Key 1: Make your Business Card Stand Out and Work for You
Rather than have a business card with only your contact details and qualifications, design it so that it stands out and works for you.
When you hand out your ‘card’ what is it you really want people and prospective clients to do with it? File it, store it, give you theirs in return or act on it and make contact with you in the near future?
Create a Call to Action
On one side of your business card have you name, logo or other details you want to give out. Here’s the key, on the other side create a call to action to encourage a prospective client to give you their details willingly and gives you an opportunity to show case what you have to offer in a subtle way.
It’s a win – win to all, you build your data base and they receive information and tools of interest to them.
Here’s an example:
o Link a ‘1800’ number to a land line and add a 24hour answering service to it. People feel more comfortable when they know they can leave their details to receive something without being sold to.
o Script may go something like this: “HI, thanks for your call or email. To receive your free report, “”How to build a successful Coaching Business”, valued at $197 please leave your name, address, phone number and email and we’ll send it out to you today. Please speak clearly and slowing. Thank you for your call.
o If you are not keen on a ‘1800’ number an email address can be used.
o Do not say your number is an 1800 Free Call number unless it actually is.
o The report or document you send out must contain high quality information – You only have one change to make a great impression.
Key 2: Utilise Every Opportunity to Communicate with Your Prospective or Current Clients
When ever a product is sent out, include an introductory cover letter what includes a bio and professional photo of you. The more ways you can connect with prospective clients the greater level of rapport you are able to build.
The inclusion of a photo is a powerful tool that is often overlooked. When you correspond with prospective clients that have not met you, whether it is by letter, email or phone they will have a clear picture of your face and therefore have a greater level of rapport with you. Its even been said that when clients and coaches have finally meet face to face, the client has responded as though they were old friends.
Things to include in your letter:
– Thank them contact you initially
– A brief introduction and bio (and brief is the key). Do not make it all about you
– A professional photo
– Provide bullet points of the benefits the product will give them
– A Call to Action at the bottom of the page in the form of a ‘P.S’ that offers them an opportunity to gain more information, tips and tools.
– Integrity, honesty and a little bit of you – be natural
Key 3:Network – Network – Network
Being a member of a networking group is an effective method of growing your business. However, as with everything else the degree of effectiveness can vary depending on how well you network! Here are some tips for any first time networkers and a check list for some seasoned travellers
Before the event prepare some neutral questions that act as conversation starters. For example:
– “How do you know the host/company?”
– “What made you decide to come to this event?”
– “Have you been to one of these events?”
– “What other organizations in the industry do you belong to?”
Then, focus on neutral topics – business, local places of interest, movies, books, art, or sport. It’s best to avoid topics surrounding politics, religion, gender, weight or age.
Apart from discussing relevant topics, is it also important to listen well. If you have trouble listening some suggestions include:
– Avoid doing anything else – remain attentive to the discussion as the person deserves your full attention
– When in person, make eye contact and face your body towards the person
– Concentrate on the other person’s agenda not only your own.
During the conversation you’re aim is be to build rapport and create an opportunity to follow up and then take the discussion to a deeper level. If others are nearby, draw and include them into the conversion. The conversion ideally lasts for three to five minutes, a maximum of eight.
When the conversation is drawing to an end, rather than wait for an uncomfortable silence, smile and thank the person for the time they have spent with you. Such as, “It was a pleasure taking with you, thank you for your card and look forward to continuing our conversation in the next couple of days. Enjoy the event.”
If you want to follow up with someone you have met be sure to exchange business cards – and then be sure to follow up in 24-48 hours. It is amazing the number of outstanding opportunities that go by the way side simply because someone simply did not follow up (or bother turning up)!
– Aim to attend 1-2 networking events/groups per week.
– Contact the organiser/ host and offer to be a sponsor for the event and add to their ‘goodie-bag’.
– Give a goodie-bag gift that is something useful for both you and the recipient, something more that a flyer or brochure. Ask yourself what will stand out from all the other pieces of paper that will fill the bag?
Possible Networking Events/Groups.
– Local BNI groups.
– Industry Associations and Governing Bodies of your particular niche area.
– Local community groups.
– Local government groups and councils.
Key 4: Run Free Workshop and Seminars
Running a workshop or seminar allows you to meet and share your knowledge/ services with more that one person at time.
A workshop is generally an event that will include an opportunity to do a practical activity of some sort. On the other hand, a seminar is more so a sit down information giving event. It is important that you let people know what to expect both in the form of content and structure of the session.
You can vary the size of your group to match the feel of the event. A larger group may create more atmosphere and excitement, or a smaller group tends to be more intimate and allows you to gain more individual connections with attendees.
– Have a clear goal of how you want you session to run, and plan it accordingly. E.G: size of group and what is your intension for running the seminar/workshop
– Offer VIP tickets to your clients and give them a bonus ticket to invite a friend.
– On your tickets/initiations, while it is a free event, place a value on the ticket. It may be free however it is useful for people to know just how generous you really are and how much if would have cost them if they did have to pay for a ticket.
– Record the session. You are then able to sell or give copies of the recording, plus have it transcribed (there’s another product). You can also make an MP3 recording that can be given out.
– Invite a colleague to speak at your event and you can do the same for them. This is a huge value add – especially if they are going to keep coming in until.
Key 5:Run Free/Probono Coaching Sessions
Experience is not something you can buy – it is a gift given to us over time.
As a generalist coach, book in 4-6 probono clients and run 6 sessions for them. This allows you the opportunity to practise your skills and assist someone with key areas of their live. After your 6 sessions together, the client may choose to continue session with you, they may give you a referral or at the very least you should ask them for a testimonial that you can use in your marketing.
Be sure to give your clients guidelines for the duration of the sessions, number of sessions and that they are run not further out then 10days (preferably no more that every Monday.)
Another useful area to take on ‘probono’ clients is when Identify your Niche (remembering that the Riches are in the Niches) you will not only develop your skills a coach, you will now take your coaching to the next level.
For Corporate or Executive clients, probono sessions, offers them a opportunity to work with you, and gives you an opportunity to show case your talents and develop stronger relationships with prospective clients. You may offer 3-6 months, the duration is up to you, however too many coaches do not specify a time/date of the probono time together and are then left hanging