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Get Your Prospects from Pain Island to Pleasure Island: Stop Selling the Boat

When someone—a potential client or referral partner—asks you what you do, are you selling the boat?

We know … right now, you may be thinking, “I’m a coach. I’m not in boat sales. What the heck are you talking about, Melinda?”

Stick with us, here.

You may remember our Pain Island/Pleasure Island diagram, which shows your ideal client’s Pain Island—his or her top 3 challenges, and his or her Pleasure Island—the top 3 desired results.

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Your boat—the packages, programs, and services you provide—is what gets your ideal clients from their Pain Island to their Pleasure Island.

So here’s the thing:

If you’re at an event or on a call, and someone asks you what you do, you may be making a big mistake with your answer.

That is, you may be explaining your packages, programs, and services (the boat), rather than showcasing the transformation you provide.

So why is that a mistake?

They buy a transformation.

And that’s exactly why we’re writing this today: we want you to stop selling the boat!

When you’re asked “What do you do?”

DON’T (for the love of Pete, DON’T) say: “I’m a coach and I offer several different packages.”

DO: Sell the journey.

Sell the transformation you provide. Sell the trip from Pain Island to Pleasure Island.

That way, you’re inviting people to step into your boat, by focusing on the results your clients will experience when they do.

This goes back to what we talked about with regard to your niche in a previous blog post: that is, you must identify the group of people you’re passionate about helping, and then identify the challenge they most want to overcome.

Then, you present yourself as the solution.

Here are some examples:

  • A tennis coach who works with tennis players who want to serve better and win games might say, “I help tennis players improve their serves so they can stop losing games.”
  • A specialty dog trainer might say, “I help dog owners train their dogs effectively so they can live in harmony with their furry friends.”
  • Here at TCC, we say, “We help start-up coaches systemize their businesses so they can get more clients and make more money.”

Bonus Tip:

Don’t guess!

Great marketing, great enrollment conversations never come from guessing.

It’s important to remember to interview your ideal prospects (or people like them) to uncover the specific words and phrases they use to describe their challenges and the results for which they’re striving, and use those same words or phrases when you sell the journey. If you’re guessing, you won’t get conversions. So, don’t guess. Ask.

As always, we’ll leave you with a few action steps you can take to practice selling the journey rather than the boat.

Action Steps

  1. Identify your ideal client.
  2. Narrow in on 3 specific Pain Island points—3 specific challenges your ideal client is facing and wants to solve … in their own words!
  3. Identify the top 3 Pleasure Island points: that is, specific results your ideal client would like to achieve or experience… in their own words! (Are you seeing a theme here?)
  4. Now, fill in this template: “I help [MY IDEAL CLIENT] achieve [PLEASURE ISLAND POINTS] by stopping [PAIN ISLAND POINTS].”

Voila! You can now answer the “What do you do?” question with confidence, focusing on the outcome and transformation someone will achieve when working with you … rather than focusing on your services. Therefore, you immediately draw prospects in, making them want to know more!

Next steps:

Sign up to receive our complimentary 3-part video training series, “Your Coaching Business Blueprint: Everything You Need To Know To Get Your Business On Track.”

You’ll learn the pattern you may be stuck in, which can sabotage your own efforts to reach your full potential and accomplish your goals, the 3 S’s to your success and why it’s critical to master all 3 (most coaches only master 2), and where your business is leaking money.

Sign up below:

Your 5-Part Follow-Up Sequence: What to Say to Increase Your Conversions (Part 2 of 2)

If you read last week’s blog post, “The Truth About Follow-Up: Why 5 Is The Magic Number (Part 1 of 2)”, you likely have a new understanding when it comes to why you must follow up with prospects at least 5 times after they’ve signed up to download your free gift.

As we mentioned, just 2-10 percent of prospects become paying clients after the first 4—yes, four!—”touches,” but that number jumps to 80 percent after the fifth contact.

Meanwhile, almost half of entrepreneurs never follow up, and 90 percent give up after the fourth follow-up (which means 90 percent of entrepreneurs are leaving conversions and therefore money on the table).

(If you missed it, just click here now to read it.)

But …

What should you actually say in each of those follow-up contacts, or “touches”?

We thought you might ask. So, today, we’re telling you. J

Here we go:

 

The First Touch: Deliver What You Promised

The first time you follow up with people who sign up to receive your free gift, you should deliver your free gift. Pretty simple, right?

Make this email short and sweet. Congratulate the prospect on taking a step toward reaching her goals or making her transformation, and let her know you’ll check in within a few days, after she’s had the chance to go through the information.

 

The Second Touch: Questions and Answers

In the second follow-up email, share your answers to questions you hear frequently regarding a tip/strategy you offered in your free gift. Give additional information to answer the questions.

Let your prospect know you’ll be checking in again in a few days.

 

The Third Touch: A Heads Up

Think about the common challenges and pitfalls your prospects might face when they start their journey.

Offer this third message as a “heads-up” about some of the more common pitfalls, or the most devastating, or the ones that derail them the fastest … and more importantly, offer specific suggestions for avoiding them.

 

The Fourth Touch: A Powerful Testimonial

Introduce your prospects to your most powerful testimonial. Give real-life evidence of someone who has implemented the information you shared in the free gift … and the transformation he or she experienced as a result.

 

The Fifth Touch: Present the Gap

This is it: remind people of the gap between where they are now and where they want to be.

Outline the path they’re about to follow—where, as a result of them integrating what they learn in your free gift, they experience the results they desire (those points from Pleasure Island on your Pain Island-Pleasure Island Diagram).

Also, outline the alternative path: the one where they choose not to integrate what you share in your free gift, and where they experience the very real costs and disappointments associated with lack of action.

It’s like saying, “You’re not there, yet—don’t get comfortable. You have more to accomplish.”

Then, close it out with a strong Call to Action, asking them to join you for a strategy session. Yes, you have to spell it out—tell them exactly what you want them to do.

That’s It!

The best thing about all of this is that you can automate the entire sequence through a program like The Coaches Console. It’s as close to “set it and forget it” as you can get!

Sounds pretty good, right?

We think so.

Your next steps: sign up to receive our complimentary 3-part video training series, “Your Coaching Business Blueprint: Everything You Need To Know To Get Your Business On Track.”

You’ll learn the pattern you may be stuck in, which can sabotage your own efforts to reach your full potential and accomplish your goals, the 3 S’s to your success and why it’s critical to master all 3 (most coaches only master 2), and where your business is leaking money.

Sign up below:

The Truth About Follow-Up: Why 5 Is The Magic Number (Part 1 of 2)

Lately, we’ve written a lot about making money in the niche of your choosing, whether that’s tennis players who want to stop losing, or start-up coaches who want to streamline their businesses so they can make a bigger impact while enjoying the perks of business ownership (and anything in between!).

Once you’ve defined your niche and done your research about their main challenges and desired results—all in their own words, of course—you’ll likely offer your leads a free gift that begins to solve one of their main challenges, while opening the door for you to present your coaching programs as the avenue for even more, bigger results.

We could go on and on about the free gift idea. In fact, there’s so much to it that that’s a whole different blog post!

For now, we want to focus on what you do after someone takes you up on your offer—when he or she goes from being a warm lead to an even warmer lead.

You follow up.

Okay—that’s easy, right? You knew that.

But did you know that a single follow-up email or contact is simply not enough to inspire your ideal prospects, your warmer leads, to become clients?

Think about this:

How many times do you follow up with a prospect after that initial contact?

Did you know there’s a scientific formula that outlines the ideal number of follow-up contacts?

That number is 5.

Yes, 5!

Because we believe the numbers show it best, here’s a graphic we developed to illustrate just how important it is to follow up 5 times after someone downloads your free gift:

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Do you see what we see?

Only 2 percent of prospects will convert into clients with a single follow-up contact. That number increases to 10 percent by the fourth contact but jumps to 80 percent by the fifth contact.

That’s right: 80 percent of prospects convert to paying clients after the fifth follow-up contact!

Meanwhile, almost half of entrepreneurs never follow up—not even once. And a whopping 90 percent give up after the fourth follow-up.

Which means that 90 percent of entrepreneurs are leaving money on the table because they’re not converting prospects that very well could become their next paying clients.

Here’s where things really get good: we’ve heard from lots of start-up coaches that they feel “pushy” or “salesy” or “sleazy” when they think about following up multiple times after someone downloads their free gift.

After all, if they’re interested, they’ll call, right? Wrong.

This isn’t personal. It’s not pushy.

It’s a buyer’s pattern. Period.

Our goal with this blog post is to help you shift your mindset: to help you realize that following up multiple times is a necessary part of your sales process. If you want to reach more of the people who need you, it’s key that you follow up 5 times.

You know what’s really SUPER-cool about this? Most likely you’ve already met your next paying client … you just haven’t followed up enough to help them see they’re ready to convert!

Most prospects simply don’t convert to buyers until after you’ve contacted them 5 times, and most entrepreneurs give up far too early, leaving money, opportunities, and potential impact on the table.

Now, you may be wondering what you should say in each of your follow-up emails.

Of course, we have you covered. We’ll talk about that in our next blog post, Your 5-Part Follow-Up Sequence: What to Say to Increase Your Conversions (Part 2 of 2). So stay tuned!

Meanwhile, sign up to receive our complimentary 3-part video training series, “Your Coaching Business Blueprint: Everything You Need To Know To Get Your Business On Track.”

 You’ll learn the pattern you may be stuck in, which can sabotage your own efforts to reach your full potential and accomplish your goals, the 3 S’s to your success and why it’s critical to master all 3 (most coaches only master 2), and where your business is leaking money.

 Sign up below

Can You Make Money with the Niche You Feel Called to Serve? Yes! (And if you think your niche is the problem, you’re wrong!) Clarity of Communication, Part 1 of 2

Can you believe it’s February, already? No? We can’t either! We’re 2 months into 2016, and we’ve already made some fascinating discoveries about how we can most effectively help YOU reach your coaching and business goals.

A couple of months ago, we sent out a survey, with the intention of really getting to know you. Like, deeply.

One of the questions we asked was “’What are your biggest challenges?” because you know we’re ALL about providing you with solutions.

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One topic came up over and over again – how to clarify – and make money in – the niche you feel called to serve.

It seems that many times, when coaches struggle to make money, the first thing they think is that it must be a problem with their chosen niche.

But that’s NOT the problem.

In our experience, and the experience of people we’ve worked with, the biggest factor in your success is clarity.

You need clarity in:

  • Understanding the challenges your ideal clients face, and the solutions to those challenges.
  • The exact words and phrases your ideal clients use to describe their challenges.
  • Communicating clearly how you can help your ideal clients solve their problems!

You see, clarity is key in growing your business, no matter what your niche is.

To prove it, we wanted to share examples of some of our colleagues who are making 6 or 7 figures in really “quirky” niches.

These include one woman who teaches people how to work with their dogs (think agility training, communication, behavioral training).

Another colleague coaches and consults with clients in alternative investing, such as placing ATM machines.

Another is a tennis coach. (That’s right. Tennis. A hobby, for most!)

People are thriving in these specialty niches, which proves that they’ve truly honed in on the pain and pleasure island points of the people they want to serve.

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 Bottom line: it’s all about clarity of communication.

“But what if I live in a rural Illinois town with a population of 2000?”

“But what if my niche is really quirky, like mine? (I knit sweaters from cat hair.)”

“But what if my clients don’t earn lots of money to pay me?”

We hear your “buts.”

And we answer them all the same:

If you gain clarity around your prospects’ challenges, the solutions you present, and then communicate clearly, you can make money in any niche, in a town of any size, serving any type of client.

So, the first step is to articulate the challenges your prospects face, and how their lives would be different if they solved those problems.

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You see, “niche” is more than a description of a group of people. It’s a set of challenges or needs that group of people experience, and more importantly, that they want resolved. Your products and services help them to overcome those challenges needs.

In order to clarify your niche, you must fully understand the needs.

So let’s revisit one of those quirky niche examples we shared with you. For the tennis coach, the niche isn’t “tennis players.” The niche is tennis players who want to serve better and win games (or, who want to stop losing).

Our niche here at The Coaches Console is not “start up coaches.” Rather, it’s coaches who are struggling to get clients and make money in their business.  We narrow our focus to a select group of people (start-up coaches) experiencing those particular challenges and needs.

To find your niche, you must first define a group of people, and then narrow that group down to a sub-group experiencing a specific challenge or need.

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Get to know these challenges and their solutions, and get to know them well … in your ideal clients’ words, not your own! This is SO important – don’t guess or “take a stab at it,” which is what we see coaches doing over and over again. The more you can dial in to exactly what is keeping your ideal clients up at night, worrying, the better you can communicate with them, and offer your solution to their current pain.

There are 2 powerful ways to get to know how your prospects or ideal clients describe their challenges and solutions: via phone, or via email.

Call 3-5 people, or send a quick email to your current clients. Ask them the following questions:

  1. When you lie awake at night because you’re stressed out and can’t sleep, what words and thoughts run through your head about the biggest challenges you are currently facing in ____ {insert desired area of focus, i.e. business, relationship, health, etc.}?
  2. If you could wave a magic wand, and time and money were of no concern, what are the goals and results that you most desire in ___{insert desired area of focus i.e. business, relationship, health, etc}?

Be sure to write down the precise words they use to describe what they’re facing, and how their lives would be different if they solved these challenges.

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In our next newsletter, we’re going to share our famous 5-part conversation for clarity of communication – but you’ve got to have clarity on your ideal clients’ biggest challenges before then! So get busy.

Then, stay tuned to Part 2 of this newsletter next month, in March.