If you are a coach or an entrepreneur who has private clients, this week’s marketing strategy is for you.
Many coaches and consultants that I have worked with in the past need help determining what tools, systems and processes they need to run a smooth coaching practice.
I have been a marketing coach since 2012, and trust me when I say that I have learned a lot about what it takes to run a coaching practice.
Check out this week’s marketing strategy to learn the eight things you need to run your coaching practice – from sales to testimonials!
Video Transcript – Jill Celeste – What You Need For Your Coaching Practice
Hey, everyone. It’s Jill Celeste from the Celestial Marketing Academy where I teach entrepreneurs all they need to know about marketing so they can become the director of marketing for their business. Today’s video strategy is geared for those of you who are coaches and consultants, and take on private one-on-one clients. I want to talk to you about what you need in your business as far as paperwork and software to help you run an effective coaching practice.
I’m going to share with you eight things that will help you make your coaching practice run more efficiently, allow you to really interact well with your clients, and make sure you stay seen during this process.
#1: Packages and pricing
The first thing you need are packages and pricing. Before you even try to recruit somebody into your coaching practice, you need to make sure you know how much you’re going to charge that person.
I recommend creating three packages. Two packages and then that third one being a maintenance package so that you have something to sell once their time with you is done. Now, it’s up to you and your business. Maybe do three-month packages, maybe do six-month packages, whatever that looks like for you but make sure you go ahead, discern what that’s going to be, and put on a word document that you can share with your perspective clients during the right time. You want to make sure you have all of that squared away from the beginning so that you have it in your sales toolbox. That’s the first thing.
#2: Online scheduler
I highly recommend you have some type of online scheduler. What this is is it allows people to click a link from your website into some type of calendar feature, and make you book your calls, your coaching calls or maybe your sales calls right there without that crazy back and forth email. Now, I use vCita but there are so many others out there – just look up on Google, “calendar online scheduler,” or check out what your peers are using and make sure that you use it.
I will say, this is a tool that you probably don’t want to go the free route because if you pay for an online scheduler, you’re going to get some more bells and whistles that will really help. For example, vCita sends reminder emails to my clients to let them know, “Hey, tomorrow, you have a phone call. You have a phone call in an hour.” That way, I don’t have to do it. Check out and make sure you use the best tool but I do recommend an online scheduler for your coaching practice.
#3: Payment processor
The third thing you need is a way to invoice and accept payments from people. Now, when I first started my coaching practice, I accepted payments exclusively through PayPal, and it worked great. I have no complaints about PayPal.
Now, because I want to do monthly payment plans and have things auto debit, if you will, or auto charge people’s credit cards, I have moved up to a credit card processor. I use Authorize.Net but again, there’s tons out there. You could even go to your local bank or credit union, and they inevitably will have a tool there for you but you want to make sure you have that in place so that you can accept payments.
Most people will pay by credit card or debit card so you want to make sure you have a processing system in place. If you are doing monthly payments, for example every month they’re paying you, you want to try to have that set up so that it automatically does that so you don’t have to try to invoice manually every month. That’s the third thing you should have.
#4: Process for introductory sales calls
The fourth thing you need to have a process for get-acquainted calls or introductory calls. Here’s what my process is, if someone is interested in talking to me on the phone about my coaching programs, they go and they click on the link to get to my online scheduler. It’s already pre-filled-in, they would just select the date and time, and go ahead and make that reservation with me. On the confirmation screen, there’s a link to a survey, and the perspective client will click on that link, and there’s about four to five questions I ask them. Things like what kind of business are they and how they’ve been marketing their business, what are their struggles, what do they hope to achieve within one year, those types of thing.
It gives me some background information before I even step foot in the call so that I really know if I can assist this person. I’ve gotten to the point now, if you don’t fill out your pre-call survey, I’ll actually reschedule your call because I need that information so desperately. Set up a survey. You do through Survey Monkey. I use InfusionSoft because that’s what I have for my CRM. There’s a survey function on that. Whatever works best for you but create a four or five-question survey, and have people fill that out before your call so you have time to evaluate it.
Another piece of this process is to make sure you have some type of sales script, something written out in advance that helps you keep the flow of the call, making sure you’re asking the right questions, making sure you’re setting it up so that people will easily buy your program if it feels like a right fit. I actually in the beginning of this process, I’ve had it on a piece of paper right next to me while I was on the phone, and I would just follow it. Now, because I’ve done so many, it’s ingrained to my head but I do recommend a standard script to follow for you so that you can make sure you get all those points during those sales calls.
#5: New client on-boarding process
Next thing, number five, is the on-boarding process. This is when the clients says, “Yes, I want to work with you.” What does that process look like? Usually, that concludes contracts, getting the payment information. You may want to have a welcome letter or welcome packet, and those are really important because it help set the boundaries. For example, what is your policy for missed calls? What is your policy for late calls? What is your policy if they never scheduled a call for you? What is your refund policy? What is your email policy?
Have all that in one documents that can be sent to your client right away so they know those boundaries because people love boundaries, believe it or not, and that way they’ll know right from the beginning how they can interact with you. Think about your on-boarding process, what you do to bring your client on board, what documents you want to present to them to make that transition very easy.
#6: Sales follow-up process
Then, you also would like to have a sales follow-up process. For those folks you did the call with, and they’re like, “I need some more time. I don’t have the money,” how are you going to follow up with those people? How are you going to keep them on your list of follow-ups to check in with them through email, send a gift, phone calls, however your sales process looks like. Establish a process. Establish certain times of the week that you’re going to do that. Establish how you’re going to reach out to that person. Do all of that. Get that down to a process. It becomes very automated for you and then, becomes easier to stick to.
#7: Testimonial process
The seventh thing I want to talk to you about is a testimonial process. What a lot of entrepreneurs do is they wait until the end of the contract to ask for a testimonial, and I want to encourage you not to do that. The time to get a testimonial from your client is when they’re in the midst of working with you. If, especially, they had a big win or some type of thing that really went well for them as a result of your coaching, that’s the time to go in and ask for testimonial. Make sure when you ask for testimonials that you really get a before and after scenario from your client. Before I worked with Jill, my marketing was a disorganized mess. Now, as a result of working with Jill, I have a marketing plan and I know exactly how I can work at my business. Those are good types of testimonials.
What do I do, again, I use a survey, a feature. I ask four or five questions through that same survey. I email it out to my clients. I ask them very nicely if they would do it for me. Most, because they’re happy with my service and we’re still working together, are happy to oblige. Consider some type of testimonial process that doesn’t occur at the end of the contract because that’s when you’re going to get the best testimonials.
#8: Client off-boarding process
Speaking at the end of the contract, the last step, number eight, is what is your off-boarding process? Because some folks may not need to work with you after that time, what do you do to easily transition them away from your coaching? Maybe share notes that you’ve captured during your coaching calls, a thank you gift, setting them up as an affiliate – whatever that looks like for you. Determine what your off-boarding process will be before your clients reach that point because then, you’ll have that leverage there to really maybe get them to sign on a maintenance package or maybe sign into some other type of program you have, or just wish them well and have them be a great referral source for you.
I know there was a lot of information in this video. All eight steps are in the transcript, and I hope that helps you think about what you need for your coaching process to be successful as it relates to client relations, sales, follow-ups, and testimonials. If you need any additional marketing help, come on over to my website at jillceleste.com. Until next time. Here’s to your marketing success and have a great day.