doesn’t end when a client says “no”, or “not right now.” I’ve had many clients who needed several conversations with me to be able to make the investment, and that’s totally fine in my book.
If your client chooses not to work with you, don’t write them off completely. Instead, make a note in your calendar to connect with them in 4-6 weeks, to see how things are going and if they’ve been able to get the results they discussed with you. In many cases, this nudge is enough to get people to realize they need the support of a coach, and ready to sign up for your program.
(Oh, and for what it’s worth, I don’t believe in forcing my clients to make a decision on the first phone call. Instead, I rely on giving them high-level follow-up to move them into the coaching program that’s right for them, even if it takes a few months.)
High quality follow-up is the best trick in my toolbox for getting clients to work with me in private and group coaching programs. I track all my potential client conversations in a simple spreadsheet and then check it each week to see who I should connect with.
It’s really that easy!
Now I’d love to know what you do to stay connected with potential clients. Do you have a solid plan in place for how you enroll clients? Have you tried to do high-level follow-up like I’ve suggested? Comment below and let me know – what works for you and your clients?