How do you convert coaching leads to clients during your free consultation? You’ve done all the correct work of creating valuable content, and reaching out to generate leads, and now they are interested. But, for some reason, you only hear crickets after your free consultation with them.
For successful business development, your sales conversation needs to hit the mark. But how do you master your first conversation with a potential client (a.k.a. lead) so you leave a lasting impression that turns lurkers into fans and converts coaching leads to committed clients?
Attract Leads to a Free Consultation Before Converting Coaching Leads To Clients
Before you can have the opportunity for a conversation with a coaching lead, you need to make sure they can find you. There are several ways of doing this. A great way to do that is by sharing your expertise. You have several options here:
A landing page draws a person to your coaching service. This can be on a third-party platform like Noomii or Thumbtack or via your website. We have created an in-depth article covering everything you need to create a great website, including a website design checklist.
Your landing page should include information about who you serve, what your typical client looks like, and the challenges they are facing. An excellent landing page will resonate with prospects in your target group if it “hits a nerve” by addressing these challenges. You can use a worksheet to identify your coaching niche in six steps for better clarity on who you serve and how you need to articulate your offers to the right buyer personas.
Show how your coaching addresses these points. Include a professional photograph of yourself, testimonials from those who you have successfully coached, and a call-to-action (CTA). CTAs tell your visitors what the next steps are, for example, prompts like “book now” or “schedule a free call.”
You can also embed CTAs like “book a free consultation” on your blog. This way, an article from you that resonates well with clients will provide a direct opportunity to get in touch with you.
How to Connect With Leads On A Free Consultation Call
1 – Prepare Your Free Consultation
In a nutshell, free consultation in coaching is a call –ranging between 15 minutes and 60 minutes. Your client provides an introduction of what leads them to look for a coach at this time. You introduce yourself and answer questions your potential client may have.
Some free consultations include a brief sample of coaching to showcase what coaching would look like with you. Whether you include this or not, you need to clarify what you offer and listen well to your prospects to understand what they are looking for.
Before the call, take the time to prepare:
- What do you need to know from the potential client?
- What information do you need to provide?
- What should happen when the call ends?
- Will you share pricing before, during, or after the call?
There should be a natural flow to the call, and you’ll want to ensure a focused conversation to understand your client’s needs. At the end of the call, be sure that you have met their expectations for the call, which requires that you listen well – more on that next.
2 – Listen First
Keep the free consultation specific to the needs of the interested person. Ask first about their needs before going into a presentation or pitch of what you offer. This consultation is about them, first.
Ask clarifying questions if needed. Make sure you understand your coaching lead’s challenges before sharing how you can help. Repeat what they have said to you about their needs to ensure you have correctly understood them and to build trust. This will allow you to explain your services contextually. The better you can connect your coaching services to your prospective client’s needs, the more likely you will have a great free consultation that will convert coaching leads to clients.
The more you listen and ask discovery questions to learn about the client’s needs, the higher your likelihood to be relevant to the client as you articulate how your coaching helps the client.
Listen more than you explain. This conversation is first about the client, and second about you. Put the client at the center and hold your tongue until you understand the concerns and needs of your client well enough to create a relatable response that shows the client that you understand them and can signal them that you can help. The best prompt is one created by the coaching lead when they ask you directly to explain if and how you could help them.
3 – Consider Offering a Gift
By offering something of value to your prospect, you can show what you bring to the table. It is also an effective and widely used sales tool because we are wired to return favors – not any favor, but meaningful favors. So, think of the value you can offer to your potential client here. You don’t have to give away everything you’ve worked so hard to create. Think about something most of your clients need and create a lead magnet. Many businesses provide lead magnets as free downloads in exchange for an email address or a phone consultation.
To come up with ideas for the needs of your clients and what they are looking for, consider using audience research tools like Answer The Public. Type in a keyword you want to represent, a topic you specialize in, and explore what options come up. It will tell you what your ideal client is looking for and what they are typing into the search engine to find you.
Alternatively, you can compile a list of helpful information you can send as a follow-up after the free consultation. As a Health Coach, this may be a recipe or food list. As a Career Coach, this may be a template, a checklist, or a list of resources. In some cases, your lead magnet could even serve as a worksheet for events or to be used during your free consultation to map out a rough plan that your leads can use to work with you. This is a great way to give them an idea of what you can do together – with a customized roadmap!
4 – Call to Action
One of the most overlooked aspects of free consultations is closing the call with a prompt or request. You may not like the “sales” aspect of the conversation because you don’t want to be pushy. Remember that your potential customer called because they have a need and are interested! If the consultation showed that you are an excellent match for the client’s expressed needs, it is only natural to talk about the terms of working together.
Everyone has a different communication style. So, you may have to experiment with different ways of having this part of the conversation so it sounds natural to your style of communication and personality. Map out a few alternatives and practice them.
5 – Create a Script
To prepare yourself for the conversation and increase your chances to convert coaching leads to clients create a guide or a “script” that helps you organize your call. A script enables you to divide the time on the free consultation call and outline the options you offer.
A ‘script’ does not mean you have to read from the page, nor should you. You’re not a robot. A script helps you to internalize the conversation so you can be in the moment, authentic, natural, and not caught up in hesitation and uncertainty because you don’t know what to say or how to say it. This includes “the money conversation” where you will sooner or later have to answer the question about the price you charge.
Not preparing for this will make you sound even more awkward when you are caught off guard, perhaps rambling, or becoming nervous. Those behaviors reduce trust on the other side. Practice will help you to improve so you can convert coaching leads without sounding like a robot or a call center rep.
Example of a Free Consultation “Script”
Again, you don’t read from the script. Internalize it so you are familiar with the flow, the typical questions, and the structure of services and pricing you offer so you are ready to provide this information when the time comes. You can use the example below as a starting point and modify it for your own needs. See it as a conversation script template, not a final solution. Make it your own and fit it to your style.
[CLIENT]: Hi, this is Emily. I am calling about the coaching. Is this a good time?
[COACH]: Hi Emily. So great to speak with you. What leads you to look for a coach in this area at this time?
[CLIENT]: Yes, thank you for asking. I have been spinning my wheels, I guess. [Client goes on to explain their challenges…]
[COACH]: That sounds challenging. [Coach continues to reflect what s/he has heard and how coaching will address these challenges.]
[COACH]: It sounds like the coaching will be a great fit to help you through those challenges so that you won’t be spinning your wheels anymore. Do you agree?
[CLIENT]: Yes, I do.
[COACH]: Great. I do offer different options for coaching with me. Would you like to hear them?
[CLIENT]: Yes, that would be helpful.
My first option is a _________ package for $__________.
As option B, I offer _____________ at the rate of __________.
Which one of these do you prefer?
[CLIENT]: Is it possible to switch between these options?
[COACH]: Great question. Yes, that is possible at any time. Just give me at least a ____hour heads-up, and we’ll switch you over to the other option. Which one do you prefer to start with?
[CLIENT]: I’d like to start with option A.
[COACH]: Wonderful. I’ll have that set up for you today if you can share your email address with me.
[CLIENT]: Of course. Please use (email)@gmail.com.
[COACH]: And what card would you want to use for your payments?
[CLIENT]: Please use _____.
Convert Coaching Leads to Clients In Summary
What keeps your coaching business alive is the creation of leads and the ability to convert coaching leads to paying clients. Successful coaches are effective communicators who can relate well to others, and your conversion rate is proof of that.
In summary, to convert coaching leads to clients, you need to first find a way to attract coaching leads and get them interested in speaking with you. A great way to do that is by sharing your expertise through webinars, speaking events, podcasts, articles or blog posts, and lead magnets like white papers or checklists.
You will then have to provide a way for those interested in more information or in working with you to know where to go to speak with you. A landing page is often a way coaches achieve this. Another option is to simply set up an appointment booking page via Book Like A Boss, TidyCal, Calendly, or other providers.
You will also have to map out the flow of your free consultation call to prepare yourself for the conversation and increase your chances to convert coaching leads into customers. To do this, create a guide or a “script” that helps you organize your call. A script helps you to internalize the conversation so you can be in the moment, authentic, natural, and not caught up in hesitation and uncertainty because you don’t know what to say or how to say it. Practice will help you to improve so you can build trust and convert coaching leads without sounding like a robot or a call center rep.
Tweak the sales conversion steps we have provided until this works for you. Don’t be shy to ask for help. We have a Business Clinic (closed/private group that is not using public social media) and get help for specific challenges you are facing. Don’t be shy or feel embarrassed to share your challenges. We talk about lead generation for coaches, client management solutions, business automation, scaling your coaching business, how to create coaching programs, how to create newsletters, how to write emails clients will open (!), and so much more.
The coaches who join these Business Clinics all face similar challenges as you as they build their businesses – we’re all learning and growing. The Business Clinic is not a webinar or self-serve training. It’s hands-on interaction between you, your peers, and the expert hosts leading it. You bring your challenge and we’ll work through it right then and there, together.
It’s essential to keep at it. Refine, practice, and don’t give up!