by: Melinda Cohan
This article is the fourth in our series, The Success Path. In the first article, we explained that The Success Path is a five-stage path coach-preneurs journey, as they go from coach, to startup business owner, to CEO. To navigate the journey successfully, it’s important to complete each stage before moving on to the next. In the exercise at the end of the first article, we helped you identify where you are now on The Success Path, and what you need to do to continue on this journey to whichever stage you consider your final destination. In the second and third articles, respectively, we went into depth about The Declaration and Transition Stages: what they are, what you may face when you’re in them, and what you must do before moving on to The Attraction Stage. We recommend reading the first, second, and third articles here before reading the article below:
To illustrate the importance of preparation when it comes to the Attraction Stage, I’d like to paint pictures of two different scenarios for you.
Scenario One: It’s Monday, and you have a ton to do. You have to take the kids to school, then go grocery shopping. After you get home and put the groceries away, you have to put dinner in the slow cooker, make a few quick calls, and then go pick up the kids and take them to their track meet. Here’s how it goes down: you wake up late because you hit Snooze on your alarm. Then, you rush to get the kids ready, and barely make it to school on time. Because you were running behind, you didn’t have time to clean out the trunk of your car from all the weekend shenanigans. Now, you don’t have anywhere to put groceries, so you have to rearrange the car to make space. When you get home, you realize the fridge is full and you have to throw away some leftovers before cramming the groceries inside. You’re now running behind, so you throw the ingredients in the slow cooker and hope you’ll have time to make those calls tomorrow.
Scenario Two: It’s Sunday, and you know you have a ton to do tomorrow. You have to take the kids to school, then go grocery shopping. After you get home and put the groceries away, you have to put dinner in the slow cooker, make a few quick calls, and then go pick up the kids and take them to their track meet. So, you take a few minutes Sunday to have the kids help you empty out the trunk of your car, so you have room for the groceries in the morning. You set up your slow cooker and clean out the fridge. You set your alarm so you can get up 15 minutes early. Here’s how Monday goes down: Even though you hit Snooze, you still have plenty of time to get the kids ready and get out the door on time for school. You get to the grocery store and put the groceries in the trunk before driving home to put them away in your cleaned-out fridge. You have a few minutes to spare, so you make your phone calls before putting dinner in the slow cooker. Then, you have a few minutes before leaving to pick up the kids, so you check off an item from Tuesday’s to-do list.
So, what is the key difference between these two scenarios? Scenario One forced you to be reactionary, right? Whereas in Scenario Two, you were proactive. You anticipated issues before they happened, and you saved time and energy because of it.
When it comes to The Success Path we outlined in the first article in this series, that’s what the third stage, the Attraction Stage, is all about: proactively attracting clients to your business.
It’s about being prepared to have those enrollment conversations.
Your focus during the Attraction Stage is to create and implement the tools, resources, and materials necessary to enroll and onboard new clients.
What you may be experiencing if you’re in the Attraction Stage:
As startup coaches traverse the Attraction Stage, they’re gaining momentum as they put into place the systems for growing their business.
You have all your contacts organized into one place, and you’re equipped, confident and ready—no, prepared!—to get clients! You’re clear on your commitment to pursue your dreams, and you have a thorough understanding of the best practices you need to set up to start and run your business.
This is where overwhelm can creep in, if you don’t have the tools you need. It’s also where things really get exciting. It’s where you finally get to start working with people, making that impact about which you’re so passionate.
So, ARE you ready?
To illustrate the feelings you may be experiencing, I’d like to share a few snippets from conversations I recently had with startup coaches who are in the Attraction Stage.
“I don’t know how to brand myself so I don’t even know how or where to start to get clients or market my business.”
“There are a lot of ways to attract clients; how do I know which one to choose?”
“I know this sounds silly, but I just don’t understand how to get clients; when someone seems interested in what I’m doing, what do I do next?”
“I’m trying to create a marketing plan that is consistent without being overwhelming.”
“I hate marketing, I just ignore it!”
“I need more confidence and a specific marketing plan to connect with prospective clients.”
What you should know:
It is critical that you’re proactive!
Many coach-preneurs in the Attraction Stage are reactive when it comes to enrollment conversations. This is where they get into the “Oh, Crap! Now What?” business model, and they’re forced to scramble behind the scenes to figure out how to get the results you need. This is a stressful way to find clients and build your business, to say the least.
That’s why the key here is to put your client agreement and onboarding process in place BEFORE you show up for the enrollment conversation, so you’re able to leverage the “yes” when someone decides to work with you.
If you don’t have these things ready to go, a new client may have to wait hours – or even days – until they’re officially onboarded. That means you risk creating a time gap that allows their gremlins creep in, causing them to get cold feet. On the other hand, when your client agreement, welcome packet, autoresponders, and client portal are in place and automated, everything is seamless, and your new client experiences immediate engagement … and you can leverage his or her, “yes.”
This stage is all about the enrollment conversation. While some startup coaches refer to this as a “sample session,” “discovery session,” or, “initial consultation,” the focus of this session is to get them to a solid, confident decision about what their best next step is.
Yes, you will provide some coaching and value during this conversation, but the point isn’t necessarily to get them to hire you; it’s actually to tap into your greatest skills as a coach and support these people in gaining clarity on their next steps.
Specifically, it’s about you guiding them to clarity about where they are now, where they want to be, and identifying how committed they are to making the decision to get the results of which they’ve dreamed—which is the heart and soul of an enrollment conversation.
So many coaches show up for sample sessions thinking all they need to do is great coaching. But this is more than just a conversation! There is more to be done behind the scenes to facilitate an effective enrollment conversation.
That’s why, now, we’re going to walk, step-by-step, through the six things you must have in place during the Attraction Stage, to ensure you’re fully prepared for kick-ass enrollment conversations.
Here we go!
Six things you must have in place to move through the Attraction Stage effectively:
An easy way for prospects on your contact list to book a sample session with you when they’re ready.
An ability to send appointment reminders. These appointment reminders should:
Be branded, so you create brand consistency.
Be specific, so there is no question about who is contacting whom, at what time, and in which time zone, as well as on which platform (phone, in-person, Skype, Zoom, Bridgeline, etc.).
Include a quick link to an easy session prep form to help your prospect get organized in advance, so they can make the most of their session (this also serves as a filter to ensure you spend time only on those people who are committed to showing up!).
An ability to file the information from the session prep form (above) into the prospect’s client notes so that you, as the coach and sales person, can be prepared in advance for the upcoming conversation.
An online client agreement at the ready, in advance of the sample session, so you can leverage a “yes” when your prospect is ready to get started. This client agreement form should include:
An electronic, “I agree” button, so when a prospect says, “yes,” you can immediately move him or her into action, supporting the decision to go for getting the results they most desire.
An easy way for you to ask for and receive money from your new client so you can leverage his or her “yes.”
An automated onboarding sequence that gets them engaged. This should include autoresponders that deliver the welcome packet and any other welcome emails!
The Attraction Stage is all about getting organized before you attract clients. So here are four steps to doing so:
Step One. Set up an online calendar where prospects can book their sample sessions. Be sure that it incorporates automated, branded appointment reminders that are time zone specific.
Step Two. Create a session prep form that asks your prospects five simple questions, so they can prepare, and so you can prepare (by reviewing their answers).
Step Three. Set up an online client agreement with an electronic “I agree” option.
Step Four. Integrate an easy, automated payment option for your new clients to get started as soon as they accept your online agreement.
One quick note here, before you take action on this exercise: when you use various technologies to implement each of these elements, overwhelm can get pretty intense. The more technology platforms you use in your business, the more of your time, money, and attention is put into managing the back end of your business, into being the go-between for the different technologies that don’t talk to each other. That’s why we recommend using one, integrated platform that can accomplish all of these things, so the back end of your business can operate like a well-oiled machine.
Please allow us a moment to brag:
The Coaches Console is that platform: it integrates all these elements in one place and makes it so easy for coaches to streamline and automate all of these very important pieces—without overwhelm!
Attraction Stage Mantra. When Preparedness Meets Opportunity, Success is Inevitable.
Complete the exercises in this post, and then move on to the next stage, The Evolution Stage. (This is where you onboard your clients and give them the exquisite customer support they need to create the results they want—and to become your raving fans!)
Watch your inbox for the next article in this series, which gives you everything you need to know about navigating The Evolution Stage.