Getting new clients is probably the number one thing most entrepreneurs struggle with. We know we are good at what we do and know we can truly help people, if only they will let us.
However, many of us get nervous when we think of “selling” our products or services. We don’t consider ourselves salespeople. We talk to prospects on the phone and in person and give away free information and consults without charging for it. Many of us are lucky to close one or two out of ten prospects.
Let me assure you, there is a better way. There is a key to help you close more clients.
The key is that you need to create a need, a desire, for your services before your prospects even meet with you. If you can create that need, the number of clients you get will shoot through the roof.
The first place to start creating a need for your business is to stop doing free consultations. I mean stop completely. I teach my copywriting students to give conditional consultations — which is much different than a free session.
When you do a conditional consult you do a few things before you even talk with your client. You first let them know that you will consult with them for 30 minutes, but at the end of the 30 minutes they must make a decision on whether or not to work with you. That is the condition. They will give you a yes or no answer right then and there on the phone.
The key to a successful conditional consult is in the work you do BEFORE your appointment with them. You need to create a need, a strong desire for your services before you even talk to them. Then, when you do your conditional consult, you can spend your time and energy interviewing them and let them feeeeel what it’s like working with a professional. Doing conditional consults is a great technique and eliminates people that are just looking for free information or services but are really not committed to making changes in their life or business.
The difference between a conditional consult and the free consultation is that the prospect already knows working with a professional in your industry is right for them, they are just determining if YOU are the right professional for them.
So, how do you create a strong need and desire with prospects for professional services before you do your conditional consult? Here are three things you must do to create a need for your services with a prospect before your conditional consult.
Get some background information about your prospect and what is and is not working in their business/life. Having information on your prospect before you do your conditional consult will help you prepare before your call and may give you some insights into patterns they have developed that even they are not aware of. Thus allowing you to consult with them rather than spend your time together selling.
Know some of the most common objections professionals run into, for example “I have to ask my partner” or “I can’t afford your services right now”. Knowing if they have a business partner or boss that makes the final decision will help you anticipate these objections (which are often really procrastination techniques) and help your client take the necessary steps to creating the EXTRAordinary business and life they are searching for.
Allow the prospect to answer deeply probing questions about themselves before they meet with you. It gives them time to think about things they maybe haven’t thought about before and allows them to be more honest with themselves because they are answering the questions alone. You can use these questions when you are doing your conditional consult and help them make a shift right there on the phone. THAT is a powerful experience. I have worked for several years as a professional copywriter and marketing consultant and have spent several years putting together a questionnaire I have prospects fill out before their conditional consult.
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