“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
What I’m going to share in this post can work for most service-based, conscious business owners, be they teachers, healers, wellness practitioners or coaches. But of course, my experience comes largely as a coach and it’s from that perspective that I share. It’s important that you consider how the approach might apply to your specific business.
Most of the advice we see online these days comes from the perspective of “getting” or “attracting” clients, we also hear all manner of nonsense about creating offers so irresistible that people will be fighting to hand over their money to you. The strategies most often taught focus on crafting the perfect image, message or brand that will, so they say, have people flocking to you. This is not the approach I teach nor is it an approach I advocate.
“Getting” clients is an old-fashioned, hunter-gatherer approach to growing a coaching practice. It’s outdated because it puts all of your success in the hands of other people. It puts you in an aggressive mindset that isn’t conducive to having people say yes. And it has your clients on edge, waiting for that moment when you are about to manipulate them.”
~ Rich Litvin
The approach I advocate is less about getting, attracting or persuading and more about creating. Creating clients comes about when we invest in the relationship with the person in front of us. When we put aside manipulation, persuasion and making the sale in place of creating a deeper relationship.
I don’t, for example, have a complicated or sophisticated sales funnels with trip wires and squeeze pages. Instead I have my knowledge and skillset and and a deep desire to see people succeed. I use these to do the following two things on a regular basis to facilitate deeper relationships with my right-fit people:
- Creating and sharing content consistently.
- Practicing authentic outreach.
Let me share with you more of how I use these two activities to create clients and to grow my business.
I put out content on a consistent basis and do my best to make that content meaningful and useful. I share the best of what I know freely and when people engage with that content and share with me how it helped, I use authentic outreach (more on that in this post) to reach out to get to know that person better, I offer my support. I start a conversation and if the conversation goes somewhere and I feel called to go deeper with the person, I will invite that person to have a complimentary coaching session with me. Not a “taster” session or a “discovery” call, in which I give a little and sell a lot. A full 60-90 minute, pitch-free, coaching session, where my number one goal is to serve powerfully.
At the end of the session, I give the person homework, regardless of whether or not I’ll ever speak to that person again, I want to leave them in action, I want to have them feeling the impact of our work together, beyond the time we spent on a call. If it’s a person who I feel excited to go deeper with, I offer a second complimentary session. I do this from a place of service. I never mention working together (I know some coaches do) and I only occasionally mention my services, yet I’d say 8 times out of 10, the person I’m coaching asks me what it could look like to work together. They don’t always become clients, but it follows that if someone feels powerfully served, they are curious about going deeper.
As my business has grown, I have less time for complimentary sessions but it’s still a huge part of my business model. Now maybe I do one every week or so but when I first began my coaching business, I coached hundreds of people, sometimes having as many as 5 complimentary sessions a day! The benefits of doing this are not just for the other person. The more I coached in my first year of business, the more confident I felt, the more referrals I got and the more testimonials I received and ultimately the more clients I created. I also fell into bed each night feeling like I’d made a difference. Like I’d had an impact. For me building a business this way was and is far more fulfilling than spending hours on social media, tweaking web copy, or trying to create the perfect brand.
I’d love to know what you think. Have you tried this approach to creating clients? Can you see how it might apply to your business? If so, I’d love to hear from you so drop me a line in the comments below.
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