This article is about four common problems I see with Coaches, Consultants, Hypnotist and Trainers and what they can do about it to fill their books with clients that are desperate to working with them.
1) Fear of Selling
I got a call the other day to deliver an Ethical Sales course for some people. The things I find interesting is the presupposition that is inherent in the statement.
Just for a moment consider what must be in the mind of the person to suggest an “ethical” sales course as opposed to a sales course for particular types of people or to sell a particular product or service for example.
There are two things that immediately sprang to my mind. The first is a presupposition that most sales courses are not ethical, otherwise why bother highlighting that issue. And the second is that the person wants a course that has the ethics of selling as the key focus.
In this particular scenario I discounted the second because later in the conversation he told me that he wanted a practical course where people leave with real skills and it was not about theory, concepts and ideals…just real skills they can apply immediately.
2) Not Understanding Their Business
I have a particular friend who is a therapist. It is difficult to say what she specialises in because she is qualified in so many different types of therapy. She does lots of different types of massage, she is insured to stick burning candles into any orifice of your choice (but I think she generally uses ears), she is a Reiki BigPooBaa, a reflexologist of the third meridian, a geranium sacred osteopathetic grand master and a whole number of other things that barely understand and definitely can’t spell.
Despite all of these qualifications her business bumps along with her earning less than minimum wage (she argues that point but I will explain in a moment why we disagree). This is despite being qualified to the nth degree, experienced and very good at what she does.
She thinks she is paid handsomely for the work that she does. At £40 an hour she is slightly above the average for bodyworking therapists in my area. I think she is paid below minimum wage because she works full time. Based on the number of paid hours she puts in, taking out the room rental and adding in the number of hours she spend doing free talks and presentations, plus all the business admin. I am generous enough to leave out the time she should spend on sales and marketing because she does precious little of it. To me she is being paid well below minimum wage.
3) Developing the Wrong Skills
Here is one of the strategies she uses that I don’t think serves her. Whenever her business takes a dip she thinks to herself, “I had better get some new skills.” So she enrols on learning yet a new therapy or treatment. Despite me constantly suggesting it she never invests in learning any sales or marketing skills.
When I first left full time employment and started up as a training consultant I really struggled. I knew I was good at what I did. I was highly skilled, experienced and qualified. I had a huge amount of feedback from lots of different sources telling me how great I was at creating results for individuals and organisations. But what no one told me though was it was irrelevant how good you were if you did not know how to market and sell yourself.
4) Not Creating a Demand for Your Services
I have a friend who is a corporate trainer and professional speaker. He is a great networker and has lots of contacts. As a result companies all over the world hire him to deliver all sorts of things from management development through to sales and marketing.
A conversation that has come up a few times with my friend is that he is in a cycle of delivering all over the place but there is no build for the future. He worries about the work drying up, he worries about periods when his work slows down (November through February are slow periods as well as August being almost a dead month), he worries about being ill and just how long he can keep up this pace. But most of all he worries about how much competition there is out there.
Zen and the NLP of Sales
These are all some of the common problems faced by people that are self-employed as coaches, therapists, hypnotists, trainers and consultants. The daft thing is all of it is reasonably easy to solve. And take this the right way when I say easy to solve it doesn’t mean without effort, just easy solutions.
The heart of NLP is about modelling. It is finding processes and systems that work and then applying them to the situation that you have. When I first started out on my own I quickly discovered that being good at what I did was only half the job.
The other half was about finding people that wanted to buy what I was good at doing. Over the years I have spent a lot of time and effort using my NLP Modelling skills to practical use with a specific objective of getting people to come to be desperate to buy my products and services.
Your Relationship to Your Product or Service
The first and most obvious part is to understand that sales and marketing are an important part of business. Ethics is about you not about the tools that you employ. My experience of people that shout and scream about ethics and manipulation are generally the most unethical and manipulative people of all.
I also think that if you have a product or service that you are proud of, that meets needs and is useful it should be put in front of people that would benefit from it. And even more so presented to prospects in a meaningful way. In short it should be sold to them. What sort of a heartless unethical bastard would hide away the ideal product or service from the people that need it?
Positioning – The Key to Never Ending Customers
Once people are over the sales issue then the next thing to look at is positioning. The reality is if you are selling whatever everyone else is selling then you can’t really sell it for any more than everyone else. So the next step is to think about this question, “Why should your ideal customer come to you rather than your competitors?”
The answers to that question will give you how you can position yourself out of the run of the mill and into a market of one. A simple example of where I have done this is the Persuasion Skills Black Book. I have a particularly unique perspective into learning Hypnotic Language Patterns even though langauge patterns are taught on every NLP course out there. Some people are starting to copy me (not very well) but, especially when the book was first published if you wanted that type of teaching then it was me you had to come to.
Imagine what that does to your business when you have that sort of authority. You can, within reason charge what you want. If like me and most corporate consultants you were at the mercy of comparison shopping or tendering processes this level of authority suddenly has you being to dictate terms. Basically if they want what you do they have to come to you.
And finally, if you follow the whole process, you can leave a legacy as well as generate residual income. Essentially if you start producing information products for your specialisation you will start to be seen as an authority and you will attract prospects.
Creating Information Products is Easy When You Know How
Some people think this sort of thing is hard. The reality is they take some effort but once you understand the process it is a really easy thing to do. My favourite authority product is a book. People pay a lot of attention and respect to published authors.
And to become a published author is easy. Having written two proper books using two different strategies and coached a handful of published authors now I have several different strategies to get this done, even if you have no writing skills. Let me explain.
The way my second book came about was from a course that I had written. I developed an on line course that I recorded. I just started with a bunch of bullet points and I spoke about them into a microphone. Once I had that recording I could easily have had an audio typist transcribe it and then had a ghost writer just smooth the whole thing over and turn it into more of a book. As it was I actually did all those things myself.
Once I had decided to write the book it took me three weeks using this process. It took me two weeks to write and record the original course so it you include that the whole thing took just over a month.
Everything we have discussed here from selling and client handling through becoming an authority and creating info products including several book writing strategies are part of the Trancey Coaching Conversations course. In fact I even give you a strategy for writing a book on a subject you know nothing about and have thousands of raging fans desperate to buy it even before it is complete. You can click through and find out more here: