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How To Profit From Initial Consultations

How to Profit from Initial ... love to work with you, but..." How many times have you heard these words? As a ... provider looking to grow your ... isn't ...

How to Profit from Initial Consultations

"I'd love to work with you, but..."
How many times have you heard these words? As a professional
service provider looking to grow your business, isn't it
sometimes frustrating to hold an initial session with someone
who you'd love to work with but the potential client has a
whole list of reasons why s/he would love to work with you,
but...?

As in, "I'd love to, but.."-"I can't afford it." Or "I'm not
sure if it will work for me." Or "I'm going to try to work on
it by myself and will get back to you."

Here are some tips and strategies for overcoming the dreaded
"I'd love to work with you, but..." syndrome. These are
gleaned from my own personal experience in building my
coaching business, as well as tips & strategies I learned in
the SalesCoachTraining.com program. I'm happy to share these
with you because I really believe it is much easier to run
your business when you can afford to do so because you have
enough clients who pay you well.

So, there are 10 steps to consider:

1) From the beginning, make sure your potential client has a
need for your service and can afford it. I can't tell you how
many times professionals hold a free consult, and then find
out, after the 30-45 minutes is over that the potential client
can't afford the service. It might sound a bit severe, but if
you're in business to make money, you need to make certain
you're spending your time in the most profitable ways.

2) Consider cutting down the length of your initial
consultations. When I first started out, I used to offer full
initial sessions of 45 minutes or more. Now I offer 10-15
minute sessions. Within this time frame I can tell if the
prospective client and I are a good match. If the client
doesn't sign up I won't feel bad or annoyed since I didn't
invest a great deal of time in the consult. If you are having
trouble converting initial consults into paying clients, it
may be because you're "giving away" too much at the beginning
and the client is not left wanting more.

3) Frame the call. At the start of the call, gently instruct
the client that at the end of the allotted time, they will be
called upon to make a choice about the next action. Help the
client recognize that you are happy to assist them in making a
decision and that you aren't tied to the outcome of their
decision. The simple words, "I'm here to help you make the
best decision for you and I'm not tied to any particular
outcome." have gone a long way to create trust rapidly and
easily.

4) Listen carefully. Spend the time with the client listening
"under the surface" for larger themes and bigger issues. Put
forward one or two insights that come from your deep
listening. Take care to avoid offering too many solutions or
too much advice.

5) Reflect back. Near the end of the allotted time, take a few
minutes to summarize what you heard and what the client sees
as desired goals. If appropriate, take this time to let the
client know how you've helped other clients with similar
concerns.

6) Take the lead. If you'd like to work with the client, say
so. Let him/her know that you really enjoyed spending time
with him/her today and you are excited about being able to
help him/her reach their goals.

7) Don't push. If a client asks for more time to make a
decision or wants more information give only as much time as
you are comfortable. It's good to ask in this case a question
like: "Is there anything more you would like to know about me
that would help make your decision easier or clearer?". In
this way, you keep the dialogue open and find out what
concerns the client may have.

8) Don't take it personally. If the client doesn't sign up,
despite your best attempts, let it go. Somehow s/he was not a
match for your business and this is ok. By going to shorter
consults you can do more of them in a day. Sometimes you do
have to go through a certain number of No's to get to Yes.

9) Avoid adjusting your prices. It's not worth it for you to
drop your prices just to get the client. I have had clients
ask for my fees and then say, "Wow. That's really high." In
the past, I would have responded back in some way. Now I just
agree. "Yes, they are." And, if applicable, I might follow up
by offering a product or group coaching option that might
better suit their financial constraints.

10) Practice and practice some more. Initial consults flow
more easily and proceed more satisfactorily the more you
practice them. Aim to make a lot of contacts and practice
these skills. You'll find your confidence and success grow
exponentially.

(c) 2003Article Submission, Dr. Rachna D. Jain. All Rights in All Media
Reserved.

Article Tags: Profit From Initial, Profit From, From Initial

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dr. Rachna D. Jain is a sales and marketing coach and
Director of Operations for SalesCoachTraining.com. To
learn more or contact Dr. Jain directly, please visit
http://www.salesandmarketingcoach.com, and sign up for
her free newsletter, Sales and Marketing Secrets.



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