(Well… How can any coach help anyone really…)
Original post: Maria Marsala (2 May 2018)
While I’m a big proponent of niching, like you, I’d like to help everyone. And in this article, I’ll show you how to do that in a way that doesn’t drain you as you “try” to help someone. The goal, for me, as I believe for you, would be to give the person what they need to eventually become a client.
See if this sounds familiar.
You want to help everyone who comes your way. You don’t want to leave anyone out.
However, over time, I’ve learned, as I’m guessing that some of you reading this have learned, we just can’t help everyone. And in some cases, I’m 200% sure I can’t help someone.
And it’s not because they don’t want help.
Here’s what I’ve noticed about people I can’t help.
- Have you dealt with any of these scenarios the first or 2nd time you speak to a prospect?
- Or maybe a few months after they become a client?
From what they say, questions they don’t answer, or a number of canceled appointments (already), it’s evident the prospect doesn’t really want help or doesn’t want to change. What they seem to want is a quick fix without doing the necessary work.
In my work as a coach, sometimes, a prospect comes to me who really needs therapy or a 12-step program but won’t go, and having a coach sounds classier.
They don’t have time to do what’s necessary for you to help them, and you’ll hear how busy, busy, busy they are all the time. (Even if you give them “happy homework” to do that could help them make the time, you’ll hear excuses.)
They want YOU to do the work for them. Sure, we all know it’s impossible to create a life, business, or marketing plan for a client without their input; plus, you set yourself up for problems or a lawsuit when you do it all for them.)
They didn’t or wouldn’t complete your initial online new client application. (Even after you give it to them in a format they can complete, you don’t get it back.)
They have excuses on why they can’t (or didn’t) do some basic things to help themselves with their situation. Or maybe it takes months to get you the paperwork you need to do the next step.
They don’t have the money to pay for services. (In actuality, they do, but things like getting a new car, floor for the dining room, new furniture for their office, etc. take priority.) They don’t realize that in order to change, in this case, make their business more successful, they need to be willing to give up something(s) before reaching that bigger goal.
I’ve had to deal with all these costly scenarios in the past (almost) 20 years. And when I talk to advisors, most of the above rings true for them, too.
How Do You Notice Red Flag People?
For many years, I didn’t. I took on new clients just because they wanted help, I knew I could help them, and they could pay me. But sometimes, I noticed that, although they wanted help, RED flag people weren’t yet ready for the help.
Here’s what I started noticing…
- If a prospect calls, instead of completing my application online, after reading my website it’s a RED flag.
- If, when I ask them my Initial Meeting questions, I hear lots of excuses (i.e., they are not taking responsibility for their current personal or business issues) it’s a RED flag.
- If they say they don’t have the funds to pay me what my services are worth to them and their firm, it’s a RED flag.
- If what they want from me is all the answers or my resources — for free, it’s a RED flag.
- If they don’t treat me with “human” respect, it’s a RED flag.
- If they think they’re going to be able to double or triple their income in just a few months, it’s a RED flag.
- If they submit the documentation I need to help them with, not in a reasonable amount of time, it’s a RED flag.
- If they rush the process or push the process, it’s a RED flag.
The good thing is, that with time, some of these RED flags can be turned around. Not now of course, but being an optimist, hopefully, they will turn themselves around in the near future.
Give Them Resources
My first financial professional-client had a great way to help people he couldn’t yet help.
First, he asked for permission to put them on his email list.
He created a Resource Brochure. It was branded in his colors and included his contact information etc. It included a short paragraph about the type of clients he worked with. The rest of the pages included a local resource guide to professionals who helped his current clients (lawyers, CPA, bookkeepers, mortgage lenders, etc.), and on the last page of his brochure, he included a page of books to read, CDs to listen to, and links to websites he enjoyed. Now, these resources were NOT all financial. They were also motivational.
If they read the books he recommended, took action on what was in his newsletter, and listened to some of the CDs, etc., chances were that they’d eventually BE one of his clients.
He did it in a way that was not salesy.
How I Do It
When someone contacts me and wants information on becoming a coach, as they so often do, I send them to this page on my website with lots of coaching resources — articles as well as coaching schools to research.
You can do the same for people who are looking for information on becoming a financial advisor.
When someone completes my complimentary Intake Form and isn’t my ideal client or isn’t ready for coaching in one way or another (I ask questions on my form to see if they are) I send them to my online Resource Page and I ask them for written permission (via email) to add them on my newsletter.
So… what are you waiting for? Create a process to help people that you’re unable to help by preparing them to be a client in the future.
- 2018 Elevating Your Business: Coach Maria Marsala