For consultants and coaches, the simplest and most lucrative way to get new clients is by offering a free consultation. Offering a free 45-minute consultation will give you a great opportunity to demonstrate how you can help them solve their problem. I am a big fan of this strategy, as it is the main way that I have converted people into new high-paying private clients.
Having been in sales for over 30 years, I have made many mistakes conducting the “Free Consultation” and learned many things NOT to do. So, I am going to share with you are some of the things I have learned that have really helped me increase my conversions.
Here are three fatal mistakes that most people make when doing their free consultations:
Fatal mistake #1: Not using a template and “winging it”.
Using a script or template to keep you in an organized flow of the conversation will ensure the highest rate of conversion of potential clients into paying clients. I realize that in the beginning of using a template, it can seem inauthentic and stilted. But just like learning any new skill, you must practice using it. If you do 10 consultations using the template you will feel much more comfortable with it. If you make it your goal to master the free consultation, you must do 100 of them and get the words in your bones. Not using a template is the fastest way to tank your sales.
Fatal Mistake #2: Failing to set the context for the conversation at the beginning of the call
When you do not set the tone for the consultation in the beginning of the call, you will lose control of the conversation rather quickly. Potential clients can often take you on a wild ride talking about anything they want before you ever get a chance to connect deeply to their problem and how you might help them.
The best way around this is to start out at the very beginning by saying:
“Here’s a little bit of how this is going to go… I’m going to ask you some questions to help you get very clear about exactly where you are right now and what you want for the future. Then I will share with you some reflections and feedback that I think will help you to achieve your goals. And finally we will talk some more about whether or not us working together might be a good fit for you. How does that sound?”
Fatal Mistake #3: Not asking for the money.
This is the most commonly overlooked item even though it is the most important. You must ask them to pay you. I know that sounds obvious, but more than 80% of the time we are not asking to be paid. Unless you ask for a deposit right there and then, and explain how they can work with you, they are not going to pay you.
A simple solution to this is to write out exactly what your offer is, how much the deposit is, what all the payments are, and how you take payments. Be prepared to take their credit card right over the phone. Don’t make the mistake of fumbling around trying to figure out how much to charge while they are sitting there saying “Yes”. Anticipate their “Yes” and be ready.
If you address these 3 fatal mistakes in your free consultations you will significantly increase the number of people converting into clients and you will be making a lot more money! Get ready.