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If you’re interested in this podcast, I’m guessing it’s because you love the work you do with your clients, and you love it especially when your most committed clients experience real transformation, right?
I’m also guessing you want more of these amazing clients who are dedicated to the work and aligned with you, your values, and your vibes.
But, how do you get people to actually sign up for your services?
I don’t want the answer to this question to be a mystery for you any longer and that’s exactly why we’re talking about how to get more clients without doing more marketing.
In this episode of the Business (R)Evolution Podcast:
- Why marketing doesn’t turn people into clients
- Why you need to focus more on your sales process than your marketing efforts
- The difference between marketing and sales
- Why getting more leads does not automatically equal more clients
- The five stages of a predictable sales system for practitioners to convert their leads into long-term clients
Resources and links Joanna mentions in this episode:
Get the FREE download:
The Business Strategy Scorecard
…which of these nine ingredients do you need to get high quality
long-term clients & steady, predictable income?
Full episode transcript
If you’re listening to this podcast, I’m guessing that you love the work you do with clients, you love it especially when your most committed clients experience real transformation, right?
So, you want more of them. You want to work with not just any clients, but amazing clients that are dedicated to the work and aligned with you and your values and your vibe.
But perhaps you’re spinning your wheels when it comes to actually GETTING those clients.
How do you get people to actually sign up for your services?
For many practitioners, the answer to this question is kind of a mystery.
And it has something to do with marketing.
They often say, I need to get out in the world and share what I’m doing.
Getting out in the world and sharing what you do is marketing.
And…marketing doesn’t turn people into clients.
Let me repeat that: Marketing doesn’t turn people into clients.
Marketing is your visibility plan. It’s how you get noticed, and it’s how you get leads.
But leads don’t become clients unless you have a SALES process.
‘Sales”, in business speak, is how you turn your leads into actual paying clients.
In today’s episode, we’re talking about:
- The difference between marketing and sales, and how understanding the difference can make a huge impact on your business income
- Why getting more leads does not mean you’ll get more clients – and how to change that
- The 5 stages of a predictable sales system for practitioners to convert their leads into long-term clients
Lots of business owners mistakenly think that marketing and sales are the same thing.
So they think, if I just do more marketing – if I just get more leads, then more clients will magically result.
They say they need more people to “walk in the door” – or call, or email.
They “need more leads”.
But when you don’t have a sales system to convert the leads from your marketing into clients, it doesn’t matter how much more marketing you do, it’s just a leaky bucket.
You can’t just do more marketing and hope that somehow new clients will be the result.
You need a process to turn your leads into paying clients, and that’s your sales process.
If you’re getting leads – and it can even be a small number of leads, like maybe 5 people a month that contact you…
Maybe they were a referral from a current client, or found you with a web search if you’re a local business.
If you’re getting any leads…but you don’t have a sales system to turn those leads into clients…
That’s your missing piece.
And that missing piece is SO powerful. When you have a predictable sales system in your business, you WILL get more clients and increase your monthly revenue – without marketing.
I’ve seen this happen with multiple clients of mine that already had leads coming in – primarily through referrals and web searches.
They came to me for help with marketing. That’s what they thought they needed to get more clients and increase their monthly revenue.
But in their discovery calls with me, I could see that more marketing is NOT what they needed. They were missing a sales system.
And once we put a sales system in place, they greatly increased their monthly revenue – without ever doing any more marketing.
They simply learned how to convert their leads into clients.
That’s what your sales process does.
So if you’re getting even just a few leads each month, and don’t have a step-by-step process for turning them into clients, then build a sales system first.
Once you have a sales system in place, THEN you create a Marketing strategy…which is like adding fuel to the fire!
So just imagine if you have a Predictable Sales System in place that converts a certain percentage of your leads into clients.
If your Sales System predictably converts at 50% and you have even just 6 new leads each month, that’s 3 new clients every month.
Now if you listened to episode 4, called “Stop Selling Sessions and Starting Creating Programs” you know that I advocate for a program-based approach to your services.
When you’re enrolling clients in programs, rather than selling them sessions, 3 new clients is huge.
That’s 3 long-term clients that are going to be with you for 3 or 6 or maybe 12 months, whatever your programs are.
So just 3 new clients each month enrolling in long-term services can transform your business.
You see how impactful a sales system can be?
That’s why a Predictable Sales System is the 3rd and final ingredient of the Client Champion Formula for long-term clients and steady predictable income.
Remember that in the Client Champion Formula, the first ingredient is “The Right People” and I talked about that in episode 2….your “Yes” clients, the people you love working with, the ones that see the best results, the people I call the bullseye of your target market.
The 2nd ingredient is “The Right Program (and Price)”. That’s where you have a comprehensive service that actually provides the ultimate results your bullseye clients are after – and you’ve priced your services properly for profitability and sustainability. I covered that in episodes 3 and 4.
So finally, you need a Predictable Sales System in place to enroll new clients into your programs.
Now most people have no idea what a sales system is, or would look like.
So let me tell you how I think of it.
I think of your sales system as a path of stepping stones that lead to your front door.
It’s a path you invite your leads to walk down, step by step.
And every stepping stone is by invitation. You invite your prospects to the next stepping stone and the next one. They can accept your invitations, or decline them.
That’s important to understand, because the word “sales” freaks out a lot of people – they think of car salesmen, or phone telemarketers, these people pushing you and manipulating you to try to get you to buy something.
That’s not what I believe in or teach – AT ALL.
You’ll be inviting your leads to take steps. They can accept or they can decline. No coercion or manipulation involved. This is all based on choice. This is consensual.
Your leads and prospects always have a CHOICE to work with you or not.
That’s one important point I want to make before I talk about the sales system that I help my clients build in their businesses.
The other point I want to make about my predictable sales system is this: it actually brings the right people into alignment with your vision, your purpose, and your offer.
You’re building a path, and inviting them to this path. When they choose to take this path, when they are following your leadership, they are aligning with you and your values and the way you do things.
Some of my clients who have been using the predictable sales system for a while now, have noted that prospects that didn’t seem like they were in the bullseye of their target market, were brought into the bullseye because of this process – and ended up being fantastic clients.
That’s really powerful.
Ok, so I want to give you a bird’s eye view of my Predictable Sales System so you can understand what I’m talking about here, what are the stepping stones and how exactly does this look in your business.
There are 5 stages of the Predictable Sales System.
When you put them all together, they’re magic.
Stage 1 is HOW you get leads into your sales pipeline.
How DO you get leads into your sales pipeline right now?
Many business owners don’t have a clear entry.
They might put their phone number on their website or google listing or they might have a Contact Us form on their website…
Or they might simply have a link to purchase a session or class directly, right there right now.
Which, of course, is following the “single session” model that doesn’t provide your clients the ultimate results they’re after.
So what do you do instead of these things? What is the entry point to your sales pipeline?
You invite your leads to some form of a free consultation.
It’s an invitation to speak with you, and you need a specific process for that conversation.
So how does that look?
Well in every place where you’re online – your website, your google business profile, professional directories that you’re in – your call to action is that invitation: Click here to schedule a free consultation.
If you’re texting or messaging with someone, or speaking at an event, you provide this same call to action.
If a lead accepts that invitation and heeds the call to action, they click on that button and they are now put through a filter to make sure that they’re not an obvious wrong-fit.
We want to make sure that even if they’re not the bullseye of your target market, they’re at least ON the target.
You don’t want to spend any time doing consultations with people that are not on the target at all, so you filter them out.
This is Stage 2 of the Predictable Sales System and I call this Your Red Velvet Rope policy.
For local, in-person businesses there’s a short prequalification that’s done by phone, and if the lead qualifies they’re invited to an in-person consultation.
For online businesses, there’s an online application.
These are the filters.
If a lead is filtered out in this process, you don’t lose them as a lead. You offer them a different invitation that puts them on your email list where you nurture them over time – because they might eventually be a good fit.
If they do make it through your filter, if you open the Red Velvet Rope and let them through, they’re now called PROSPECTS, and move into Stage 3, where you Prime and Prep your prospects for the consultation with you.
In this stage, you start building a more personal connection with them – the know, like, trust factor, that’s why I often call this “The KLT sandwich” for Know, Like, Trust.
Part of the Prime and Prep stage is to share a bit more about you and your story, your values, your purpose in business, and why you do this work. And you invite them to share more about themselves with you. So you get to know each other a little better at this stage.
And then you prep them for the consultation by explaining ahead of time how it’s going to go, and also letting them know that there’s a choice for them to make in the consultation: whether they’re going to enroll in your services or not – that the choice is theirs, and either answer – Yes or No – is just fine, but there is going to be a choice to make.
Knowing what to expect and how the consultation will go provides a sense of safety and security for your prospects. This is building trust. You are being open and transparent about what’s going to happen.
So that’s stages 1-3, which were leading to Stage 4, which is the consultation itself.
There are definitely some right ways to do a consultation, and some wrong ways to do a consultation.
If you don’t know how to do a consultation right, your prospect isn’t likely to move forward with you.
On the other hand, if you do know how to give good consultations, you can predictably convert 80% of your prospects into great, long-term clients.
That means that for every 5 consultations you have, you get 4 new clients.
How great would that be?
To do that, it’s essential that you get in the driver’s seat and LEAD the consultation, lead your prospect.
Step into leadership!
So many practitioners don’t do this.
This is the biggest mistake practitioners make in consultations.
They go into a consultation with the unconscious mindset that it’s like a job interview…that the prospective client is coming to decide whether they want to hire you for the job.
If you come in with that frame, you’ve already lost.
You’re giving up your leadership.
So what does this look like? I’ve experienced multiple times as a prospective client myself so let me tell you about one of those times.
I had scheduled a consultation with a woman that provides college counseling for high school students.
I was looking for support for my son, who was just starting his junior year of high school.
His school had given him very little guidance around college.
Education is a very high value for me. I had an incredible college experience, it’s where I discovered my calling to teach, it’s where I really grew up and came into my own – and I wanted my son to have an equally meaningful college education.
And I knew that without the right support from his school, he wouldn’t know how to navigate the college admissions process, and he was not that interested in college at all.
That’s just a quick background of why I was looking into a college counselor.
Now, in your consultation, you should start with questions to uncover exactly this type of information, to understand the pains and problems, goals and desires of your prospective client.
Why are they reaching out for help? What exactly is it they want to achieve? And why is that important to them?
Had this college counselor started the consultation with any of those questions, or by simply asking, “What prompted you to reach out to me?” I would have started explaining some of the stuff I just said…and then she could have asked me specific questions to get deeper from there.
But instead she did exactly what I’m going to tell you never to do: she gave up her leadership and position as an expert and put me in the driver’s seat.
She asked me: “So what services are you looking for?”
No questions about my son, his interests, what school is like for him, his visions for his future, my hopes for him.
There could have been so much rich information shared with her, information that would have informed her whether we are a good match for her and she for us, information that would have helped her determine exactly how to serve us best…
And perhaps most importantly, information that she needed in order to recommend to me a specific service she provides.
Her opportunity to be a leader, to demonstrate her expertise, and to identify our problems and then offer us solutions – her solutions – was lost.
…with that one wrong question, right off the bat.
My answer to her was: “Well, um, college counseling. That’s what your website says you do.”
And she responded, “Ok, yes, well let me tell you about that.”
And then she launched into the features – the list of all the things – that her service package includes.
She was “pitching” her services.
She did all the talking. …I could barely stay engaged.
Finally she gets to the price – which was $3200- and asks me if I’m interested.
I am definitely not.
She has made no personal connection with me
She doesn’t know anything about me or my son – not even his name!
And while she might have thought that $3200 was just too much for me or that I wasn’t interested in her services because of the price, that had nothing to do with it.
Two weeks later I found a different college counselor and paid $5500 for her to help me solve my problem and meet my goals.
Whether you get a yes or no in your consultation is often NOT about price – even though you may think it is.
Because if you haven’t done your consultation well, if you’ve pitched your services like that first college counselor did with me, you’ve just left your prospect with nothing to consider but the features of your service and the price.
You haven’t built a relationship, which is what you should do.
And you haven’t made an individualized recommendation based on a true assessment of what you – the one with the expertise in your field – think they need.
In your consultations, you need to establish a personal connection with your prospect from the first minute.
And then you interview them to start uncovering their feelings, problems, pains, goals and desires.
Having this information is essential to making sure they are a good fit for you and you for them, and for recommending the right service so that it can help them get the results they seek.
Your consultation or discovery call is not a pitch.
And it can and should be totally authentic, totally meaningful, and a totally un-salesy process that enrolls new clients easily and effortlessly.
What I love about consultations is that when you learn how to do them well, they can actually be one of the most fulfilling parts of your business.
You can fall in love with sales – and I hope that my description of the process started to shine some light on the fact that sales does not have to be smarmy or coercive or manipulative at all – and it can be a really meaningful part of your business.
#2 – The second big mistake I see practitioners make in their consultations is they go in winging it, and just have a ‘get to know you’ type conversations with their prospects, and those conversations might go in all kinds of different directions.
That might be fun and enjoyable, but it’s not effective for enrolling clients.
You do need to have a clear path you’re leading prospects on in the consultation that ends with them making a decision – yes or no – as to whether they are going to enroll in your services.
If you’re getting people saying, “Ok, let me think about it and get back to you” and they often ghost and don’t get back to you, then something’s missing from your consultation.
Or they say “This was amazing, thank you so much for your time, I got so much out of it” and then they bounce?
That’s usually a sign that you’re making the 3rd most mistake, which is providing coaching or providing your services in the consultation itself.
Your consultation is not a free session of your services. It is an assessment of some sort -and then your explanation of what you believe they need to solve their problems or reach their goals.
When you share your assessment and what you think they need? That is very valuable to your prospects. That by itself can be super enlightening and empowering.
But that’s different from actually receiving the service itself.
Ok, so the prospect says YES, let’s do this, I’m in, I can’t wait to get started, let’s do it!
So you take their payment – either in full, or you set up an automatic monthly recurring payment plan – so that you never have to deal with any billing.
And now this person is an actual client and moves into the final stage, Stage 5, which is onboarding.
This is simply a process that you build to make your brand new client feel supported and welcomed – and help them be as successful as possible in your program.
Ok, phew! That was a birds-eye view of my Predictable Sales System.
If you’re an established practitioner that is getting at least a handful of leads each month but don’t have a way to predictable convert them into paying clients – then you need a sales system.
And if what I talked about here today sounded exciting to you, if you know you need this and are ready to learn it and install it in your business, then let’s talk.
That’s what I help practitioners do, and I’d be happy to talk with you about your business and see if you’re in the right position for this to start bringing you more long-term clients and steady predictable income.
So what am I going to say? I invite you to schedule a discovery call with me to talk about how to streamline your business systems and get more long term clients and consistent income.
You can schedule that by going to my website at joannasapir.com and clicking on the Schedule a Discovery Call button.
See you next time!