Not too long ago I did a presentation for the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Bay Area Chapter called “Getting to a Powerful ‘Yes’ – How to Enroll Clients to Fill Your Practice With Ease.” One of the biggest things we talked about is the difference between sales and enrollment.
In my experience, coaches tend to regard traditional sales as “icky”. When they think about having to sell to a client, they freeze up and often put up a wall between themselves and their potential client. Essentially, they stop leaning in, and when they stop leaning in, their potential client stops leaning in, too.
In our industry, the traditional sales approach doesn’t typically work. The traditional sales approach essentially is “Here’s why I’m great, here is why my service is great and here’s why you should buy.” It is more of a “push” approach which rarely works with services like coaching. However, your coaching business will thrive when you start to have true enrollment conversations. That is, when you are able to pull the client toward you through deep listening, understanding their particular challenges, pain points and desires and connecting the dots on how you can help them.
So what’s really the difference between traditional sales and enrollment conversations?
Traditional sales is about trying to find a round hole for your round peg. You present yourself, your product, the benefits and features of your product and all the reasons your potential client should buy.
If the peg fits, it’s likely a sale.
But in our world of coaching, the process of generating clients is not that precise. Each potential client is different, and although you may find that some challenges are consistent across your niche, each specific challenge is unique because the individual is unique. This is where the pull comes into play.
When you deeply listen to the client and his or her needs, you can meet them where their specific challenges and desires are and pull them toward you.
In your enrollment conversations coming up this month, come from a place of generosity and curiosity. Remember, it’s not a sales pitch – and all you have to do is what you do best: deeply listen and help them create the bridge between where they are and where they want to be.
Tara Butler Floch