I was asked recently for tips on how to ask clients to work with you, or engage people in a sales process. This episode covers what I call a coaching approach to attracting clients with confidence and creating clients with ease.
I use the concept of ‘pull’ marketing. It means creating demand for your services or products, rather than pushing them onto people.
If you are a coach, you are perfectly equipped with the coaching skills that can help you do this easily. All you need to do is to flip your thinking and redefine the words that currently seem icky and uncomfortable, like “marketing” and “sales”.
The essence of pull marketing, from a coaching perspective, is to speak with conviction about your why, to be aspirational and inspirational, and to build or tap into a community around that. Then to match your values and services with the people who need them, and offer to support them through a journey if and when they are ready to take it.
Here is a rough 4-step process that I use, that others have used, and that really works.
Pull marketing starts with clearly communicating your big why and your bigger mission and really unpacking it.
The why naturally speaks to a huge problem that people want to solve – confidence, fear, isolation, self-doubt – or whatever it is.
It paints an aspirational picture of what’s possible (and what we can achieve together). People see themselves in that and create a shared vision.
Speaking to the why regularly ignites the fire in people who are thinking about change but are afraid (it’s not you, it’s them!) – they move through the stages of change to become ready.
They sit up and take notice. Your inspirational and aspirational approach gives them a sense of hope, of potential, and that you are the leader who can help them.
By communicating your why in your content, people are attracted and engage with you as they become readier and readier to change (and therefore buy).
They want to stay connected because it feels good to be around you.
They may not be ready to buy yet.
So, create a vehicle for engagement. Give them a place to go to stay in touch – a meetup group, a LinkedIn group, or some other ‘container’ for like-minded people.
They will want to be part of that community and they will have ownership if they can co-create it with you (and this is the coaching way).
In that container, you can speak more to the journey they are on and help them solve day-to-day problems that they’re facing, and to get peer support.
Be authentic, and speak to both obstacles and wins. Keep the positive momentum going.
The community will become very problem aware, and solution aware, and are equipped to evaluate how important it is to change at this time.
With the help of your content in steps 1 and 2, some of the people in your audience will become more ready to change and will start to prepare for change.
You can add more value in an event of some kind – a workshop, webinar, etc.
In that session you would unpacking your why (related to their problem), and then introduce how you help people solve that problem. What has worked for you, and/or your clients?
What you are selling is support to walk people through a 4-step process or formula for helping them go from point A (problem) to point B (solution).
Engage the audience and make them part of it. Make the content specific and relevant to them. And right up front, let them know that at the end you’ll let people know how to work with you if they want to.
There is an offer at the end of this event (and you can make this offer once a month at least, for your general audience). The offer is your vehicle to actually help those people to find the confidence and support they need on such a big journey.
The offer is essentially formulated like a SMART goal (I am patenting this idea)
It talks about the:
Then, you must have the next steps mapped out clearly to enquire or take up the offer.
I like to have a good fit call to see if the person is truly ready to change, and if they are a fit for working with me.
If they aren’t interested, it might not be the right offer or the right time.
If they aren’t fit, you can refer them to someone or something else.
In either case, you can STILL offer them value through ongoing connection with you on (LinkedIn, email, community etc) and you can invite them to share the message with others who need the courage and confidence to navigate the journey.
This method works for me, and others.
Your courage to do it is borne from your bigger why, the thing that you MUST do no matter what – which is the kryptonite for your fears.
If you can engage people in your why and share the dream with them, and co-create a vision, you will both be able to put the fear of marketing and sales aside and focus on making a change, and a difference.
Attracting clients and selling programs is a big challenge for a lot of coaches. There are mental and emotional hurdles and often limiting beliefs in the way.
Your courage to make offers is borne from your bigger why, the thing that you MUST do no matter what.
Pull marketing is a strategy that leverages coaching skills and strengths.
The four-step process I shared today includes:
Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.
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