Close More Coaching Services With a Product and a Case Study with Henri Schauffler
Question: Have you been challenged to get in front of the right prospects to offer your coaching services? And when you do, have you found it increasingly difficult to close? If so, then don’t do another thing until you have seriously considered what I am about to tell you.
You may have heard that coaches and advisers should never “productize” or “commoditize” their services.
This cheapens your image, the conventional wisdom goes. Balderdash…
These days, business people are tired of seeing appeal after appeal, ad after ad, email after email, social message after social message… about how you have great coaching that will help them. So tired in fact that we’ve almost become cynical about the next message from a well-meaning coach. RIGHT?
Believe it or not (please believe it!), business people don’t wake up in the morning and think, “Wow – I need to hire a business coach. I need one really badly!” Never. They wake up in the morning thinking about the business problems weighing on them. And the most pressing business problem is the one that “keeps them up at night.”
Here’s the key revelation of this article (it’s so old it’s almost new): Find a Need and Fill It. Or in more modern terms: Find a pain point and offer solutions to help your prospect solve their problem.
You’re a pro and you know what your clients’ issues are. You also know what expertise you have that can help them. So put the two together!
Here’s what I did
By 2017, I became weary of business coaches offering to help people “grow their business,” etc. And I was really tired of doing so myself and struggling to find interest. So I thought, “What’s the one thing I see that most small businesses owners (my target) need?” Answer – more sales. Now there are many reasons a small business may not be making enough sales. It could be a lousy sales process. Bad closing techniques. Not enough leads. Or poorly qualified leads.
But if I looked at it from the business person’s standpoint instead of my own (cool idea, huh?) I always came back to the same idea: “I need more leads.”
So I began looking at my own expertise. Where do I have personal success in lead generation? The answer was simple – I have been on LinkedIn for four years and 80% of my clients have come from working inside LinkedIn. So that was a start. Then I thought, “There are hundreds of LinkedIn gurus out there. I certainly don’t want to become another one.” Then I realized, that with my assistant and some software tools I had begun using, I could actually offer a done-for-you (DFY) service.
We always need a strategically designed sales process – which I didn’t have at the beginning. So it was a bit challenging to get in front of folks, till I remembered the strategy taught by one of my prime mentors, the estimable Karl Bryan (editor of this mag!) and his partner Adrian Ulsh. That is the “case study” strategy.
Case study strategy
In this simple idea, a coach or adviser offers to do an in-depth analysis for a prospect in the area of their expertise. You need to be writing a book, or writing for a magazine, or – easy for anyone – writing for a blog (you can even publish on LinkedIn’s Pulse Blog, BTW). So no problem to be honest and authentic here.
Then just tell prospects that you need more case studies for the book/articles/posts you’re writing and you’d like to do one on how your product/service would apply to their business. No guarantees of publication – just the reason for doing it. This takes away the sales approach and turns it into something the prospect would like to do!
Now it was time to go to market. I began speaking at local events and in my own focus groups on the general topic of lead generation. I offered a couple of case studies that I had compiled (detailed stats, the whole works). Here’s the twist. In the end, I offered my own case study, applying the principles in the presentation (targeting, addressing pain points, playing the long game in marketing, etc.) to my own work inside LinkedIn. Voila! I had a sales pitch without pitching!
At the end of the presentation, I simply said, “I need more case studies detailing how this works with LinkedIn and I’d love to sit down with you. We’ll map out a complete LinkedIn lead gen strategy for you. No obligation. You get the plan, I get the case study. Fair enough?”
It worked beautifully! Every time I do one of these presentations I get 50% + of the room to schedule case study sessions. Some choose to work with me, utilizing my DFY service. That’s awesome. Some say, “OK, I will try this myself.” But of course, they never do. So some of those come back within months asking for help.
Main points to take away
- Stop selling “coaching services” and create a product or specific service that will solve a problem your prospects have
- Offer solid information in presentations that educate your prospect and show them how what you have works
- Stop “selling” and instead offer a case study or something similar
Your individual situation may require some tinkering with the plan I have outlined here, but I know it will work for almost any coach or adviser working in the business space.
So if you’ve been struggling to get in front of highly qualified prospects – then try it!
Henri Schauffler is a Certified Business Coach and Marketing Strategist with 30 plus years of experience working with small business owners and executives. He has run three of his own – two fantastically successful, but one – Henri admits - was a miserable failure! As he puts it, “I probably learned more from that experience than all of the others combined…” Recently, Henri has observed that the single biggest challenge small businesses face is creating a steady flow of qualified leads. Last year, he began offering his Linked2Leads DFY leads service, which generates 10-15 highly qualified leads per month for any small business. To see how he presents it, and to contact Henri, go to http://mysalesqb.com