So what do you do next? Do you just say, “Okay, pull out your check book?”
It has finally arrived! In session seven and eight of the Better Business Coach Podcast I unveiled the Business Needs Analysis, or what I’m sure you now see as the document that unfreezes your prospects to the fact they MUST address their problems NOW!
So what do you do next? Do you just say, “Okay, pull out your check book?”
Surprisingly, if you utilize the Business Needs Analysis well and you have mastered the power of active listening (covered in session 9), that might actually work. However, this session is dedicated to showing you how to transition smoothly and seamlessly into a paid coaching client, without feeling like a salesperson. In fact, I point out that behaving like a salesperson at this point will be detrimental.
The 5 key steps to turn a Business Needs Analysis into a sale:
On completion of the Business Needs Analysis with the client, if you listened to them well, you should by now know exactly what they need help with. The next step is as simple as telling them, while also mentioning that you will work with them for three or five hours to address it and then move to a more formal coaching arrangement. Below are three such examples:
Ensure that whatever you say is tailored to their specific need and that you don’t just copy one of the above.
The reason why this simple paragraph works so well is it tells them they need help and offers a simple way of trialing the solution you are putting in front of them.
Don’t fall into the trap of mentioning price until this point. I know it is hard to hold back, especially if the client asks. However, if you mention price before this point the client will not be considering the benefits of what you can offer, only that the price is high.
Asking for a sale is like walking up to someone and asking them out on a date. Luckily, it doesn’t need to be that uncomfortable. Start by asking a safe question like, “Would you prefer a morning or afternoon session?”
Don’t make the mistake of asking the client if he wants to move forward. Simply ask them something innocuous like, “Do you have an ABN/EIN?” which is something all business owners have. Then when they reply, “Yes,” simply say, “Great! Can you go and get that?” Then just watch them get up and get it.
While they are gone, pull out your contract and start writing. This is known as the assumptive close, described in much more detail in my video “5 Pillars To Six Or Seven Figures – The Sales Process Demystified.”
Never ask a prospect to “sign a contract,” simply run through the contract details and then say, “Just put a squiggle there.” This is much less scary and will provide you much more success.
Keep me in the loop:
I’d love to hear what changes this has had on your closure rates with clients. Please share your stories in the comments section below.
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This is Better Business Coach, Session Number 10
Hello everyone, and welcome back to Better Business Coach. My name is Matthew Pollard, and, as always, I am your Rapid Growth Guy. I just want to take a quick second to extend my absolute gratitude for all the people that have subscribed to this podcast, listened to numerous episodes, and posted their reviews with great star ratings – every one of them five stars – it’s so, so appreciated. And it’s because of your support that we have already – just a few days in – arrived in New and Noteworthy in iTunes. This is something many podcast don’t even make or make the list and you guys, because of your support to Better Business Coach podcast, it arrived there within a few short days. So thank you so, so much. Already over 1000 downloads. It’s just overwhelming the amount of support I’m getting. I really do appreciate it. For those that haven’t had a chance yet, please it takes 30 seconds – you can do it while you’re having a coffee, it’s so, so simple – You just hop on your iTunes account or new laptop or hop on your iTunes account on your iPhone, type in Better Business Coach podcast, it will show up, all you do is click on Review and then click the star rating that you feel that this podcast deserves and write a quick two or ten- word review about what you think about the podcast. And that support helps so many other people get access to this podcast, because without it, it doesn’t get up on the list in New and Noteworthy, and so many people that are in dire situations, or just want help, like you, would miss out. So please, I ask you to hop on iTunes and provide that review. Thank you so much in advance. Tt really is going to make such a difference!
Okay, now we’re going to be talking about, in this session, summarising your findings to the business owner, or selling to a customer, or translating them from a prospect into a customer. This is probably one of the most important sessions that you will do, and I want to clarify that it’s actually very, very basic. If in Sessions Seven and Eight you learned how to do a Business Needs Analysis well, and if in Session Nine you learned the steps to active listening – because if you have those things in place you will: a.) be able to unfreeze the client to the fact that they need change, and b.) help them identify that you understand their unique situation and that you are well-placed in helping them overcome the problems that they face or achieve what they want. Okay, so what I’m going to do is, I am going to talk you through this very simple process, and what you will see is there are only a few words that change, and these few words will change based on what is highlighted in the Business Needs Analysis that they need help with. So, let me talk you through three examples, and then you will see to how simple it is to adjust these to what comes out of the Business Needs Analysis.
Example One is: “From this analysis, I can see you’re not sure where to take your business. My practice is to set up a three-hour intake session where we take you on a journey to develop your Great Vision and a strategy for your business. After that, we’ll look at setting up a regular coaching session so that you can achieve your vision. Now you’ll notice from that we’ve set a small stepping stone in the process. Why have we done that? Because you’ve done a Business Needs Analysis, they know they need change. The next thing that we’ve done is said “let’s meet for three hours.” What that does is, it gives them an opportunity to not commit to you full, wholeheartedly, but it’s still getting out the credit card to pay for something. Second, it gives you the opportunity to make sure you’re a good fit with the client. I know this sounds crazy for people that probably don’t have enough clients; however, it is always better to pick the right clients. I pick clients, or I work with clients that make it easy for me to get out of bed in the morning. I work with clients that listen to what I say. And any time I ever went with a client that doesn’t, I find I don’t get the best results and they’re the ones that can write bad reviews for you. So, I learned that lesson very very, early and I always achieve success. But I give them a three or five hours – depending on what I think they’ll need – intake session, to make sure that they’re the right fit for me, and allow them the opportunity to taste test, if you like, that I am the right fit for them. And what I can tell you is, after you use the templates that are coming in the future sessions of this Better Business Coach podcast, there will be no question in their mind that you are the right choice. And that is why I don’t mind, because, again, if you only see them up with three or five hours and is a monthly locked in session they may still cancel you after that period. So, it’s an easier sell, plus, you can move on to something more formal very quickly afterwards, and you’ll probably find they’ll commit to a much higher number of sessions, or a subscription-based session very, very simply as a result of you baby-stepping them into the process.
Now, I want quickly mention before I give you these two other examples, please do not become a salesperson here. This is the worst thing you could possibly do. You don’t need to be a salesperson. What you do need to do is show them, as a consultant, a very simple synopsis, which is what these paragraphs do, of where you think they need help and what your solution is for taking them on a journey to fix that solution.
Okay, let’s discuss the two other examples, and you’ll see just how similar they are. Example Two: “From this analysis, I can see you’re having difficulty growing your business. My normal practice is to set up a three-hour intake session where I take you on a journey to develop a Great Vision and a Great Strategy for your business. After that, we’ll look at setting up regular sessions to help you create Great Systems that will empower your staff.” You’ll see there are very slight differences, and it’s just because I’m assuming, in this scenario, I’ve identified that the reason why they can’t grow their business is because their staff don’t feel empowered. The business owner is stopping himself from getting where he wants to go, and for that paragraph to work, you need to ensure that he is unfrozen to the fact that he is getting in his own way.
Example Three: “From this analysis, I can see that your business is not as profitable as you would like it to be. My normal practice is to set up a five-hour intake session where I take you on a journey to work out where your business is going and then look at strategies so that we can make your business as profitable as it can be. After that, we’ll look at setting up a regular session, so that we can create the most successful and profitable business possible for you.” Again, they’re all very, very simple. They’re all very, very basic. And I’ll show you how to transition that into getting a credit card in a second, I just want to make it clear that if you haven’t actively listened, you won’t know what to fill in those gaps. If you are following these three paragraphs, and you don’t alter it with the Business Needs Analysis, you’re not going to speak to the customer in the words that they understand. Use the words that they’ve told you, use the problems that they spoke about and that you identified in the Business Needs Analysis to transition those into these paragraphs. They’re nice and easy and simple.
Now, the next thing we need to do is, we need to transition it into talking about price. Now, the first thing will tell you is, you should not have talked about price yet. A person starts talking about price well to soon, and the customer can only think in their head, “oh, wow, this is too expensive! I can’t afford that!” You never talk about price until a person has seen the true value in what you have to offer, wants it, then you discuss price. We’re then going to talk about how to get them to agree to a time. Then we’re going to talk about how to get them to get it into their diary and how to get the paperwork filled out. It’s a very simple transition, and I’m going to go through an example right now. You just finished a Business Needs Analysis with the customer. And I transition into “From this analysis, I can see that you’re not quite sure where to take your business. My normal practice is to set up a three-hour intake session where I take you on a journey to develop your Great Vision and Strategy for your business. After that, we’ll look at setting up regular coaching sessions so that you can achieve your vision.” Now the general price, and how I work this first three sessions is, “I charge $2000 for this three-hour period. And it’s a great opportunity to really trial and test exactly whether or not we’re a great fit for each other. You get a taste test and work out whether or not I’m the right coach for you; and on top of that, you get to make sure that I am showing you a return on investment . Because let’s be honest: as a coach, if I don’t show you return on investment, then you’re not going to keep me going. On top of that, I get to make sure you’re the right fit for me. And this like a qualification process, so I get to see whether or not you’re the right fit for me. And the reason why I do this, and the reason why like to do this is, at the end of this three-hour intake session, if I find that you’re not following my advice, if I find that you’re not motivated enough to make these changes and actively work on your business not just in your business, I will tell you. Because at the end of the day, it’s only a matter of two, three, maybe four more sessions until you give me the boot and write a horrible review. So, I would like you to be the ideal client for me, and I want you to make sure and use this time to make sure that I am the ideal coach for you and you can see just how effective what I’m going to do with you is going to be. And trust me: at the end of three hours, I’ve never really ever lost a client because of that. Because once we start going through the first three hours or the first five hours, (depending on what you said), you’ll have no doubt in your mind how I got the nickname The Rapid Growth Guy.” That’s what I say, or “You’ll have no doubt in your mind just why I get so many great reviews and testimonials from my clients” is another thing you could say. So what I need to do first is get an indication (this is when we’re moving into what is called a trial close), “What I need to do is get an indication of what suits you best: would it be a morning or afternoon session?” Here, the client will enter one of three ways: “Oh, morning would be perfect,” “afternoon would be perfect,” or, “I’m not really wanting to make a decision right now.” What that means is, that your Business Needs Analysis perhaps wasn’t as strong, perhaps you didn’t listen enough and you didn’t identify the client’s true underlying issues. Doesn’t matter. What you’ve really just uncovered is that you haven’t done the homework yet, so you need to tell more stories, which we’ll talk about a few later sessions, that tell stories about the successes you had with previous customers. Tell some stories about how you’re really excited about working with them. Give them some examples of some things that you are looking forward to implementing in their business without giving them, as we spoke about in session 7 and 8, all the answers that they can implement it without you. So, if they have said “I need to think about it,” you know you need to go back and do more legwork. That shouldn’t happen very often if you’ve done the Business Needs Analysis and actively listened correctly. However, if they do say that don’t stress. It happens. It doesn’t mean they’ve said no, it’s just them saying they want to think about. And you shouldn’t even leave at that point. You should start talking to them about what you could potentially do to help them or things that you’re excited to get working on, or link them back to what they talked about in the Business Needs Analysis that they want fixed straight away. It shouldn’t be a “oh, okay,” feeling uncomfortable, because they only said no to the fact that you haven’t truly identified the problem yet. You can re-work that straight away. What you’ll commonly find, though, is the answer will be “morning” or “afternoon,” and you can say “great!” And then what you do is, you open up your diary and you say, “I’m just one of those people who like to get things booked in straight away because I book-out really, really quickly. So let me have a quick look,” and never pick a session in the same week or in the first part of the next week. Always give them an option for the second part of the week or the week after that and tell them “okay, I have session,” and give them three options. For instance, if they say mornings, you’ll say “okay, I have a session on Wednesday at 11 o’clock, I’ve got one on the following Monday morning at 10 o’clock I got one, oh, I’ve got one the following Wednesday at 11:30. Have you got your diary there?” and they’ll pull out their diary and you’ll book in those sessions. Then you will say to the client – and this is the second part of a trial close, by the way – you’ll say to the client , “okay great. Now I just need to make sure you have an ABN number, which is the Australian version of an EIN number, so if you’re in the US you say “okay, I just need to make sure that you have an EIN number.” The customer will say “yes, I have,” and you say “great, can you go get that for me please?” The customer will then jump up and go and get it for you. If you say “would you like to go and get that for me,” they’ll think about it. If you say “could you go and get that for me?” they will think about it. If you say “great, can you grab that for me, please,” all of a sudden they’ll just get up and go and get it. When they leave, you should pull out your paperwork and start filling it out. What we’re doing is called an assumptive close, i.e.: I still haven’t said “would you like to work with me,” I’ve just assumed they will. So when they come back, I’ve already got the paperwork out, I’m already filling out. I’ve already talked about the price. I just haven’t said “would you like to be my client.” What happens when they come back is, they hand me their ABN or they generally have a stamp with that on or whatever, I grab that off them, and I put my head back down, and I start filling it out. And then what I do is, I turn the paper over and I say “okay, great. So what I’ll do is I’ll just quickly go through this with you. Obviously these are just your personal details like you name, your address that sort of thing, which we already discussed. Your AIN number of your ABN number is listed here. For tax purposes I can give you a proper invoice and that sort of thing. And then here, as we spoke about, is your three or your five sessions for $2000. So what I just need is a quick squiggle at the bottom of this page.” And I never use the word “sign,” I don’t even use the word “John Hancock” or anything like that because everyone knows that means “sign” and that’s scary. The word “squiggle” is not scary at all. People don’t even think twice and they squiggle. And then you’ve got yourself a customer for three hours. At the end of the three hours, you will then do a very simple transition to “okay, great. I know you got a lot out of the sessions; let’s do this on a regular basis, eh?” And you do the same thing. “Let’s get out our diary,” and you continue on. What we can see there is it was a very simplistic process. All we’re doing is transitioning from one thing, to the next, to the next. The only thing I didn’t do is say “would you like to be my customer.” And trust me when I say: this the customer will appreciate you not asking. See, everybody knows they should never sign anything on the spot. Everybody knows signing a contract is scary. So, by just assuming that they’re doing it when you know they want to do it anyway, you can see in their eyes they’re unfrozen, they want start, they like you, they trust you because you listened. “Because you didn’t ask them “would you like to move forward,” or “would you like to work with me” and just assumed the sale, it meant that they didn’t have to make that horribly stressful decision to go with you. They just assumed they were going with you, also. You assumed they were going with you, they assumed they were going with you, you filled out the paperwork, now you’re their coach. It’s that simple. It’s that easy.
Now I know that I’m going to be talking about some more sophisticated things in the future, but I hope you can understand just how easy that is, and how simple it is to transition a client that way, especially considering you’ve just spent 30 minutes to an hour with them doing the Business Needs Analysis, and you’ve actively listened, and you’ve engaged with them, and you’ve made them feel like you’re the right person to work with them. It shouldn’t be difficult. And by just assuming the sale and by talking about everything in a different way following the process of booking it in, you will find that you just get customers so much simpler.
So, guys, that was the Summarising Your Findings to the Business Owner and Closing the Customer. I hope you enjoyed it. Now, again, thank you so much to everybody that has subscribed, everybody that has downloaded more than one episode – and several people, many people have downloaded several episodes – and thank you to everybody that has posted a review with five-star ratings. I really, so much appreciate it, and I will ask one more time. Please, guys, if you haven’t had a chance yet, your reviews, your subscriptions, and your star ratings are going to be the reason why so many other people get to see this podcast in iTunes by raising it in the New and Noteworthy charts. So please, take 30 seconds out of your day, hop on iTunes, type in Better Business Coach Podcast on your iPhone and open the podcast app and type in under search Better Business Coach Podcast, press the “review” tab, and just click the star ratings that you think that this podcast has earned, and on top of that, just write a few words about what you think of the podcast. I’d love to hear your feedback. And then press “submit.” Job done. We’re now the top of iTunes and were helping so many more people. So let’s be a team about this, and I really, really appreciate everybody’s effort. So thank you very much, and see you in the next episode of Better Business Coach Podcast. Cheers.