When I first began coaching my mentor recommended I read The Prosperous Coach, by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin. I ate up every word, read and re-read, broke it down bit by bit, and attempted to master each lesson. What I learned was invaluable and helped me take what I already knew about business development and create a solid foundation for my coaching practice.
In the third section entitled “Creating Clients”, Chandler and Litvin teach a simple yet challenging 4 step process: Connect, Invite, Create, and Propose. Obviously, based on the tremendous success of these two coaching powerhouses, this is a very effective system – and very duplicable.
In my personal practice as a Business Coach for entrepreneurs, I follow a slightly modified version of this process based on their philosophy. I also teach my clients, who happen to be coaches, healers, and creative soul-preneurs, to follow these steps:
1) Promote your Work
2) Invite Others to Experience It
3) Serve at your Highest Level
4) Propose & Close
I also use this framework to assess and track the business development efforts of every entrepreneur I coach. When we look at each of these steps, the biggest gap I find – BY FAR – is that people are spending time doing a variety of things to grow their businesses but they are not actually inviting people to experience their work.
You see, talking about your work is not an invitation. Sharing success stories and testimonials is not an invitation. Putting up a beautifully designed website is not necessarily an invitation either. If you do not explicitly invite a person to experience your work, you are not making an invitation.
Many people shy away from this part because they don’t want to come across as salesy, which I understand. However, if you truly believe that your service can help people and you stand behind it 100%, then why deny someone the opportunity to benefit from your work? Don’t you want to help them? Besides, if your introductory offer is free then you can’t possibly be salesy because you aren’t selling anything at this point!
Another objection I frequently hear is the belief that if someone is interested, they will ask you to work together. Sure, occasionally someone might ask but trust me when I say that the vast majority will not. Think about how hard it is to ask for help yourself. Plus, depending on your specialty, it might be a relatively private situation that is uncomfortable to bring up with others. Your odds will be far better if you simply extend an offer from a place of service.
Here’s my advice to you: if you haven’t already, create a compelling intro offer that is no charge and no obligation. It doesn’t have to be complicated or cost you a lot – a simple consultation will do. If you know it will be of value to others, you can freely offer it your ideal clients and customers without hesitation. You can even use it to ask for referrals. This, along with the other steps above, will ensure that you have a steady stream of leads and new clients coming your way any time you want.
If you’re struggling to get new clients, take a look at your process. Do you have one? Are you actually inviting people to experience what you offer? If not, focus on this one part for the next 30 days and see the difference it makes in your calendar.
If you are genuinely inviting everyone in and your practice still isn’t full, take a close look at the 4 steps outlined above and identify where things are going wrong. Troubleshooting is easy when you have a solid system like this in place.
I want to know – has this helped you? Do you have a block around invitations? Are you nailing your invites but stuck somewhere else? Leave a comment below or reach out – let’s get you back on track.
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