I almost always recommend never to coach a client or try to enroll a client over an email. But life is full of paradoxes and sometimes that’s precisely what you need to do!
The paradox, within a paradox, is that you can never enroll a client by trying to ‘get’ a client.
Let me tell you a story…
Two days ago, I got a message:
Rich, I read and heard your story about making the decision to work with Steve Chandler, and what it took to make it happen.
I am standing on a similar precipice, with all kinds of insecurities and doubts behind me.
Since you’re familiar with how it feels – I would love to hear any thoughts or advice you may have to share.
It seemed like he was feeling insecure but he hadn’t really explained much, so I sent a 4 word reply:
What’s your real question?
My internal question is: “Can I make this work?” (Moving, training, building a coaching practice).
My external question is: “In your experience, do I have what it takes to make it – and will Project Kairos help me get there?” [Rich: Project Kairos is my program for successful leaders who want to be successful coaches].
For full disclosure – the reality is I’m torn and afraid.
The short version is that I want to get back up to six figures of revenue so I can support the family.
There is a lot of new and unknown.
I really felt the impact of his words, “the reality is I’m torn and afraid…”
They told me how he felt and they told me that he trusted me.
So, I researched him online. I discovered that he’s a fascinating man, with a track record of success behind him. He worked in design, sales, marketing, podcasting and organizing conventions, before becoming an executive coach. And he’d been on the advisory board for a top university.
Then I sent him this message:
- Ernest, what would you have told the companies who previously hired you as a consultant, if they had said they were torn and afraid, before working with you?
- You have practiced meditation for over a decade. Most people never sit more than a handful of times in their life. How did you keep going?
- You clearly LOVE collecting fountain pens. Why have you invested so much in them over the years, when you can purchase Bic pens for 12 cents?
- You wrote a haiku that was published in a poetry magazine. You also wrote haikus daily. Which came first?
- You gave a TEDx talk. You were so nervous, you forgot lots of it and your collar was flipped up the entire time. Most people on the planet who want to give a TED talk will never do so. Do you know the only difference between them and you?
- You founded the first social media certificate program in Western Canada. You know what that tells me? You’re a Master at making stuff up! (By the way, that doesn’t mean that you’re not also a MASTER at what you teach. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t still be teaching for an international marketing association).
I can see that you’re an artist who continually reinvents himself. You’re an entrepreneur who continually solves other people’s problems. You’re a risk taker in life and business and when riding your motorbikes.
You finished your message to me with the words, “There is a lot of new and unknown.”
But your life has ALWAYS been full of the new and the unknown, right?!
He replied, “I’ll see you next week.” And he paid in full for Project Kairos, that evening.
Did you notice that I didn’t try to ‘get’ Ernest as a client? In fact, I never talked about Project Kairos. I never even answered his question!
I did what I always do – and here’s what you can do if someone reaches out to you about working together:
A) Get intensely curious about them.
B) Research them deeply. Read about them, watch their videos, listen to any interviews they’ve done. Look them up on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about them than they know about themselves.
C) Don’t fall into the trap of answering their questions… Question their questions. Ask the questions they really need to be answering.
D) Search for the “Glimpse of Genius”. Look for qualities, values and experiences that inspire you and fascinate you about them.
E) Remind them that they are far more powerful than they know.
F) Let them know, “I believe in you…” But only if it’s true.
G) Let them feel that you don’t ‘need’ them as a client.
H) It’s counterintuitive but let them feel that they don’t ‘need’ you as their coach. They don’t. They’ve got this.
They won’t always become a client. But that’s not your job. Don’t try to ‘get’ clients.
If someone emails you with questions about coaching, it means that they’re interested in coaching. It doesn’t mean they’ll become a client. It does mean that they’re curious about you.
Your job is to get curious about them.
When you do, they’ll sometimes ask to speak to you and you can schedule a Zoom call, to dive deeper. Sometimes they won’t want to open up and they’ll be complete after a couple of emails. And, every once in a while, they’ll see why they really emailed you and they’ll become a client.
See people. Deeply. Serve people. Deeply. And you’ll create all the clients you ever need.
I’m honored that you’ll be joining us in Project Kairos, Ernest.
PS. The ability to learn faster than your competitors is the only sustainable competitive advantage. If you want to accelerate your skills and talents by immersing yourself in a community of top performers, join us in the first ever 4PC Accelerator.
PLUS… Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways we can help you increase your income and your impact:
- JOIN MY COMMUNITY… Join our Facebook group, Serve Lead Serve, where I’m supporting you, challenging your thinking and coaching live, every week.
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- LIKE EVERY SUPERHERO, YOU NEED A POWERFUL ORIGIN STORY… Would you like to have me tell your story with such impact that you create clients by telling it – for the rest of your life? What if you could speak with such confidence and power about what you do, with such clarity, that dream clients call you?