If you are a coach or other helping professional, you may think that to promote your practice you have to be someone other than your authentic self. The truth is that, in my opinion, you already have what you need to “sell” yourself, simply and honestly.
Consider Rob’s example. He came to his coaching career after many years as a psychologist in private practice. His intent was to find a new profession that would honor his need to both help others and make a career change. He was skilled in communicating with and relating to others but terrified of having to sell himself and his services.
Rob was already skilled at all the components of great coaching: forming connections, finding commonalities, figuring out what’s missing, clarifying what’s needed, and partnering to find solutions. What he didn’t realize is that these are also the components of a positive sales experience.
You may feel about self-promotion much the way Rob did. If so, consider the possibility that you can create a sales experience that is positive for both you and your client and comes directly from your heart. Coaches already have most of what they need to create this experience: They are deeply committed to helping their clients, they are adept at forming and maintaining long-term relationships, and they are skilled at listening and responding honestly.
Following are some ways you can use your coaching skills to “sell” your business, while staying totally true to yourself:
- Figure out what makes you unique. What characteristics do you have that draw people to you and that might make them want to work with you? Make a list.
- Get clear on who you want to attract as clients. Who would you really like to work with? Create a profile of your favorite client, and then go on a treasure hunt. Where would your ideal clients hang out?
- Imagine conversing with prospective clients. How would you introduce yourself? What would you ask them? What would you share about yourself?
- When you meet someone, be a conversation starter. Then start listening. Listen some more. What does this person have to teach you? How might the two of you connect?
- See if you can make people curious about you. Perhaps you could pose a question in your brochure that will make people think and then reach out to you.
- Offer a free get-acquainted conversation that allows a prospective client to “try you on.” Be yourself. Continue to nurture this new connection, even if the prospect doesn’t sign on right away.
- Select only those clients who are absolutely right for you, and then allow them to shine.
This, my friends, is selling from your heart. You are using the skills that you already have to connect with the right people, form relationships, build partnerships, and help people grow — just what you signed on for as a coach.
Flo Schell, EdM, is former vice president of Franchise Development for Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. and founder of Franchise Coaching Systems. She has also written a book, Stop Selling…Start Clicking!, that explains her successful sales process. To learn more about the services offered by Franchise Coaching Systems, visit FloSchell.com.