Today I want to talk about conversations.
One of the key things I discovered while I was building my business was that the quality of the conversations you have will dictate the quality of your business results.
To put it another way “clients = conversations”
Think about it like this.
Most of the coaches, consultants and trainers I speak to who are still struggling face one of four problems.
- They can’t get enough clients
- They have enough clients, but they can’t charge enough
- they have enough clients, their fees are good, but they’re not the “right” clients
- they have good clients, paying good money, but they feel like their business is out of control, like it’s taking over their life and there aren’t enough hours in the day any more
Let’s take each of those in turn
Not Enough Clients
If you’re not getting enough clients, then ask yourself one simple question. Are you talking to enough people? Are you having enough conversations?
When I started my business, I was excited about the possibilities this new fangled thing called the Internet was opening up. I sat at home and designed my website. I designed brochures to download, and business cards, and had them all printed up on Vistaprint. I wrote ebooks that people would download from my website.
The only thing I didn’t do was get out of the door or get on the phone and talk to people.
However much technology can help us build our business (and it can--getting your web presence right is a cornerstone of the Natural Expert method I’ll be sharing at “Thank You!” 2012), there’s no substitute for engaging people in conversation.
That conversation can take many forms. You can meet people one-to-one, you can talk to groups, you can engage with your audience through social media--whatever it is, make sure you can engage in a TWO-WAY conversation. The mistake a lot of marketers make is that they confuse broadcasting with engagement. Your audience wants you to engage with them.
So, get out and have more conversations. Indeed, if you want to get clients now go out and have a conversation now. If you want to book yourself solid, fill your diary for next week with clients. And if you want multiple streams of coaching income, have multiple streams of conversation going on!
Can’t Charge Enough
If you’re struggling to achieve the fees you want and deserve, then the conversations you’re having don’t create enough value. One of the Power Principles I share in my workshops is that “Money follows value”. The fees you can charge directly reflect the amount of value you’re creating for your clients, and that starts with the value you create in your conversations.
So, if you want to charge more, have higher-value conversations.
Not The Right Clients
OK, I shouldn’t need to say this by now, but if you’re not getting the right clients, guess what’s wrong with your conversations? That’s right, you’re not having conversations with the right people.
If you’re a business coach or consultant, you need to be talking to business owners. If you’re a relationship coach, then talk to people with relationship issues (and remember that being in a good relationship and wanting it to stay that way or even improve is just as much of an issue as being in a bad relationship or being in no relationship at all!). If you’re a parent coach, go and talk to parents.
The mistake many professionals make is that they try to talk to everyone in the hope that their ideal client is somewhere in that group. Focus down on having the right conversations with the right people and you’ll get the right clients for you. And yes, people know people who know people, but never mistake networking for marketing!
Out Of Control
No, I’m not going to tell you that your conversations are out of control. But I am going to tell you that you’re having the wrong conversations.
If your business is out of control then you need to think about boundaries. Are your clients taking up too much time? Or expecting you to be available at unreasonable times? Talk to them about what they can expect from you. And don’t be afraid to sack clients who don’t want to accept those boundaries.
Are other areas of life encroaching? Then you may need to have a boundaries conversation there too.
And finally, maybe you also need to have a serious conversation with yourself about boundaries.
OK, that’s it for today, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this - feel free to post on the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/6FigureBlueprint.