By Scott Messer
Hello coaches, this is the first of a series of posts on how ICF-certified coaches can become more proficient in doing the thing that drives their practices further, fastest, yet is often the most uncomfortable part of coaching, new client acquisition.
These posts have less relevance for internal company coaches, but you’ll find value in between the lines; not what is written on the page, but what the thought behind it is.
As a Sales leader, trainer and coach for over 30 years, I’ve noticed some basic, standard mental blocks all salespeople- oops, business developers (I know you don’t want to be considered a salesperson, even though that is what you are when talking to prospects). Here are a few:
- - Credibility: You don’t think you have enough experience or subject-matter expertise
- - Impostor Syndrome: You don’t believe you are as good as they think you are, and you’re afraid of being found out
- - “I don’t like to sell”: Sales is a profession, like any other, and you don’t know what selling really is or how to do it
There are many other blocks, but let’s start out with these three.
A client, a person with 30-years of experience at the C-level at two multi-billion corporations, and a history of achievement, was going into consulting as a second act, and needed to learn how to sell his services. The first thing he asked was how to establish his credibility as a consultant? Let that sink in for a moment. He didn’t think he had any credibility. What is your experience and history of success? Pretty good, right? Here’s the big takeaway for Credibility:
The only reason prospects speak with you is because they think you can help them. Therefore, you have credibility.
“I know I’m good, but I’m not that good and they’re going to find me out.” Big-time head trash. You are the only person who hears the voice in your head, no one else. Coach yourself and don’t listen to the voice! Unlock those locks and break the mental chains, and set yourself free. Here’s the big takeaway for Impostor Syndrome:
Yes, you are that good, or they wouldn’t think you could help them, and as long as you know more than them and how to reach them, you are more than good enough.
“I don’t like to sell”:
Doctor, lawyer, plumber, carpenter, coach. These are all professions that are made up of people who know their craft, and business development is a piece of all of it. The people at the top of their field know how to attract and win clients. That is what sales is about, and they know how to do it. Successful people don’t like doing the things unsuccessful people don’t like to do, but they learn how to do them.
Most people’s idea of what sales is about comes from the movies or experiences with bad, untrained salespeople. Good news for you, it is nothing like that, not at all. The focus of a bad salesperson is on what they want and how to trick, trap or snare their prospect; the spotlight is on them. They “wing it”, with no real process to follow.
Professional salespeople know that people buy for their reasons, not the salesperson’s (kind of sounds like coaching, doesn’t it?), and keep the spotlight shining on the prospect. As I like to say, discover their dream and let them buy it back from you. Professionals in any field follow a process, and so it is in sales. Do you have a process? For that matter, do you know what a sales process is? Takeaway:
You can be fabulous at what you do, but if you don’t know how to bring in clients, so what, and now that you know it, what are you going to do about it?
Scott Messer, Sales Evolution CEO
Scott’s career as a business coach and entrepreneur spans over 25 years.
Scott has an uncanny ability to cut through the static and get to the real issues in difficult coaching situations. His ability to understand personal motivation is why so many clients turn to him for coaching when confronted with those really tough issues that need resolved. Coaching Evolution is based around his 30+ years of coaching and sales experience, and recognizing that people do things for their reasons, not for anyone else’s.
He can be reached at (610) 662-3199 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him at www.linkedin.com/in/scottmesser