Let’s keep Glenn’s Money Making Secret count going:
What’s #4? “The Paid Consultation as Your First Business Contact”
This one’s a tough one to embrace because it goes entirely against the norm and makes a lot of potential customers mad.
But it accomplishes three things:
- First and foremost it protects your time (and/or your sales people’s time) from ambivalent or unqualified prospects.
- Second, it dramatically increases closing ratios, because you’re only speaking with people proven willing to give you money to start with. (I’m talking about 500% to 1,000% increase in my personal experience)
- Third, it protects the customer from purchasing things they’re not really ready to purchase, and/or things they’re not qualified to purchase.
- Fourth, it protects your business from unhappy customers (particularly important for service businesses)
Take my coaching salesletter for example. (Click here to open in a new window so you can read along with the commentary)
With some frequency I get people who request FREE time to discuss their situation and see if it’s a good fit. They usually say they’ve read my letter, but object to paying before speaking with me (or Ryan). The vast majority of coaches, they say, would consider it very BAD business to require payment before the first consultation. In fact, they don’t know ANY other coach who would insist upon this.
While I respect their decision, I stick to my guns.
You see, the vast majority of coaches HAVE TO spend their time developing business with free consultations whenever they can get them because they don’t really know how to market themselves.
But when you DO have the deal flow in volume, I’ve simply found it ineffective to offer time for free to a customer in ANY circumstance (other than the research phase of a business). If you read the coaching salesletter, you’ll see I’ve actually set it up to try and dissuade all but the most well fit people from the program.
Because I’ve found if people don’t really already know that this is the right system for them, and we’re the right coaches, it’s an uphill battle to get them to actually embrace the work and take our direction.
There are literally dozens of turns and events within my system where the student needs to go against typical practices and engage in what their friends, family, and colleagues would perceive as a crazy way to do business.
And there’s no guarantee of success, even then.
So everyone winds up unhappy.
I worked really hard to develop the deal-flow to allow me to take this contrarian position because I believe it’s the only one which works for everyone concerned. Otherwise you wind up with a kind of “revolving door” practice with a lot of ambivalent and unhappy people who just pay for a few months at a high rate and then drop out.
Long story short, I thoroughly understand when a customer wishes to find another coach or work with another system given our philosophies and business practices.
Because if they’re not confident enough in what we’ve presented to commit to a refundable first month, then the odds are they’re not quite ready to work with us anyway, and we’d get a bad result for them.
There’s nothing at all wrong with people for choosing not to proceed under these circumstances. I respect that as a perfectly reasonable position and wish them the best.
(NOTE: I’m also not trying to maximize profitability in the coaching program, I’m trying to surround myself with people who embrace my systems successfully. They’re much more valuable to me both business wise and personally than the extra income from not-so-well-fit additional students. This makes the “Paid Consult as Your First Contact” even more important)
I used a similar process when building Rocket Clicks. All sorts of people wanted to get some free time to see if it was right for them. And were incredibly annoyed at having to pay for the (refundable) consult.
But I diligently I did the work to build an effective salesletter and follow up system to drive people to a paid consultation. And while most PPC salespeople would report a closing ratio of 10% or so, we had our pick of the litter (about 80% of those we wanted to take on as a client after the consultation could be sold)
How can YOU free your time, increase your closing ratio, and grow your business with the Paid Consultation as the First Business Contact?
Love to hear your examples below,
Dr. G 🙂
Hyperresponsive Marketing Secrets | Coaching