Today’s blog topic comes from a mastermind group meeting we had with a group of small business owners.
James was asking about how to convert a prospective client into a paying coaching client after they’d done a free “discovery session” together.
When you offer a free session or free event to your prospective clients, you have the opportunity to build relationships. While James’ Hot Seat was about doing free individual coaching sessions, you can also use these ideas if you do free mastermind group meetings or free webinars part of your marketing and sales funnel.
The first step is to determine your purpose for offering a free session, group meeting or webinar:
For instance, in the mastermind group meeting that James was in (you can get the recording here), my purpose for offering a free mastermind group meeting was to demonstrate what a real meeting looks like. I had no intention to ask the audience to become members of my mastermind group. But in James’ case, his free coaching session IS a prelude to asking that person to become a paying coaching client.
And that makes all the difference in the world! When you know the outcome you want, you can design your entire process around that goal.
Previously, James had been inviting people to a free coaching session through the connections he was making at his local Chamber of Commerce.
But he wasn’t saying to them before the meeting, “If you’re curious about coaching and would like to see what really happens in a coaching session with me, let’s set up a free session. If, at the end of the session, we both think that we’re a good fit for each other, we can discuss which of my coaching programs is best for you.”
Had he done it this way, he would have set the expectation that the purpose of the meeting was to see if they should work together. This would have attracted only those people who are interested in possibly working long-term with James as a coach. Because he didn’t set the expectation in advance, that could be one reason why he wasn’t converting these people into paying clients.
His idea was to simply offer the session to get to know one another and then continue to send them valuable content in hopes that later they would become a client.
In our mastermind group meeting, many members had super suggestions for James about how he could approach his marketing and sales funnel differently. Here are some of their ideas:
As you can see, there are many ways to convert a prospect into a paying client for your services, but you need a well-planned marketing and sales funnel, and clear goals for each step within that funnel. You can watch the full mastermind group meeting here and get the rest of the tips the group offered James around sales and marketing.