If you’re like most business coaches, you have a database of leads and contacts you’re working slowly over time. But do you ever struggle with the question of when to push harder, and when to let up in your sales efforts? How do you know when business coaching prospects are ready to sign up for services?
The other week, I was asked to join a panel on a webinar around this question–and it has a lot of resonances for business coaches: “Should sales follow up content marketing?”
After all, as a business coach, content marketing is the best and most effective way to demonstrate your credibility and authority. But how can you know when business coaching prospects are ready to move from your marketing funnel to your sales funnel?
The Middle Way Between Being Pushy and Being Neglectful
On the webinar, there were a lot of strong feelings. Panelists reported feeling hassled and “spammed” when business called them after downloading a whitepaper or signing up for reports.
And many business coaches struggle to know how to follow up appropriately once they’ve made first contact. “Am I being too pushy on the one hand, or not following up fast enough on the other?”
Here’s the answer hiding in plain sight: let your potential clients tell you themselves what’s appropriate.
I don’t mean just ask them outright. They probably won’t know. I mean let their actions tell you.
How to Know When Business Coaching Prospects Are Ready to Act
Whenever someone signs up for my regular emails they usually fall into two camps. One group is ready to take action straight away, the other (usually larger group) needs some warming up.
So I send helpful emails with useful information to build credibility and trust. But I mix in emails that ask questions or offer something for them to do like watch a video or complete a survey.
Who should I focus my personal follow-up on? It’s the people who take actions that show they’re the most interested. The ones who watch the videos straight away or hit reply and ask me questions or give feedback.
So I watch my open and click-through rates. I use my website analytics tools to see who’s downloading what. I watch my email inbox to replies to my questions, and my survey software for responses to my surveys.
Those are the ones I focus on for follow-up.
Who should I focus my personal follow-up on? It's the people who take actions that show they're the most interested. The ones who watch the videos straight away or hit reply and ask me questions or give feedback.
I don’t ignore the others. They keep getting my regular emails and I hope they find them useful. I’ve learned that at some point, something will happen, and many of them will get more active–and I’ll pick it up then.
You can do the same no matter how you interact with potential clients. Keep a regular “drip feed” of valuable communications going: invite them to events, mail them useful articles, invite them for coffee. Make sure you can see when they take action and when they do, increase the follow-up.
That way you’ll get your follow-up right. Fast and frequent for the ones that want it. Regular and value-added for those who aren’t ready yet.
And it’s effective follow-up that wins clients.
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