You’ve got something of enormous value for your potential private pay clients.
The problem is, they don’t know it.
And they have no reason to believe you when you tell them all about it. That’s not how it works. If people are going to trust you with their personal time, money, needs, hopes and dreams, then they need more than words to help them commit.
Worse, your clients have no real way to ever experience the full value that you have to offer unless they invest in your actual product or service over time.
I call this the experience gap. Your potential new clients do not have enough experience with you to know that you are a wise investment.
Now, that leaves us in a quandary.
How do you convince people to take the risk of hiring you or if there’s no way for them to know up front that it will be worth it?
If you’re in business for yourself as a coach, counselor, consultant or work in a performance-based position, you have something to sell. Sell it well and your income potential is increases dramatically. Fail to sell it and your income is non-existent.
That’s the beauty and the risk of determining your own destiny. If you’re cut out for this kind of work, then you thrive on the challenge. And you should always seek new skills to grow your potential.
Recently, my coaching practice has grown substantially. Reflecting on the new client acquisition system I designed, I wanted to share the following factors that make it work so well. These various forms of communication give people confidence to invest and cross the experience gap.
1. Priority Number One: Self-Confidence
Self-confidence. If you don’t have some, then consider getting it to be priority number one. If you don’t believe in yourself and your work, don’t expect others to.
When I do free consults with potential clients, I’m not trying to be charismatic (that would be awful). I do, however, believe very strongly in what I do. So, I speak with natural confidence. I know that when the right client invests time, money and effort with me, their life will change for the better. And I know who the right clients are, and who falls outside of my limitations.
This confidence in myself, in them, and in the process comes across and helps them cross the experience gap.
Do you believe that what you have to offer is one of the very best things the right people can do for themselves? If not, you must find a way to believe it!
2. Align Yourself in the Most Effective Way
Here’s how to align yourself to be as influential as humanly possible. Your goal – 100% of it – should be to get the client results. If you don’t believe you can do this, don’t take the client.
Don’t think about yourself or what you have to gain – that will come as you deliver results for the client. Being aligned in this way is the only way. There’s no hidden agenda. No lingering selfish motive. No shenanigans.
So, with each and every client, as you write down their goals, immerse yourself in how you will feel when they achieve those goals. This is alignment, which is another piece of the bridge that crosses the experience gap.
3. Put Your Resources Behind Your Goals.
One of the helpful tenets of NLP is to identify the positive resources you have to achieve your desired outcomes. So, if you want to make more money, then which resources should you muster?
If you know that you are creative and determined, then keep those qualities conscious and available for when challenges arise. Notice specifically when your creativity and determination are most needed. It keeps you from getting stuck while building your business.
4. Stack your Sales Message for Success.
This tip is huge. Your headlines, marketing copy and any message you give should be stacked in favor of helping the client make the right decision. Now, the decision may be ‘no,’ And that is a good thing. You only want to work with the right clients who are ready (and there are literally millions and millions of them out there).
When creating a message that is intended to help a client make a decision, why not create an effective one?
- You may already know to highlight the benefits of your product.
- You may know how to create compelling headlines.
- You may understand how to keep your message clear and simple.
Also, you may consider the following:
Use both toward and away motivation. NLP teaches us that people are motivated toward what they want and away from what they don’t want.
Instead of saying: Improve your health.
Say: Improve your health and avoid getting lifestyle-related diseases.
Instead of saying: Work for yourself.
Say: Work for yourself and give up the 9-5 grind.
Including both toward and away from motivation sends a more complete and often more compelling message.
Additionally, learn to speak your client’s non-verbal language. If they are using visual words, then paint them a picture of success. If they are using auditory words, then help them tune into your message. If they are using feeling-oriented words, then get them in touch with the positive possibilities.
None of this means that a client is appropriate to work with you. However, if they are the right client for you – if you really can help them – why not speak their language?
5. Demonstrate Your Value in the Most Obvious, Undeniable Way.
This action may be your biggest selling point. Crossing the experience gap can be successfully done by giving prospects an actual (if limited) experience!
This is the genius behind every free trial offer. If you’re a coach, counselor or consultant, then you should offer prospective clients a free, targeted, introductory session. This session is not a casual conversation. You need to structure it to give your prospect an amazing experience in about 30-45 minutes.
Now, you may think that’s a lot of time to invest up front, but I guarantee it’s worth it, if you do it right.
Your Free Session Should:
- Be designed to help with a specific problem, so that clients can easily identify whether or not it’s for them. (You can offer a variety of problem or specific goal-oriented free sessions).
- Help clients identify the specifics of what they want and associate pleasure with getting it.
- Help clients identify specific inner and outer obstacles and see the relationship of those obstacles to their goals.
- Offer a brief intervention to give the client an experience of transformation.
After a positive outcome, extend an invitation to continue getting results over a specific period of time.
This targeted and clearly structured approach is infinitely more effective than merely saying: Contact me to discuss whether or not working together is right for both us.
Don’t do that. Give your prospects the real deal. It will help them decide to work with you right away and clear up any doubts they have, if it is indeed appropriate to work together.
6. Fall in Love with Objections.
Objections are your best friend. They help you give the client more experience of you and take another step across the experience gap. And they help you mutually understand when working together is not the right thing to do. This is always a good thing. You don’t want clients to make a decision to work with you based on false assumptions.
You’re in a win-win situation with objections. If you cannot overcome them, then you’ve just saved yourself and your client from a bad decision.
So, welcome objections. You need to understand them, anyway, as they make up part of your clients psychology and part of their real life situation.
7. Step Back and Never Take it Personally.
Good practice for helping professionals is to step back and view your own process from what in NLP we call third position (neutral observer). This perspective is great for viewing interactions that didn’t go well. You’ll learn a lot if you can do it.
Mostly, if a client needs to stop or a new prospect doesn’t sign on, let it go. In every interaction, do everything you can to facilitate their growth process. That’s your job. If you do it well, you’ll never lack for clients.
Confident woman photo available from Shutterstock