One of the best business coach marketing strategies is to employ a hybrid approach—that is, to use both automated online and direct-touch “old school” marketing tactics to generate and nurture leads. I’ve long advocated the use of telemarketing, direct mail, and “bold walking” (physically going into businesses and offices as a means of meeting potential new clients) alongside tactics like social media, email, and content marketing.
But often, it’s even more powerful when you combine them. That is to say, sometimes it’s most effective to create a business coach marketing funnel that uses online and offline tactics in the same campaign.
Sometimes it's most effective to create a business coach marketing funnel that uses online and offline tactics in the same campaign.
- Send a direct mail piece to targeted businesses that invites them to download a free ebook or register for a webinar
- Use email marketing to drive registrations to an in-person half-day workshop
- When exhibiting at a show or conference, have a computer or iPad on hand to collect subscriptions to your email newsletter
- Run social media ads for a copy of a physical book you’ve written and can sell at a low cost
One of my favorite strategies is to follow up via phone with people who have downloaded ebooks or other free resources from our website. These aren’t “cold calls” because you know the people in question have already interacted with your content, so they are at least aware of you, and have signaled that they are searching for answers right now to their most pressing business challenges. These are known as “warm calls” because they’ve already been warmed up a bit by your content.
In fact, the sooner you can connect with them after they download your free resource, the better. I even have clients who set their CRM to notify them whenever a new lead comes in, and as long as it’s during business hours, they call them immediately. You’ll be surprised at how many good conversations you can have when you’re immediately top of mind!
Now, in order to call them, you have to capture more than just their first name and email address; you need to also ask for their phone number, and ideally, their business name and industry. This means that not all your lead magnets are right for this approach. Some should remain first name and email address only. Reserve this tactic for incredibly high-value resources: whitepapers, original research, case studies, or long-form ebooks. (Does this mean you need to be creating this sort of high-value content? Yup.)
Swipe Our Proven Voicemail Script
Once you’ve captured the lead, it’s time to follow up. Consider this your basic Silver Bullet call, and if the prospect answers your call, dive right in. But what if you get sent to voicemail?
Try something like this:
Good <morning/afternoon/evening>, <prospect’s name>!
My name is <your name> here at <your business name>. I’m the person who sent you the ebook you downloaded the other <day/week> called <name of ebook>.
I’m reaching out to chat about what’s going on in your business, client acquisition best practices, or any other questions you may have about growing your business.
There’s a world of opportunity for businesses in the <prospect’s industry> to move up to the next level. We’ve been helping <prospect’s industry> businesses for more than <time you’ve been a coach>, so feel free to call me here in our <your location> office and I’ll help you in every way I can. Again, <your name> with <your business name> at <your number>. Talk soon!
Of course, you can experiment with different approaches that are specific to your target market or industry. But don’t neglect using both online and old-school, direct-touch marketing tactics in the same campaign or funnel. Your results will improve when you do!
For more great tips and tricks like these, download our FREE ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star. (And yeah, you might hear from us afterward; that’s a good thing! If nothing else you can see how we follow up and you can swipe our secrets.) 😉
If you’ve ever owned a business coaching franchise, then this has probably happened to you…
After owning my franchise for a couple years and running it very successfully, franchisors started thinking of me as the “go-to guy” to whom they sent prospects and candidates in the middle of the due diligence process. After all, the franchisors figured that if their candidates talked to me, they’d be as good as sold. My social proof as a successful franchisee was that strong!
I’ll never forget one of those calls. This particular guy was taking a strong, research-focused approach to his due diligence process.
He was doing research to find out what kind of money business coaches were really making and what he thought he could make. The results shocked him.
While the majority had banked less than $100,000 after two full years in the business, there was ONE abnormal data point in his research…that abnormal outlier was ME!
I had banked over $600,000 USD in my first 24 months (and hit the million dollar mark not long after). A few years later, I sold my coaching business for a cool million.
So what made the difference? Why was I $500,000 ahead of my colleagues after just 24 months as a business coach?
Three Keys to My Success as a Business Coaching Franchisee
That’s a big question that could fill a whole book (and, okay, it has–my ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star), but in the end, it boils down to three key things:
- I had a war chest. I’d set aside enough money to be able to market myself consistently during the first few months before I started adding clients.
- I developed a system. Even though I thought that’s what I was buying, my business coaching franchise didn’t really deliver an effective business coaching system. But I knew from the beginning that I’d need to systematize in order to be effective, so I took copious notes and tested and tracked everything to quickly discover what worked and what didn’t.
- I didn’t give up. Boy, there were times I wanted to. But I disciplined myself, and every week I deployed marketing campaigns, picked up the phone, had as many appointments as I could drum up, and developed tools that led to increased sales conversions. I also included digital marketing to my mix of consistent weekly activities (though when you’re just starting out, I don’t think I can overstate the power of real live conversations with real live business owners to help you get off the ground).
If you’re conducting due diligence on a business coaching franchise, I hope you’ll keep these three key factors in mind. You may discover that you don’t actually need a franchise to deliver what it takes to be successful.
For example, too many franchisees spend their war chests on franchise fees and start-up costs, as opposed to putting it directly toward marketing. And some business coaching franchises don’t have particularly effective systems for finding, closing, and coaching new clients.
Finally, tenacity, consistency, and resiliency aren’t something a coaching franchise can teach–they’re something you bring with you.
Deciding whether or not a business coaching franchise is right for you? Don’t miss our ebook, The Business Coaching Franchise Buyers Guide, to help you make an informed decision about investing in a business coaching franchise and clearly understand your options.
It’s an inevitable part of the sales process: you’re talking with a prospective client, it seems to be going well…and then, all of a sudden, they hit you with a barrage of objections to business coaching.
How to handle it? What should you do?
First, be prepared. Understand and practice the three A’s of objection-busting: Agree, Answer, Ask. And always come armed with the 21 Silver Bullets–the precise action steps you’ll help your clients implement in order to improve their businesses.
Then, use these scripts to overcome the most common objections to business coaching!
1: I don’t think I can hold myself accountable
Response: “Of course you can’t. No one can hold themselves accountable to the level that a good coach will. But I can promise you this. I WILL hold you accountable. Being held accountable is about doing what you agree to do to help your business, period. Are you open to that kind of accountability? I can also promise you that if you don’t complete the actions we agree on, then I’ll have to fire you as a client. My reputation is the only thing I’ve got and I’m building my business on your success.”
2: I don’t think I have the money to do this
Response: “Of course you don’t. If you had the money, this would be a no-brainer. So, if you did have the money you’d be ready to get going on this, yes? Here’s a question I want to ask you. If we can figure out how to find some revenue and loosen up some cash flow, will you be ready to get going on this? Yes? Okay, I have a list of quick cash flow strategies that we can use to generate more revenue. Let’s have a look at these.” Shoot the Cash Gap Plan, Break Even Plan, Tactical Marketing Plan, USP & Guarantee, and Sales Management System Silver Bullets!
3: I don’t think I have the time to do this
Response. “Of course you don’t. If you had the time, this would be a no-brainer. So, if you had the time you’d be ready to get going on this, yes? The reality is that work always expands to fill the time allotted to it. So, here’s my question for you. If we could carve 5 to 10 hours per week out of your schedule would you be ready to get going on this? Yes? Okay, I have a list of quick time recovery strategies that we can use to carve more time out of your schedule. Let’s have a look at these.” Shoot the Time Management Plan, Apprenticeship Plan, Key Performance Indicator Plan, Organizational Plan, and Team Meeting Rhythm Silver Bullets!
4: I need to think about it
Response: “Sure. We both need to think about whether this is a good fit. And we did agree in our first conversation last week that we’d think about it together today and decide at the end if it made sense to both of us to work together or not. So, what other questions are you thinking about?” Proceed to handle the additional objections.
If you ever need to follow up an unconverted sales call that ended this way, use this script: “At the end of our conversation you said that you wanted to think about it more. So, tell me, what have you been thinking about since then?”
5: We’re already doing all this stuff
Response: “Well, it definitely sounds like you’re doing a lot of things and doing a lot of things well. But I do believe you said that _______ really should be better, right? So, sounds like we need to get you started on _____ right away, don’t you think?”
Responding to objections to business coaching takes practice. Role play with a spouse, a business partner, a friend--or better yet, your own Coaches' Coach.
Responding to objections to business coaching takes practice. Role play with a spouse, a business partner, a friend–or better yet, your own Coaches’ Coach as part of your membership in our comprehensive learning portal. Get a FREE 30-day trial here.
Ever hear a story of grit, entrepreneurship, and success that sends chills up and down your spine? That’s what I felt when I read this recent story from Marty Park, and I knew I had to share with you…
$.86 cents. That was my cash in hand as I pulled into the gas station one morning.
It was the first day, of many, where entrepreneurship and business ownership were really kicking my ass.
I had launched my software company with my friend Greg and had now also spun out an audio production company called On Air. Business was going pretty good but cash-flow was tight — like the lid on a pickle jar tight.
I needed to get to work to make calls — to either sell something and/or to collect on our receivables. I knew for me to take any money as a partner, I needed to get someone to send money TODAY.
But my immediate problem was getting to work. I was out of gas and knew I couldn’t get to the office without filling up the tank.
I had $4.88 in my bank account … but an ATM wouldn’t let me take less than $5 out. So I had no access to that said amount. (Debit payments were not available yet in case you were wondering).
I pulled into the gas station a few blocks from my house. I started to finger through the jeep ashtray to see what luck I could uncover. I pulled 86 cents from the tray and prayed it was going to be enough gas to get me to the office.
I opened the gas cap, put the hose in and squeezed off $0.86 worth of gas. It took about 2 seconds. I quietly said to myself, that is never going to get me to work (our office was all the way downtown).
The worst part wasn’t the lack of money, or the dismal amount of fuel it bought. It was going inside to pay.
Now, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am a little judgmental about the guy working at the gas station. I was quick to think, maybe you should be working a little harder. I was quick to think, is this the best you can do?!
On this day, I was the one being stared down. The attendant did a double take at the total fuel I just pumped. “Ahhh, that will be eighty, six, cents.” I handed him the change all at once, already embarrassed. He flipped his hand over, spilling the coins on the counter and then proceeded to count it out, out loud, for me and the other people in line behind me. Twenty-five, fifty (seriously!), seventy-five, eighty (please hurry), eighty-one, eighty-two, eighty-three (you son*&#$@) eighty-four, eighty-five, eighty-six. “Yup, it’s all there,” he said with a smirk. The look he gave me said, “Is this really the best you can do?!”
I left with shame and a head shake that took me months to get past. But my issues still weren’t over — I needed to get to work.
Fortunately, my place was at a much higher elevation than the office downtown. I drove a stick shift at the time and was able to get up to speed and then put it into neutral and allow the car to roll down most of the streets. I turned it off at the lights. I rolled all the way downtown and right into the parkade.
I made it! Except, I was even broke-er, and still needed to perform to collect money and a solution.
I had to shake off the stress and feeling sorry for myself. I had to get on the phone. I had to hide my issues from the staff and team. Just all smiles walking into my office.
I dialed through the entire day. Sales calls. Cold Calls. Call to clients. I finally had a client say he would pay the invoice today and put a check in the mail. “No, No, No, ” I said. He said, “Okay I’ll leave it here at the front desk if you want to come pick it up.” I couldn’t do that either … I was out of gas. I suggested that a courier was faster and better because we could track the envelope. And, with my busy afternoon schedule, it was the best way. He agreed with a little concern in his voice.
The courier was sent to pick up the envelope and I sweated the next few hours away. At about 3 pm the courier arrived with a delivery. I ran to the reception desk trying to look relaxed. I grabbed the envelope and took it to Greg’s office. We had $1250 in the door. I pleaded with Greg to cut us both cheques from that money now. Greg was reluctant. He knew cash was tight and didn’t want it all going right back out. I finally shared my desperate situation and almost begged him. He nodded, agreed, and cut us both cheques for $500.
Every entrepreneur and business owner has those moments where the universe dares you to stop, to shut it down and just quit. Don’t. You can find a way.
I ran to the bank, deposited the money and filled the gas tank. I survived. Actually, I did more than that. I succeeded.
Every entrepreneur and business owner has those moments where the universe dares you to stop, to shut it down and just quit.
Don’t. You can find a way. I did, and it has been a situation and a triumph over adversity that I have drawn on for years when things get tough.
Let persistence and a commitment to creative solutions be your guides.
If times are tight for you right now, keep this story in mind. It’s always darkest before the dawn. Keep going. Keep trying and dig deep. You can overcome any challenge that stands in your way.
Just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey? Looking for more inspiration and resources on your way to becoming a business coach? Download our FREE ebook, “How to Become a Business Coach,” and learn from the failures (and successes!) of those who have gone before you.
Here’s some tough love. There are two types of business coaches: the struggle bunnies, who make some money sometimes, no money most of the time, and/or spend waaaaay too much time making way too little money; and the rock stars, who are absolutely crushing it, making more and more money, and spending less and less time doing it. What separates them? The ability to generate consistent, high-quality business coaching leads on demand.
In fact, if you can’t predictably generate and convert leads and coach those clients into raving fans, then you don’t have a business…and never will.
At the end of the day, the only things that matter are:
- Setting up Complimentary Coaching Sessions with prospects.
- Converting those prospects into clients.
So how many Complimentary Coaching Sessions did you do in the past seven days? What did you do in the last seven days to schedule Complimentary Coaching Sessions?
If you don’t know the answer to that question, or if the answer is “not as much as I should have done,” then sit tight. Below, I’ll reveal the exact formula it takes to generate consistent lead flow, month over month.
A Formula That Will Yield Two New Clients/Month
One thing I hear a lot from my business coach clients is that they don’t have any consistent metrics or targets to help them guide their lead generation efforts. Sometimes their efforts yield new clients almost accidentally; more often than not, there’s a lot of hand-wringing and throwing spaghetti against the wall, and very little to show for it.
Here at the Coaches’ Coach, we’ve worked with thousands of business coaches over nearly two decades, so we’ve been able to track the activity the average coach needs to commit to each month in order to yield two clients consistently.
Can you imagine the difference in your business if you knew that every month, you’d have two new clients signing up for coaching?
You wouldn’t have to panic over normal attrition. You could scale up the quality of your client base–that is to say, you could fire your problem clients as you replace them with better ones, and steadily and surely increase your rates and the financial stability of the businesses you work with. You could make more money while working fewer hours.
Can you imagine the difference in your business if you knew that every month, you'd have two new clients signing up for coaching? You wouldn't have to panic over normal attrition. You could scale up the quality of your client base--that is to say, you could fire your problem clients as you replace them with better ones, and steadily and surely increase your rates and the financial stability of the businesses you work with. You could make more money while working fewer hours.
Here’s what it takes:
Generate 50 Business Coaching Leads Per Month
Your first step is to generate at least 50 new leads per month. You do this using a combination of what we call the “Big 8” lead generation strategies:
- Referrals — tapping your existing network for people in need of your services;
- Networking — attending business meet-ups, conferences, or other opportunities to meet new prospects;
- Social media — creating an engaging social presence that includes targeted advertising;
- Content marketing — crafting compelling digital content that educates and inspires prospects to take the next step;
- Direct mail — yes, believe it or not, old school mail is still effective;
- Outsourced telemarketing — hire a firm to do the cold calling for you;
- Bold walking — physically walk into businesses and meet their leadership teams;
- Strategic partners — work with businesses that serve a similar market to your ideal clients to make your services available to their customer list.
Make 400 Dials Per Month
Next, you should make 400 dials to prospects per month. These are known as “warm calls.” These are calls to the new, warm leads you’ve generated (highest priority) as well as previous prospects and contacts. Don’t have enough leads to create that many dials? Do it the old-fashioned way–cold call. Cold calling isn’t anyone’s favorite thing, but it helps you get in the habit of making regular phone time a priority. As you continue to execute your lead-generation efforts, soon you’ll have to do less and less of it.
Hold 40 Silver Bullet Calls Per Month
Of the 400 dials you make per month, expect about 10% to convert to a 30-minute “Silver Bullet” call for about 40 of these per month.
These are short conversations that allow you to understand the needs of your prospective clients and begin to demonstrate your value to them. Don’t overstay your welcome here. Keep it short and sweet. Your goal is to set up a longer Complimentary Coaching Session with your prospect, with the agreement that at the end of it, you’ll mutually decide whether or not to move forward with coaching.
Conduct 8 Complimentary Coaching Sessions Per Month
Expect about a 20% conversion rate from your Silver Bullet calls to a full, 60-minute Complimentary Coaching Session. So if you have 40 Silver Bullet calls, this should yield 8 Complimentary Coaching Sessions.
This is where you and your client will decide whether or not to work together. As I mentioned above, these are the single-most-important meetings you can schedule if you want to grow your business. Master these and you’ll be well on your way.
Some prospects need a little more warming up; hold regular seminars and webinars you can invite your prospects to. You can convert Silver Bullet calls to webinars, and on to Complimentary Coaching Sessions; or you can convert prospects that are still on the fence after your Complimentary Coaching Session to your webinar and get another shot at them.
Close 2 New Clients Per Month
Most coaches can expect to convert at least 25% of their Complimentary Coaching Sessions into clients. (Actually, I’ve had months with 80%+ conversion rates, but I’m being conservative here on purpose.) If you have 8 Complimentary Coaching Sessions per month, this will yield two new clients.
So you see? Now you know what you need to do each month!
Generate 50 leads –> Make 400 dials –> Hold 40 Silver Bullet Calls –> Conduct 8 Complimentary Coaching Sessions –> Close 2 New Clients
Take this as your benchmark. As your conversion rates improve, or you want to scale faster, you can adjust these targets to fit your goals.
The important thing is to be consistent. Invest in your marketing and lead generation. Make it your top priority. It’s the only way to avoid being a struggle bunny and take your place among the ranks of the business coaching rock stars!
And for more incredible strategies and analysis like this, download our FREE ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star. You’ll be glad you did.