If you offer a free consultation to get more clients, you may have any one of these problems:
- Getting people to book sessions
- Getting people to show up for sessions
- Making a sale from the consultation
Then there’s what if you don’t make a sale at the consultation, if that was the purpose of it, what you do next with that lead.
Stop the Anti-Sales Chatter
Let’s be clear that I totally understand none of us wants to be salesy, pushy or sleazy. So, since I didn’t even mention that ‘til now, I want you to do a selfcheck here on how you even feel about this whole episode title and the topic of sales. Unless you’re going to work for someone else, and even then, if you can’t sell, you’ll never be in charge of your own destiny. People who can sell, run the world. The people you can help need to buy your services.
Improving your success at any step of your consultations will help your business. Improve your success at every step will boost your business significantly.
>>If you aren’t a part of a mastermind or a sales and marketing strategy group so you review: how you get leads
- how you convert leads to customers
- how you get more value from every customer
- how you renew and keep customers
- how you get more new customers from current customers
…it’s time to be sure this is a part of your business, every week. The earlier in your business you start, the sooner you realize, if you didn’t ask anybody to become a client today, no one can say yes.
Before you even take any of the suggestions I’ll list in this episode, I highly recommend that you start tracking your statistics. Look at your insights. Listen, you can do that on a platform like Facebook or Instagram that you don’t even own, so if you’re not looking at every move you make in your own business, what are you doing?
Track these things:
- Number of consultations booked
- Number of consultations conducted
- Number of sales from consultations
- Number of sales from prior consultations
- Number of “no” at consultations
- Reasons for every missed sale
- Number of total sales
You or Your Team?
If you personally don’t do every – or any – free consultation to get new clients for your business track anyone on your team who does.
Should they be? Or should they have additional training? Average closing percentages in the business are about 40% for consultations. But if you do a good job of preparing people before they get there, I believe they should never be lower than 50%.
Look, most of us did not go to school to learn sales, or persuasive language, or copywriting. I’ll bet that the courses and continuing education that you’re taking are all about conditions, and training strategies, or joints, or something you feel lacking in as opposed to something that will help you get the clients you want to train with that knowledge.
Don’t be the best kept most educated secret.
It takes sales: do well at marketing and the sales is easy
If you’re not a part of a group of people supporting you to grow your business, your profit and identify how to keep the money you make by being smarter about expenses – so that you don’t out-educate yourself, instead of marketing yourself, find a way to fix that. If you want to be in charge of your own future, and the revenue and profit you make, you know how to sell. You’re good at it and you enjoy it. If you’re not there you can learn. It’s the path to helping people. If you have a money relationship that is damaged, you’ve got to fix it and that’s another episode.
If I could have shared that message in thousands of trainers that I’ve met from university teaching, managing personal training department, and presenting internationally, it would be that. Yes, of course, you’re passionate about the workouts and the learning more as you should be, but the presenters you envy and love … don’t even have the life and freedom you want. Make sure you’re following someone who both loves their life and has built the business.
Is a free consultation to get clients a good idea?
It is if it works. But look closely at who books and how long they’ve followed you and been looking. A free consultation is a big, huge, first step for someone who is intimidated, feels like a failure, and doesn’t want to be judged. So that leaves about 15% of the population who are already quick decision makers and they’re ready that will be most likely to book a session.
If you’re not careful with them, you could talk them out of it. They’re already annoyed that they can’t get started and couldn’t figure out how to buy what they wanted.
So, it’s clear you have to be clear. What is your objective for the free consultation? And what is the message you send the potential customer about this free consultation? If you don’t send them a message about this being the time when they decide WHICH way they’re going to work with you and take care of all the details of getting enrolled, but that’s what you intend? Then they may expect a free session that will show them what they need and how to workout so they can do it on their own.
Imagine how they feel if they don’t get that. Not likely that if you shock them at the session and there’s no exercise, or assessment, that they don’t get what they wanted they’re going to be excited about working with you after that.
Imagine instead that you’ve asked exactly what they want at the session, so that you can give it to them. What if you share with them the exact process of how the meeting happens and the objective, and what they’ll leave with before the meeting. Then you remind them of how you’ll spend time during the consultation during the first few minutes, and then you summarized the session at the end. How will they feel after a session like that?
If you’re nodding your head, you get it. We all like to know. Clear expectations make a huge difference in our satisfaction of an experience. So, those big signs and invitations for a free consultation with a trainer or a health coach or nutritionist are a big mistake. Give them some description. Start with who this is for, who it’s not for, what you’ll learn, and what you’ll take away.
10 Parts of a Free Consultation to Get Clients
1 Free vs Fee
Paid – flat
Paid – and applied to first purchase
2 Preview & Screen
A survey before they can book
You’ll contact if they don’t arrive on time
The way these sessions go…
The more they talk the better
If I could …
Would you like help with that…
Would you like my help with that?
Take care of the details
Here’s what to expect next
Many of my customers ask to add ___, do you want to do that too? If you’d like to I’ll add that for ____ off. Or you can get it later, if you want to think about it, at the regular rate.
8 Follow Up – immediate
Same day for either a thank you, or for the links to complete transaction
9 Follow Up – a couple days
A down sell for those that didn’t purchase and a check in for those that did
It wasn’t the right time to do ____, I do have this group/program, starting and I have some spots left, and I thought of you
10 Follow Up – long term nurture
Is now a better time?
Are you still interested?
There you have it the free consultation process.