How To Land Your First Client Without Spending A Dime On Advertising
If you're here, your're ready to accept your first paying client into your business.
I'm so excited for you!
I wrote this 13-step guide because the most frequent problem that I come across with business owners who are in the Envision and Explore phase of building is that they just aren't sure how to land new clients. It's the constant struggle, isn't it?
This is one challenge that spans each and every entrepreneur on the planet. But, with a clear Client Creation strategy in hand, you don't have to stress over throwing money at advertising or whether or not you'll be able to meet your monthly bills.
This is a simple process, but don't be fooled — it's far from easy. Creating Clients takes work and effort. But, with a solid plan like this one and some skillbuilding over time you'll be on your way to a solid base of customers in no time!
Step one: Create A List
Create a list of everyone you know who may be an ideal client or may know someone who could be an ideal client for you. Look through your phone and email contacts. Look to past co-workers. Go through your Facebook friends, LinkedIN contacts, and other social media followers. Keep writing until you hit 100 names.
Step Two: Outreach
Reach out to every person on that list and start a conversation. The idea here is just to connect with them — not to pitch them. Ask them what they're doing now? How are the kids? What have they been up to recently?
Eventually they'll ask about what your're doing now, which will open you to use this phrase (change it up to your own verbiage):
“Actually I'm starting on a really exciting business adventure! I help (describe your ideal client) with (describe the problem your business solves). Who do you know who might be a good fit?”
Asking “who do you know” rather then asking them if they are interested takes down any sales barriers.
If you describe them to a “T” and they say “I might be interested!” Invite them into a call by saying “That's awesome. I'd love to chat more with you about that! I like to keep Facebook for friendships and keep business out of it – mind if we schedule a quick 15 – minute chat so we can dive further into whether or not you're a good fit?”
Step Three: Converse And Connect
Nothing is sold outside of a conversation. Invite as many people to have a discussion with you as you possibly can (within time restraints and without burning out). It's much easier to connect with someone and to learn about them when you are actually speaking with them. At the beginning of your call, connect with them again. Ask them about something you discussed during your initial chat. make some small talk. Do this for about 3-5 minutes.
Step Four: Genuine Interest
Now it's time to get down to business. For the next 8-10 minutes of conversation (or more), you're going to do nothing but ask potential clients about themselves. You want to learn more about their struggle. More about what it would be like for them to solve this problem.
Here are some questions you could use:
- So tell me what compelled you to get on the phone with me today?
- What have you tried in the past that has worked well? What hasn't worked?
- What symptoms of this problem keep showing up in your life?
- What's holding you back from reaching this goal?
- If this change were to happen, how would that impact you personally?
- What out come do you hope to achieve in working together?
- If you had no restrictions – money, time, family etc. – what changes would you make in relation to this problem?
Step Five: Recap
Show them that you were truly listening and recap back the story that they just painted for you in their answers.
This step is important! Hearing their struggles, wishes, and how this would change their life can be more powerful then them saying it themselves because it allows that person to really connect with their goals.
Step Six: Ask Permission
No one likes to be sold to and no one really likes selling. Instead, gain their permission to enter into a conversation about how you could work together.
Say to them “I can definitely help you with that. Would you like to hear a little more about what it looks like for us to work together?“
Step Seven: Propose
Outline your product and relate it back to their goals.
DO NOT talk about price just yet.
For example: “The best way that I can support you in your goal of making six- figures is through my 4- month 1:1 coaching program. By working together in this you will get a personalized level of support which means that each and every action plan will be 100% customized to your business and your goals. You will have unlimited email access so whenever you have questions, they'll be answered quickly enough so as not to stall your business progress. I know that we can achieve this six- figure goal by working 1:1 together over the next 4 months because it will allow me to create a specific program and really dive into your business something that you could never get through courses or training.”
Step Eight: Fit
You want to keep that person engaged in the conversation and get them saying “yes” before they hear the price. We're going to gain their buy- in at each stage of the conversation by asking how they feel:
“Let me pause here (Name). I'm going to get to the investment in just a second, but why don't you tell me if you feel that this would be the way that you would like to be supported?“
Step Nine: Investment
It's important that you surround the investment with a benefit sandwich!
Our rational mind creates fears around money easily so that's never the last piece that we want to leave them off on. We want to circle back to how doing this will change their life ( and use their own words). We aren't selling them, they're selling themselves!
“Great. So my 4-month 1:1 program is the best way for me to support you in reaching your six- figure income goals. The investments for this program is $2,500 per month. During these 4 months we will craft powerful goals which will help you to change your life like you discussed earlier (repeat how they said that solving this problem would change their like).“
Step Ten: Ask For The Sale
This part is so often forgotten. People like to be led, yet when we engage in selling conversations we often stop here and wait for the client to lead with their decision.
“(Name) does this still sound like the way you would like to be supported?“
Step Eleven: Handle Objections
At this point the clients may have objections around money, time, or having to ask their spouse.
Don't accept their initial objection – often we spur out the response like ” I can't afford it” or ” I have to talk to my hubby” without stopping to really think about how we are feeling because we have such a strong resistance to being “sold to”.
We react with our common safety nets knowing that this will shut down the conversation and allow us time to process and circle back on our own terms, You need to take control and allow us time to process and circle back on our own terms. You need to take control and show leadership in the conversation by leading them to a Yes or a No. Remember, people like to be lead! You're doing them a service.
Step Twelve: Next Steps
If they still have an objection, give them some action steps (like how to talk to their spouse, or plan to come up with the funds) and set up your next call together no further then one week out.
If they're a yes, take their credit card information, book their first appointment, and outline what happens next. Then pour yourself a glass of wine to celebrate your first sale.
Step Thirteen: Collect No's
If you did not make the sale, go back to step one and try again. You have 99 other people on that initial list!
Remember, Yes lies in the land of No. Make it a challenge to collect as many No's as you can! The more No's you get, the more Yeses will be in that pile of conversations.