As some of you know, I’ve been writing my upcoming book for coaches behind the scenes.
I’ve just finished an unedited chapter about my journey to prosperity as a coach. I thought you might enjoy it and find it useful for your own coaching practice.
I would love to hear your insights upon reading it.
With love and appreciation,
Coach and Author of Sweet Sharing – Rediscovering the REAL You
CHAPTER 58 – YOU DON’T NEED TO RUSH TO “CLOSE” A CLIENT
There is a seminal scene in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross where Alex Baldwin’s character is telling salesmen that they are fired and they have one week to get their jobs back. They complain about the leads they have and he dishes out some hard-hitting sales advice including the acronym ABC which stands for Always Be Closing. He was encouraging the salesmen to do whatever it took to close the sales they were after. It was a pure numbers game.
I didn’t operate like Alec Baldwin in that movie nor had any desire to be like that but I felt excited when a prospective client signed up. Once they did I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardise the sale. I used to tread on proverbial eggshells until the money came into my account. I wish that my tentative approach only applied to coaching clients but if I was honest with myself I was quite tentative in many areas of my life with my mind racing to the worst outcome. For example, when I got a job offer, my mind would imagine them changing their mind and pulling the offer. Or if I got a date with a pretty girl, I would imagine her not turning up and saying she made a mistake.
I hadn’t yet seen in this instance that my thinking was pure just that. Thoughts – random and unconnected to reality. They weren’t a reflection of what was happening or a predictor of the future and so I didn’t need to tread carefully based on fearful thinking about what may never happen.
Steve Chandler told me about his coach, Steve Hardison who would hand people’s cheque back when they had paid him $150,000. He would want to clarify a few things before continuing such as the fact there were no refunds and if the client changed their mind, their fee would be donated to charity because he didn’t want to give them a financial incentive to quit. He had other requirements such as prioritising the sessions and not being late.
Steve encouraged me to slow down when a client was close to signing up with me. This wasn’t a moment to follow the ABC approach but instead, ensure that this was something they really wanted to do and understood what they were signing up to. This felt super edgy and uncomfortable at first but I saw just how logical it was.
If a client was not really fully committed to the coaching process, it wouldn’t result in the best outcome for them and it would be more difficult for me. It would always be better for me to know upfront if a client didn’t want to work with me as opposed to trying to close the sale and then dancing around the client until they paid. The paradox was as I started to slow down in my enrolment calls and especially towards the part of the conversations where the client wanted to sign up, the more keen the prospective clients were to sign up. There were a few who didn’t sign up but I realised they wouldn’t have signed up anyway. It became so much simpler and in hindsight, this applies to every area of my life. Whenever I am not imagining I will get certain feelings from a particular outcome, slowing down is a logical step. After all, this is a relationship game and not a numbers game.