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Business Coaches Make More Money Optimizing Their Relationships

Aug 17, 2007
To succeed, financially, as a business coach you really must optimize every relationship you have with your prospects and your clients.

I have worked with business owners for over three decades. To this day over 60% of my clients come from one of three industries. And each client ends up taking advantage of the widest possible range of services - because I have developed a process that keeps me in front of them long enough for them to do so.

What can you do to more effectively to invest your time and energy with each high probability prospect long enough for them to buy everything you have on offer?

It seems that most of the time we only have a few seconds to make a first impression or a few minutes to pitch our services.

What most of us do, out of necessity, is blast away about the features and benefits of our services - hoping we catch their attention with one of them. While we a barking out everything we can in the time allowed we try to focus on their body language for clues regarding the one thing that seems to interest them.

If our elevator speech and our sales presentation are well conceived and well delivered our prospect may show a sign of interest - which we will immediately jump on and ride for all it's worth.

So we all spend time developing our USP so that it can be powerfully presented in forty-five seconds, five minutes, and fifteen minute versions.

I absolutely recommend that you spend whatever time necessary to create that USP. It is vitally important that you know precisely what you do more uniquely and better than anyone else.

Getting clear about the benefits you provide is critical - but perhaps not for the reasons you think.

For example I use my elevator speech, in all its variations, as my number one method of disqualifying people I am not ideally suited to serve. In 45 seconds eighty percent of them know I am not the right person for them. By the end of five minutes I have eliminated everyone that is not an ideal candidate for my services.

This may be the opposite of what you were taught - that everyone is a prospect for something. Read on. My career has been created using this approach.

Once I have eliminated everyone else I can focus all my effort on the people who want what I'm selling, have the money to buy it, and will buy it from me once they know more about me.

Instinctively good prospects want proof, before they spend their time or money. They want to see us in action before making a decision. In other words that want to see if we walk our talk.

But how is this possible? How can they get to know us better in a way that builds our credibility?

How about offering a free coaching session or a no-obligation interview? Maybe we can interest them in a trial program that is deeply discounted? Or maybe we can offer some sort of guarantee?

Give me a break! Anyone who'd fall for these obvious ploys is not the sort of person I want as a client and hope you feel the same.

Successful business owners aren't stupid! They know (whether it is true in your specific case or not) that any of these deals are really a come-on to get your foot in the door. And every effort will be made during the free/discount sessions to sell them the services they were unwilling to buy in the first place.

Let me propose an alternative, a simple process that has been working for me for over a decade. It gives prospects plenty of time to see me in action and come to know what kind of a person I am.

When I meet a new high probability prospect - someone I want to know more about and who seems to want to get to know me and my services better - I make them a proposition they rarely refuse.

I describe the power of group dynamics and its impact on decision making that are present when a small group of people (like them) meet regularly with a persistent focus on the issues and challenges shared by them all.

Invariably they have been part of such a group, formally or informally, in the past. And in my experience they found it beneficial and were sorry when it ended. Often their association has sponsored peer groups among its membership. In many cases they have been part of a dealer peer group created by the company that manufactures the products they sell or distribute.

So when I offer to help organize a peer group for them and their peers - as a volunteer, they jump on it. We make a bargain. They put together the names of people they know and trust in their industry and I agree to take care of all the details.

These are smart people, so they know that my goal is to demonstrate my value to them and the other members of their group. No sales pitch - this is real.

They also know that I actually have to demonstrate that value over a period of time in front of a half-dozen business owners like them. This is trial by fire.

And I know that if I chose the first person well and by extension helped sort out the rest of the members based on that same criteria - that I could not spend my time more productively.

Just think, an hour or so twice a month modeling your best abilities in the presence of six successful business owners. Imagine the possibilities.

What you will have done is create a situation that is guaranteed to deliver results, if you deliver the goods.

Every time I organize a peer group like this I end up with a key account or two from the group.

And more often than not, one of the people in the group I never get as a client ends up referring me to one or more of their colleagues who become key accounts.
About the Author
If you are serious about spending your time effectively, in front of groups of your ideal client types with money to spend on your services I suggest you visit http://www.iBizResources.com and click on the link to my new report www.21stCenturyPeerGroups.com a complete guide to creating, organizing, and manageing virtual peer groups profitably.
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