Why Rushing your Clients could be Scaring them off
My first big live event “Selling from the Heart Live” at the weekend went fabulously. We had 70 lovely heart-centred women and men all learning how to sell and attract clients in a way that feels authentic and comfortable for everyone involved – No red arrows and shouty “buy-now” buttons on your website, or talking at people until they are reversing fast away from you. Just a genuine belief in the value you have to offer, a clear way to communicate that value and authentic sales conversations that feel comfortable for everyone involved.
One of the important themes that I talked about a lot is the importance of allowing your clients space and time to develop trust in you before you ask them to buy your main programme or package. I hear so many people who find networking frustrating because they don’t get clients instantly – but that is going into it with a whole set of wrong expectations.
It is a common saying in internet marketing that customers need an average of 7 “contact points” with you before they buy. Now offline it may be less than 7 but people still need to work through a process of developing a sense of trust and familiarity with you before they’ll make a significant investment – is is a natural part of our psychology and how we feel safe in the world.
So, this means that when you go networking, don’t go with the intention of “getting a client”. Instead think of it a bit like dating, you are going out there to start getting to know people and to start developing relationships that will lead to business somewhere down the line. Not necessarily today. It is when you go networking with the intention – or even worse the need – to get a client today, that you risk coming across as pushy and putting the potential client off – even if they would be delighted to work with you if guided through a process that feels comfortable for them.
So rather than asking someone to go from ‘stranger’ to ‘paying client’ in one step, find ways that they can build trust over a series of smaller steps. I call these Orbits. When your ideal client first hears of you they go from complete stranger to being a bit interested in what you do thinking “Oh, that’s interesting, I might be interested in talking to you one day”. In other words they enter your “Outer Orbit”. They then gradually move closer to you, developing trust and interest with each new contact with you. Until they are ready to get really close and say “I’m ready to have a sales conversation with you”. In other words they enter your “Inner Orbit”.
Yes, you might get lucky and meet someone who becomes a client instantly (they will have been thinking about it for a while), but more often people need to stay circling you in these orbits, coming closer over time.
It is why it’s so important that you give interested clients a way of maintaining that connection over time. Through including them in your newsletter, sending them regular tips and information of value, offering and attending networking events and conferences regularly so that you become a familiar face and get to be known as the ‘go to’ expert for your field.
Even if you feel that someone may be ready to work with you more quickly, I still recommend adding some steps into your sales process designed to build trust and familiarity.
So for example if you meet someone networking, don’t call them up straight away and ask if they want to work with you. Instead follow up from your meeting with an email, ideally including something of value where they can get to know more about what you do – maybe a report, or a short video series.
Then have a short 5-15 minutes ‘getting to know’ you type call. And in that call recommend that they book a 1-1 consultation to discover whether working with you could be the best solution for them.
The client will be much more likely to say “Yes please!” and commit to work with you at that consultation if they have had a number of contact points with you first.
I hope you’ve found this useful and it gets you thinking about the steps in your own sales process.