Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Kevin Oubridge (United Kingdom).
WHAT’S YOUR TARGET MARKET?
Everybody knows that successful marketing is about keeping your options open. You offer a wide range of services to as wide a target market as possible, meaning you sell more of your coaching services. It stands to reason. Except that this notion is profoundly wrong! The way to keep your options open, particularly for sole-traders, is to be very specific about who you work with and how you can help them. This helps you come up with a meaningful value proposition or elevator pitch, from which you develop all your marketing messages.
When you are clear who you are marketing to, you can decide where and how to connect with them, how to engage them in conversation about your service and how to convert them to genuine prospects and, ultimately, to paying clients. Your marketing has real purpose and direction and you win business. What’s more, it’s the sort of business you want, because it’s what you set out to win in the first place.
When you are not clear who you are marketing to, you undertake all sorts of marketing activity with very little to show for your efforts. And any business you do win may not be quite what you’re looking for. Ever ended up delivering a couple of workshops or taken on associate work or linked up with others to tender for work that never came off. It might bring a bit of money in, it certainly keeps you busy, but it’s not what you set up your business for.
To succeed in your coaching business you must know who you are marketing to.
Statistics show that people who follow up with potential clients win far more business than people who don’t. 80% of the available business is won by people who connect with potential clients 5 to 12 times. Despite this widely accepted statistic, 90% of people give up on selling their product or service after 1, 2 or 3 connections. Broadly speaking this means 10% of people share 80% of the available business and 90% have to make do with the scraps, the 20% left over. Are you one of the successful 10%? Follow up, follow up and follow up again! You greatly increase your chances of winning business with Blue Chips if you do.
MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT YOU’VE GOT
I recently spoke to a coach who was bemoaning the fact that a long-term client, a senior director in a large global company, was moving within the company to Dubai. No more business from her!
What!!? Surely he had a few options. He could check out with the director how often she would be visiting the UK. He could check out whether she would be up for telephone coaching. He could also check out whether the company would be prepared to pay his travel expenses to Dubai – not unreasonable, given the value he brings.
However, what shocked me most was that this coach had been working with the director for a number of years and he had not picked up any work with other leaders in the company. He could have built relationships with other stakeholders in the director’s coaching, such as her line manager, the person paying for the coaching and human resources. He could have measured results of the coaching and reported back to all of these stakeholders – the director would probably be glad of the positive exposure. He could have asked all stakeholders, including the director he was coaching if there were any other leaders in the company who could benefit from coaching. And he could have done this every few months or so. If he’d have done this, he might have seen the director moving as a great opportunity to connect with leaders in Dubai and win further business with them. Instead, he just saw it as the end of the road.
When you win business with a Blue Chip, you must make the most of it by building relationships, promoting the value of what you do and winning further business. It’s very much easier winning business this way than starting with cold prospects at networking events and the like.
Kevin Oubridge (United Kingdom)
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