#162: Help Clients Sell Themselves (So You Don’t Have To)

Getting clients to sign up isn’t a matter of saying the exact right thing, being pushy or lowering your prices. Nope! In this episode Michelle shares how to have clients sell themselves on the idea of working with you…so you barely have to do a thing. Register for Michelle’s free, 5-day training “Turn Consultations Into Paying Clients” at https://healthcoachpower.com/payingclients

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Hello there health coaches. Today, we are going to be talking about closing the deal, except what if you never really had to close the deal? Wouldn't that be amazing? Like what if clients were already sold on working with you and you didn't have to do any kind of convincing or selling at all? I gotta tell you one thing. It makes those sales conversations, you know, whatever you call it, the initial consult, your discovery, call your health history. It makes it a breeze. It feels good. So today I'm going to share how I actually got to a point in my health coaching practice, where I rarely feel like I'm putting forth any effort to sign a new client. And I think that with some intention you can build the same experience for yourself. Now, this is not to say that I never have to have any kind of sales conversation I do.

And it's not to say that I don't have moments where clients say that they need to think about it, or they need to ask their husband just like, raise our hands, put an emoji in the comments. If you know exactly what I'm talking about. Here's the thing; when I'm having those types of conversations, I have a very specific way that I handle those calls and I want to teach that to you because there's a real art and science to making those calls feel good for you as the practitioner, but also for your client on the other side, right? Because many of them are nervous. They're worried that they're going to be sold to they're getting all badgety, you're getting all the badgety. It's like big exhale. We can do this a much easier way. I see Kim is raising a hand in the comments. He or she knows what I'm talking about.

Who else gets a little bit nervous, gets a little bit sweaty, maybe in the armpits. When you know you're going to have a conversation with a potential client, oh my God, you're going to have to talk about money and oh my God, you're going to have to close the deal. Let's do it with some ease. So I have put together a free five day training that I want to tell you about because it's related to today's topic. I'm going to be teaching you an exact method to turn your consultations into paying clients with that sense of ease. I've done this one before, but it was years ago and it was one of my most popular training ever. So I wanted to bring it back. You can sign up now at healthcoachpower.com/payingclients. We're going to get started on September 25th. So, I'm very excited about this.

Again, it's free. It's available for registration now at healthcoachpower.com/payingclients in the meantime on today's topic of how clients can sell themselves. So you don't have to, okay. If you're here live, and I'm going to make sure that I can see my comments over here in Facebook land as well. If you're here live, tell me in the comments how these consultations are going for you. Like if you had to ballpark estimate, what percentage of your consultations are turning into paying clients? Is it about half the time, right? That would be a 50% closing rate. Is it about, you know, 20% of the time, this is... This is something that I don't think anyone talks enough about your closing rate. It sounds very business-like. And it is because it's important to know, like once you get somebody into one of these phone calls, how likely is it that they become a paying client and over time you can improve, right?

So even if your closing rate is like 0% right now, over time, you can improve. And I know that I have as well. So just throw me like a ballpark estimate of where you think your closing rate is at right now. And I'm going to keep my eye on the comments these days. I have about a 90% closing rate. I share that with you, not like to brag, but in disbelief because it is such a huge difference from where I started out years ago. That's why I want to share these secrets with you because it took me a long time to figure out, like, what am I doing wrong here? How could I get better at this? And there really are some concrete things you can do that. That's why I'm here. That's why I'm going to make it easier for you. These days, I'm just shocked.

I am shocked by how many women will book a call with me and there'll be nodding their heads the whole time. And they are just ready to plunk down the cash and sign up without hesitation. Like literally they're like, yep, sounds good. Here's my credit card. You know, that's what you want. Right? That's like, when you know, Hey, you're not going to have to do any weird sales tactics, but be like, you're, you're connecting with the right people. You're doing the work that you're meant to do in this world. I find that it almost doesn't matter what I say or how much the program costs. Like they are all ready, sold. It's nice. So what makes that magic happen? Any thoughts if you're here live, what do you think makes the difference makes a client want to say yes. Even if they haven't heard your spiel yet, even if they don't know how much it's going to cost yet, they're like in their… Like already got their toe in the water and they are ready to jump.

I'll tell you what I think first and foremost, it is definitely the no like trust factor. Like when speak... Just as an example, when I'm speaking to someone that's a friend or a referral from one of my clients, that person like they already know all about me. They've already heard about me. They're already familiar with me. They have seen their friend's results. They have that trust built in, and that is the easiest right there because they're not questioning anything. They're not arriving with a bunch of question marks in their head.

Kim's saying, one of the things that makes a big difference is that they are ready. And that is a big piece of it, as well as, as somebody who's just kind of curious and just kind of wants to pick your brain or is it someone who's really ready to do the work? We're going to talk more about that in just a second. So thanks for saying that. Shannon says, uh, your reputation. Yeah. And I think I would, I would bucket that with what I just said about when I'm talking to somebody on the phone who is a referral, one of their friends is my client. Something like that. That is my reputation. Right? So that's huge. If you have a good reputation though, and someone isn't familiar with it, you know, like you need, you need someone to kind of be in your world. So the other way for it to happen, if it's not through a direct referral. And it also happens. I noticed when someone has been following me for a while and they're reading my emails and they're listening to my podcasts and you know, because they'll often tell you, you know, they'll say like, I listen... I've been listening to binge listening to your podcast.

You know, people say that all the time, they've been engaging with me on social media, no over time. They've gotten to know me and not just know me and respect me, but like me. I think it's one part about like, they respect you as a professional. And one part, someone really needs to feel like they, like you, you're a personality. They like what you're all about. They liked your approach to, to life in general, that really, really helps in business. Just think about people that you do business with and your life. You know, like I just hired someone to redo all the steps in front of my house. I hired a guy that I like, you know, like I trusted him. I trusted him to do this business. Um, even my lawyer, you know, my lawyer is somebody who I like as a human being, people generally will do business with people that they like, right?

So this is really important. Um, and I am consistently putting out content that displays and you can do this to not only my health and nutrition knowledge, but my personality, right? Like when you're putting out dry information, like you should drink eight glasses of water per day or whatever it is, right. That's one thing. But can people get to know you through your content? And I will tell you this, even health coaches will say to me, Michelle, I have been listening to your podcast, meaning this podcast. And I love it. And that's why I signed up for Healthy Profit University and I know that's different than from when I'm signing private health coaching clients. But I can tell you from both sides of my business, the more consistently you're putting out high quality content, the easier it is to turn someone who was a perfect stranger, maybe just a couple of weeks ago into somebody that fully trusts you.

So let's see what you guys are saying here. Health or wellness coach says testimonials. Yes. We're going to talk a little bit more about testimonials in a second. That's something else that can help somebody build that that trust factor with you, Nicole is saying it helps when you speak to their pain points. Yes. We're going to talk about that. Nicole says I'm getting ready to launch my health coaching practice, looking forward to what you'll share so that I avoid mistakes. Nicole, there's so many mistakes to be made. Don't worry. You're going to get, you're going to have plenty of them on your own, but I'm going to help you at least hop over a few of them. That's my goal because I feel like I fell in the ditch so many times in the early years of my business. Phew! Okay. So how can you go about building that know like trust factor a little more intentionally.

Like I was just talking about content 100%. If you're marketing yourself online and these days, hint, hint, we are all marketing ourselves online. Even if you have a business where you're working with your clients locally and even meeting with them in person, every business is an online business. These days, every business is using email marketing or needs to be right. So anyway, you're marketing yourself online and we all are. You want to pick a platform. So your platform for content could be a blog. Is anybody already blogging? Do a little self-promo, throw a link to your blog in the comments. If you're here live, why not? What about a podcast who has their own podcast, or maybe even a YouTube channel, which can be very, very effective. Or even some people utilize a platform like Instagram and use it for like a very in-depth presence. They're not just like snapping a picture of their dog and posting it.

They're using like, you know, they're writing something lengthy on Instagram every day, you know, that could even be your medium. So you want to pick a platform and you want to show up on that platform on a very, very consistent basis. I'm talking probably weekly. If it's something like a blog or, you know, your own podcast, if it's something like a social media presence, you you're going to be on there daily offering content that your audience wants and needs and infusing it with what makes you, you, right? Like we could all use the same copy paste, you know, article about how to eat more vegetables. Every health coach could do that. Scrap that stuff you don't want to do that you want to write in your own voice. You want to, you know, make jokes the way that you would with a friend or at least with an acquaintance.

You want to share anecdotes. You want to share bits of like behind the scenes from your real life. So your content is going to be hugely important in intentionally building the know like, and trust factor that pre-sells your clients in working with you. I'm not seeing anybody's blog links right now. So I'm assuming y'all need to start something like that, like right after we get off this episode. Okay. All right. Listen. Another way to build up the trust factor is by talking about your clients, successes, just like somebody said in the comments earlier about testimonials, it could be, it could be like that you're sharing formal case studies and there are times and places where that is very, very appropriate. It could be by just dropping a quick story here and there, like within relevant context, let's say that you're going to be writing in your new blog.

You're going to be writing a blog post about intermittent fasting. So within that blog post, maybe you're giving a lot of info and that's cool, but like make it practical, show people how it really applies to real life. Mention your client who is a dad of two, who just lost 25 pounds doing intermittent fasting. And, you know, just share like one or two stories about, or one or two sentences about his story. That's all slipping things into your content about your clients is very, very effective. And of course you can share a straight up testimonial. And I want to tell you about that, cause, uh, when I was thinking about this earlier, I just had this one thing pop into my head. Something that happened maybe a year or two ago. I signed the client. And it's probably the only time that I know I signed a client because of one very distinct Instagram post.

Usually it's because things over time, someone gets to know you. And that is probably true. She probably had been following me for a while, but she told me that she signed up with me because of this one testimonial that I had shared on Instagram. And it was very, very aligned with her health problems and the results that she was after. So this woman was like, boom, signed up right there on the spot in full easy, like that's the kind of closing the deal that I like to have in my business. This is how we want to feel. Right? Just like say yes in the comments, if this is the kind of sales that you want to do, the kind that feels good, the kind that feels like they want to work with you, not like you're trying to convince them. And I know that we don't like to have these sales conversations.

I would say 99% of health coaches hate having a sales conversation. And that's not because we're lazy or because you know, we didn't get into this business to be in sales or we don't want it to be like pulling teeth, you know? Cause that just starts to feel icky. We want to work with clients who want to work with us health.

Healthful wellness coach says she has a blog. I'm going to plug it for you right now. It's www.organicallaround.com. I'll have to check it out later. Everybody needs to start something. If you don't have it already where you are producing consistent content and helpful wellness goes, oh it says sales without sounding salesy. Yes please. Yes. I'm going to say a lot more about this. So I'm so glad that you're here. This next piece I want to talk about also mega important, like will make all the difference.

So remember the client that I was just telling you about the one who signed on the dotted line. She had like no hesitation because she saw that one testimonial on Instagram that only worked because she saw herself in that testimonial and that's by design. You know, it wasn't just luck that it happens that way. It's like the more specific that you are about who you work with and what big problem. Who's heard me say this before, what big problem do you help that person solve? The easier this becomes because then all your clients are, I mean, everyone's different, but they're kind of the same. They're kind of the same person. They pretty much have the same problem. Therefore, all your testimonials and case studies are going to have a similar thread to them, a similar vibe, and they're going to appeal to more people like that.

Right? And it almost makes too much sense. It's like mind blown right now. So what we're talking about of course is your target market. We want your testimonials to have that similar thread through them. They're all kind of talking about the same topic so that someone from your target market reads them. They're like, wow, this person is just like me. And then, oh, obviously I have to work with Michelle. Or obviously I have to work with this health coach. They're like, this was made for me if you're not doing that. And I know it's hard. It took me like a bunch of years before I figured out how to really utilize a target market. I mean, you can pick a target market all day long, but what I see are health coaches kind of phoning it in, you know, quote, unquote, picking a target market.

And it doesn't really do anything for them, but when you figure it out, um, here's why this is why it makes a difference. Because if your marketing message and your client stories and your testimonials are all over the map and they're talking about different types of people, lots of different health issues. No, one's going to look at that and say, huh, that sounds just like me. I need this. Like sign me up. No, one's going to have that connection to it. So when you have a target market, that's really clear and you're utilizing it and makes your marketing so much easier. You know, it's like, um, I'm thinking about when I used to live in Alexandria, Virginia, do we have any DC area? People I used to live in old town, Alexandria and on king street, there were like all these boutiques. And sometimes you walk into a boutique and you're immediately like, yes, like this is my style.

I love everything in here. And you, you buy everything, you know, it's really bad. But then sometimes you have the opposite experience where you walk into a store like that, but it's totally different. It's not your style at all. You're kind of like, Ugh, I don't like this. I don't like that. I'm out of here. Right. So that's a great example of someone's initial interaction with you. You want it to be the kind where they're like, oh my God, this is so me. And then of course, if you're going into like a bigger department store or something, that's more generic. You think, you know, you see a sweater or something and you think, ah, I can get this anywhere. You know, it just kind of take it or leave it. It's fine. But maybe you'll get it later. It's fine. But blah, blah, blah. You want to be that specialty boutique?

You know the feeling. I know you do. Kim says she used to live in Fairfax. Okay. That's pretty close to where I was. Healthful wellness coach says, how much should you be able to relate to your niche personally? Well, very much you should be. You should know your target market. Very, very well. That doesn't mean that you yourself have to be like the same type of person necessarily. I can be a health coach. Who's a woman and I work with men, but there's something about me, something about my own lived experience. Something about those studies that I've done, something that I've lived through. That makes me very well suited to work with these men. Do you know what I mean? That's why so many of our target markets do fall out of our own experience, personal, you know, our personal health experiences, not all the time, but you, you should have a very, very, very good understanding of this group and what makes them tick.

You know, and sometimes that's inherent because like you've lived it. And sometimes it's going to require you doing the research, you doing, you know, doing the work to get to know them. Okay. So another way to pre-sell your clients is to make sure as soon as they come through the door, remember this is your boutique, except it's probably not a boutique. It's probably like your website. It's your social media, it's your podcast. However, they're encountering you. It should feel like they walked into that boutique. That's right up their alley. And, and that's a good litmus test. You know, look at your stuff, look at what you're putting out there. Even just a single email that you send to your list. It should be written in such a way that the right people are going to go, Ooh, I love getting this email and other people are going to go, eh, it's not really for me, unsubscribe.

Right? That way you are creating a community of the right kind of people. Okay. The last piece of pre-selling that I want to talk about today, it's actually a little glimpse. Like I'm going to give you a peek into what we're going to be covering during my free five-day training. At the end of the month. Remember, you can sign up for that. now at healthcoachpower.com/payingclients.

One big important piece of that training is what you do with a prospective client that says, Hey, I'm interested in working with you or, Hey, I'd like to book a call with you. Like what happens? That what happens when someone expresses interest in having that consultation? Do you have a process? I'm going to tell you what it used to look like for me when it was not very effective. And then you can just compare what you're doing to that.

So this was back in the dark ages, of course, because I started my health coaching business 12 years ago. And that was before we had nice, shiny tools, free tools that everyone uses these days, like Calendly or Practice Better or something that's like allowing you to book calls very easily with people. So first I'd go back and forth via email, trying to nail down a day at a time that worked, you know, sometimes people would just drop off the conversation right there anyway. Then, you know, no matter how you're booking somebody, let's say you get them on your calendar. I would call on that day. And I would find myself in these hour long brain picking conversations. They just wanted to ask me question after question after question. And I didn't really know what to say. And I knew I wasn't supposed to just sit there and coach them for an hour.

But on the other hand, I wanted them to see my value and turned into a lot of wasted time. Then I would get totally nervous and very, very sweaty because I knew at some point I was going to have to like, like turn the ship around a little bit and go from brain picking session to, would you like to sign on and be my client? And this is how much it costs. So I would do that and be very, very, very, very painful, cause that's a tough pivot to make and usually get turned down in the end or given the all I have to think about it. So what I recommend instead, if you're doing anything like that, you know, it's not that you're doing it wrong. You can be doing it better. You can be doing it more efficiently. Right? What I recommend instead is that you have a process that allows this person to sell themselves on working with you before that phone call.

So we want to purposely make them jump through a hoop or two, you know, that sounds bad, but someone who's not willing to just do a minimum amount of work before booking a call with you is probably not going to be willing to do a minimum amount of work to commit to working with you in a paid program or do anything once they get there. Right? So we want them before the call to go through a process that makes them consider why they're speaking with you, why they're even the call, what they want to achieve. We want them to think through why you're a valuable resource to them. And also, and this is huge. We want them to consider the fact that you are a professional and it is obviously going to cost money to work with you. If they could have that little conversation in their head, just a brief conversation with themselves about that.

They're going to be in a much more receptive space when you have that call. Now sometimes the opposite is true. Sometimes when they have a little bit of that conversation in their head, their head, they go, huh? You know what? I don't really need this. I'm not willing to spend money on this. This isn't something that I'm actually committed to right now. I'm not ready. And they don't book the call, which is also wonderful because that means less of your time getting wasted with the wrong people. Again, just drop an emoji in the comments. If that sounds pretty good, you're not going to be getting on the phone with the wrong people. So what I'm talking about today is not sales. Hey, I think it's so much more about coaching, which is great because we're coaches. We know how to do this. I believe that we have to coach our clients even before they're our clients.

How does that sound? Can you do that? Do you feel better about coaching someone than you do about selling them on something? I know you can do this. We went to school to be coaches. Here's the thing. We're not coaching them to sign up with us. Right? Cause that would be manipulative, right? Like that's not cool. We're not coaching them to give us a billion dollars either. We're coaching them to think through the decision for themselves. Just like you would for your clients. If your client's like, oh, I'm thinking about starting the keto diet, you know, are you going to like shove it down their throat? Or are you going to like talk it through with them? Let them figure it out for themselves. Is this the right thing for me? Right? Like as coaches, that's what we do. We hold the space and we allow someone to arrive at their own decisions because these are the decisions that are really going to follow through with anyway.

So anyway, we want our prospective clients to think through the decision for themselves and ultimately make the decision that's right for them. I don't know about you, but that's like how I want to do business. I am not strong arming anyone that's working with me. I'm not using manipulative sales tactics. You know, like there's this one. When I was first out of health coaching school, we were taught that if someone told you they couldn't afford your services as a health coach, you should ask them, well, how much money do you spend every week at Starbucks or something else that you knew about them? And then they would have to think to themselves. Well, I buy that latte every day and you were supposed to do the math and figure out, well, what if you invested $5 a day, $7 a day into your health instead that's gross.

Like I was like, I literally never going to say that to someone I'm not here to tell people how to spend their money, but I do want to be here to help someone decide for themselves how to best spend their money. Anyway, I know it's nuanced. So that's why I'm going to be teaching this exact process that I use. Whenever I book a call with someone in my health coaching practice, I am still a practicing health coach in case you couldn't tell. Um, this is what the five day training is all about that we have coming up, turn consultations into paying clients. Again, it's not about turning every single Tom Dick and Harry into a client. We don't want that. It's about having the right conversations with the right people. So, you're feeling really good about the work that you're doing and you never feel salesy and you work more efficiently and you end up with fantastic clients that just kind of automatically create more clients for you.

Anyway, registration again is open for that free training now at healthcoachpower.com/payingclients. I will put that in the comments as soon as we get off of this live recording. And I wanted to tell you what one of our healthy profit university members said about this method of turning consultations into paying clients, because this is something that I teach inside HPU. And when I was talking about this event coming up, she said that she uses this method from HPU, the method that I'm going to be teaching you in both her health coaching practice. And she has another business. I think that she runs with her husband. She said in our environmental business. And it's brilliant. So, if you're able to take this approach, you can apply it absolutely to your health coaching business. If you're doing something else and you're doing personal training, you have some other business on the side. It may even apply to that as well. It's a way to approach signing clients minus the sales crap. You got it? So we're starting on September 25th. You can go sign up for that and I will be back next week with more tips on improving your closing rate. So I will see you then take care everybody.