This is an extra long 4,000+ word guide to creating a system that converts prospects to high-end clients. I’ll be releasing it in several parts, so be sure to bookmark this page now because you’ll want to come back later.
Part 1 — What Will a High-End Conversion System Do for You?
Part 5 — Automate and Sift, Sort, & Screen
It’s Monday morning. You check your calendar for the week ahead and it’s fully booked — not in a stressful way, but in a good way.
It’s fully booked in the way that all available sales appointments are full of prospects. Or, if you have salespeople or assistants who handle the one-on-one appointments, their calendar is fully booked.
Even more, you’re not just booked up with low-end prospects that will waste your time. Instead, you’re meeting with the kind of people you want — the kind of people who already want to work with you.
These prospects know who you are. They know about your program. They know they have an urgent problem that needs solving. They know you can help them.
They even know how much you charge and they still want you, right now.
They know they need to schedule some kind of conversion conversation, so they’ve filled out a questionnaire and told you everything about themselves. They’ve exposed themselves and told you exactly what they need. You’ve asked them all sorts of invasive questions through your survey — not in a rude way, but in a way that provokes them to drop any pretense and get honest with you.
They’ve told you about their fears, frustrations, wants, and aspirations. They’ve told you about the gaps in their business and give you everything you need to know to make a sale happen quickly.
When you look down at your calendar you can’t help but smile.
That’s the situation.
Let Your Marketing Do The Heavy Lifting
This guide will teach you how to build a high-end conversion system that makes this a reality for you.
When this is your reality, business gets really fun! Your marketing does all the heavy lifting, making the sale a quick, 15-minute conversation.
I have some clients that make $8,000 sales in just 8 to 10 minutes — not because they’re the world’s greatest salespeople, but because their marketing has done the hard work on the front end.
We’re building an escalator that brings people up to the point of ‘ready to buy’, because when it comes to how likely a prospect is to give you money — on a scale from 1 to 10 — you only want to be talking to the person who’s an 8, 9, or 10.
This system, the High-End Conversion System, will take them there.
You can have a really simple sales conversation with people after the marketing brings in high-end prospects like clockwork.
These high-end prospects come to you pre-sold so they already value you.
They come pre-disposed and they want you.
They come pre-screened so you’ve filtered out all the prospects that aren’t the right fit.
Most importantly, they come ready to buy.
A few years ago, I built a system like this to help people enroll in BlackBelt. It brings people in, brings people up, pre-screens them, pre-sells them, and predisposes them to work with me. I only end up on the telephone with people who are an 8, 9, or 10 in terms of how likely they are to register and get started.
I want the exact same situation for you.
From 1:1 to 1:Many
Right now you’re probably doing a lot of one-on-one selling but you want to transition to You’re selling one-to-many.
Think about all the different price points you can sell at — from a $49 eBook to a $30K coaching program and everything in between. If you’re selling something at a low price, you can totally use a sales video, webinar, or online sales letter and get great results.
On the other hand, you’d have to get some major traffic and sell a ton of $49 eBooks to make the income you want.
This system doesn’t require much traffic AND gets maximum dollars with minimum time.
To do this, we need to look a little higher up on the ascension model — not at the $49 or $100 level. We’ll focus on programs and products that fall in the $5K to $30K price point. To make sales at this level, we’ll need the marketing to work a little bit harder.
Even though this is a transition from selling one-to-one to one-to-many, there will still be a one-to-one component at the end of this process. It could be 45 minutes to an hour if you want to do the whole conversation at once.
Or, we could front-load the marketing even more and only do a 10-minute talk on the phone to confirm they’re a good fit and get them started.
What’s Wrong Right Now?
Let’s talk about your marketing process.
If you’re trying to sell something fairly high-end (over $5K), what’s what’s broken or missing in your system right now?
Not enough leads at the top?
Are you wasting your time talking to prospects who aren’t the right fit?
Does your marketing and sales process take too much time and effort?
We want to reverse this so the marketing’s doing the hard work and you can just do the easy bit at the end.
In the upcoming installments of The Coach’s Guide to Creating a High-End Conversion System, we’ll explore the five principles for setting up this conversion system for you and your business.
The Coach’s Guide to Creating a High-End Conversion System [Part 2]: Pre-Sell
The first principle of creating a high-end conversion system is pre-selling. This is completely different than hard-selling.
When you pre-sell, your marketing does the heavy lifting. In hard-selling, you personally take a lead from being cold to sold. Just to be clear, hard-selling is much, much harder.
We don’t want to take someone from cold to sold. We want to take them from pre-sold to sold.
We want the prospect to already be at a 9 out of 10 in terms of how likely they are to buy from us. Then, after a quick conversation to make sure it’s right for them, we’ll take them to a 10 and get started.
Hard-selling is 0 to 10, pre-selling is 9 to 10.
Pre-Selling Made Simple
At its core, pre-selling is made of two big ideas: education, and invitation.
Education first provides value to your market. Invitation then makes it easy for them to take the next step.
When we educate our market, we’re pushing their hot buttons by talking about the issues that matter most to them.
We teach our prospects what they need to know, and the natural question that arises is, “How do I do that? What’s my next step?” That’s where invitation comes into play.
Education is about WHY and WHAT. The invitation is about HOW.
If we can have the all the steps laid out for our prospects so they clearly see what comes next in the journey, it’s a ton easier for them to take the next step.
This next step could be scheduling a one-on-one appointment or filling out a questionnaire.
One of the easiest ways to nail the invitation is to package up your free strategy session really well.
If you use a one-on-one appointment as your primary conversion tool, use a sexy title and provide a bulleted list of benefits they’ll receive for spending an hour with you. Tell them what they’ll get out of it, how much better off they’ll be, and give them a call-to-action.
When you package a strategy session like this, prospects understand the value that awaits them. They’ll lean into the appointment rather than pull away or resist it.
In your marketing — on your blog, social media, emails, etc. — I want you to think teach, teach, teach. We want to teach prospects about important, relevant issues and invite them to take a low-risk next step.
The goal of pre-selling is to lead people to the place where — as a result of seeing your marketing — they say, “I’d have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone else except you, regardless of price.”
This is what Chet Holmes called Setting the Buying Criteria.
It basically says, “I don’t care whether you buy from me or any of the other guys out there. Regardless of who you choose, here’s what you need to know.” This allows you to become the source of all knowledge for buying what you sell.
I Want What You’ve Got… Right Now!
A while back, I had an appointment with a prospect that was referred by one of my top joint-venture partners.
I got on the phone for what was supposed to be a 45-minute call with this guy I’d never talked to before.
When I answered, he immediately launched into this tirade:
“Hi Taki, I’m really glad to have the time with you. I know we’ve got 45 minutes scheduled but I just want to let you know up front that I don’t think we’ll even need the 45 minutes.
“I’ve talked to [several big-name coaches in America] about my situation and each one of them, without hesitating, said I should be working with you. I’ve seen your stuff and I absolutely love it and know it’s perfect for me. I know we’ve got 45 minutes scheduled, but all I need you to do is tell me which program I need to buy and I’m in.”
We signed him up right at the start and then used the rest of our time to add value to the relationship.
It was crazy!
When our marketing’s done its job in pre-selling, people come to you hungry. They come to you as an 8, 9, or 10 in terms of how likely they are to give you money.
I want you to pre-sell with marketing so you don’t have to hard-sell later.
The Coach’s Guide to Creating a High-End Conversion System [Part 3]: Takeaway
Once we’ve pre-sold, the next step is to take it away.
A friend of mine, Pete Godfrey, uses a great phrase to describe the pre-sell and takeaway:
Get them hot for what you’ve got, then tell them they can’t have it.
In pre-selling, we get them hot for what we’ve got. It’s all about building desire and excitement in people.
Takeaway is telling them they can’t have it.
Why is this so effective? Think about it — we all want what we can’t have.
The less accessible and harder you are to get, the more your prospects will want you. The more barriers you place in front of someone, the more often they will fight to get to you.
We all had a childhood crush on someone who played hard to get, which only amplified the attraction, right? This is the same exact principle.
First, our pre-selling must make us desirable by providing real value to our prospects. There’s no point in playing hard to get if you’re selling something they don’t want in the first place. If you pre-sell well, you’re already in the top half of this chart.
When something’s easy to get, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Think back to our example of the $49 eBook. Sure, the eBook’s easy to get and we may sell a bunch of them, but right now, we’re not trying to sell low-end easy-to-attain products.
This is the High-End Conversion System — we’re selling high-end programs to top prospects. That means we need desire on our side.
The harder something is to get, desire for it builds and builds and builds.
Our job is to be in the sweet spot between ‘high desire’ and ‘hard to get’.
You’re The Prize
At the start of our marketing process, we get people hot for what we’ve got. Then we’ll play hard to get by placing some hoops for people to jump through.
Why should you play hard to get?
Because, when we’re positioned as less-accessible, people will fight to get to us.
On a recent Q&A, I had a question from a coach who’d done a pretty good job with their marketing. The call to action, though, said, “If that sounds like what you want, please click here.”
I stopped him right there and said, “I really love what you’ve written but get rid of the word ‘please’. We’re not here to beg anyone to work with us.”
You’re the prize your prospects want.
Even if you take nothing else from this guide, I want you to remember that you are the prize — the thing that people most desperately want — and you need to hold yourself in that kind of regard.
When you hold yourself to that standard, you’ll love how people jump to get to you.
So, we’ll be high-desire with our pre-sell and hard to get with takeaway.
Scarcity = Takeaway = Desire
Robert Cialdini’s Influence is a marketing masterpiece everyone should read.
After studying cults, direct sales organizations, and other persuasive people, Cialdini discovered that influence boils down to six core principles.
1. Reciprocity — “You’ve helped me, so now I feel obligated to help you back.”
2. Commitment & Consistency — “I’m much more likely to follow through with an action after I verbally committed or took the first, small step.”
3. Social Proof — “If everyone else is doing it, I want to do it too.”
4. Liking — “I want to do business with people I know, like, and trust.”
5. Authority — “I want to follow the experts.”
We cover these first five principles when we pre-sell. The final principle is all about the takeaway.
6. Scarcity — “I want what I can’t have.”
The truth is, we want what there’s not much left of. There’s a part of us that wants things that are difficult to attain.
The Harder the Better
Legend has it that before one of his dangerous expeditions, Sir Ernest Shackleton placed this recruitment ad in the paper:
MEN WANTED for Hazardous Journey.
Small Wages, Bitter Cold.
Long Months of Complete Darkness & Constant Danger.
Safe Return Doubtful.
Honour and Recognition In Case of Success.
According to the story, Shackleton received over 5,000 responses that he carefully sifted through to choose his 27-man crew.
Why is this one of the most famous ads in history (even though it probably never happened)?
It’s an amazing example of takeaway. It says, “This isn’t for everybody. It’s probably not for you. In the off chance that it is for you, good luck getting it.”
I want you to use this same kind of language when you invite people to your top-end program.
For your lower-end programs or products, throw the doors wide open. But, at the top-end, as we move towards higher and higher fees, we want to set things up so you’re harder to get and prospects feel they need to prove themselves to you.
Creating the takeaway could mean setting up an application process for prospects, taking deposits, or taking meetings where prospects tell you why you should consider them for your program.
The Coach’s Guide to Creating a High-End Conversion System [Part 4]: Naked & Needy
Once your prospects are desperate for you and your program, we need to help them get naked and needy.
Most prospects are a bit nervous about talking to someone like you, especially if the conversation’s about buying something high-end. Their natural response is to pretend they don’t need it, put up their defenses, and act like everything’s cool — even if that’s not true.
Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach says that all progress starts with telling the truth.
Our job, then, is to help prospects tell the truth about themselves. We need them to drop the mask, facade, charade, etc. — get naked — and understand that they need you and your coaching program.
Get Straight To The Issues
We want prospects to be vulnerable about their problems, needs, and wants, and become emotionally charged about solving those problems.
To do this, when we’re in a conversation with a prospect, we need to go deep, fast. You won’t waste time talking about the weather. Instead, you’ll get straight into the issues.
“Tell me about this problem you have going on right now. What are the top three challenges you’re facing?”
If you’re converting a prospect one-on-one, you must get straight to the problem.
You can get straight to the problem by asking my two favorite sales questions.
1. How much money did you make last month?
2. How much money do you want to make?
If you discover a gap, you can quickly get into a conversation that gets them naked and needy.
You can also get them naked and needy before they ever talk to you through a pre-consultation questionnaire that asks questions like:
- How much money do you want to make?
- What do you really need to get you where you want to go?
- Why are you serious about hitting your goals now?
First, we’ve made them hot for what we’ve got (pre-sell.) Then we’ve told them they can’t have it (takeaway.) Now, our job is to make it easy for people to get honest about what’s happening in their world.
Do you see how these three things build?
Pre-selling builds desire. Takeaway introduces an element of scarcity so prospects are willing to play by your rules. Getting them naked and needy opens their eyes to their current reality.
It’s not about manipulating people. The truth is, people can’t make the right decision for themselves if they don’t become open and honest about what they truly need first.This gets people to the place where they can make that decision, one way or the other.
Our job is to get them to feel this need, crave a solution, and choose you. It’s about getting your prospects, naked and needy.
The Coach’s Guide to Creating a High-End Conversion System [Parts 5 & 6]: Automate and Sift, Sort, & Screen
At this point, our prospects have been pre-sold by our marketing, they’ve found out what the next step is and filled out an intake survey or talked to your assistant about their current situation.
The next step is to move them towards a conversion consultation — our quick 10-minute talk that closes the deal.
The problems is, between the survey and questionnaire results, sales appointments, phone calls, applications, and email responses, we have a lot of moving parts to manage.
So, now we want to automate this conversion system so it can handle both small and large groups of people without follow-ups, reminders, or to-do’s on your behalf.
Anytime there’s human involvement, there’s a risk of dropping the ball, so we’re going to minimize this risk.
In his book, Source Control, David Walsh says, “Systems are as reliable as people aren’t.”
We want to build a system for converting so people don’t slip through the cracks.
Create Consistent Follow-up
You could use an automation tool like Ontraport, Infusionsoft, or something similar.
For this conversion system, I prefer to use two kinds of tools together:
- A survey tool that allows prospects to fill in their details on a form and organizes the data, and
- A calendar tool that allows prospects to schedule themselves into your available time slots.
We’ll use these tools to set up the system so it runs consistently and you can get hot prospects talking to you with no need to do a ton of manual follow-up.
There’s nothing wrong with manual follow-up, except… it takes a bunch of time and if it doesn’t go according to plan, it’s easy for people to slip through the cracks. I’m just saying…
Sift, Sort, & Screen
So far, we’ve pre-sold and made our prospects excited. We’ve taken it away and increased their sense of desire. We’ve helped them get naked and needy by telling us about their true problems and needs. We’ve automated this process so prospects have an easy way of giving us their details.
Now, we can either talk to them and move forward with the program, or not.
To make this choice quickly, we want to sift, sort, & screen.
When people fill in our surveys or talk to an associate, they’ll typically fall into one of three categories: NO, YES, or MAYBE.
Some people will be a definite NO straight away. They’re not a good fit for us or our program, so we don’t want to talk to them and waste our time. Maybe they have a bad attitude or they’re rude in the survey or to someone on our team. When someone does this in BlackBelt, we instantly know they’re not the right fit and we move on.
Other times, someone may be a NO if they give super short answers to our questions instead of well-thought-out responses. When someone gives you one-sentence, surface level answers, they’re usually not naked and needy. This means we need our marketing to work on them a little longer to increase their likelihood of buying from us.
I used to move forward with prospects who gave me surface level answers, but found that these were the people who didn’t buy during a sales session.
Someone can also be a NO if they don’t qualify for your program — their income isn’t high enough, they have problems you can’t help them solve, or their goals are too different than your program’s.
If they’re a NO, you can say, “Thanks so much, I really don’t think we’re a good match together.” You can then tell them why or not. “I just don’t think our program’s right for you. In the meantime, here’s this cool free thing just to say ‘Thanks for having a go.’”
You could also down-sell them to lower-end product or program if you have one.
If they’re a MAYBE, our job is to get more information.
Either have an assistant talk to them to get more information and determine the fit or send them an email and ask them to elaborate on some of their answers.
Or, instead of booking a one-hour phone consultation, give them a 10-minute call so you can qualify them as YES or NO without taking up too much of your time.
The YES’s are simple. Take them to the next step and have the quick conversion conversation with them.
The final conversion conversation should be the easiest part of this entire process if you’ve followed the five key principles of the system.
- Pre-sell so you don’t have to hard-sell.
- Take It Away. We’ve got them hot for what we’ve got, but now we’re going to tell them they can’t have it. This increases people’s desire.
- Naked and Needy. Help people drop the mask and tell you exactly what they most need.
- Automate the process so people don’t slip through the cracks.
- Sift, Sort, & Screen. Place people in the right category — either NO, MAYBE, or YES — and move forward accordingly.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you grow your coaching business:
1. Grab a free copy of my book
It’s the roadmap to attracting prospects, signing clients, and scaling your coaching business. — Click Here
2. Join the Coach Dojo and connect with coaches who are scaling too
It’s our new Facebook community where smart coaches learn to get more income, impact, and independence. — Click Here
3. Join our Implementation Program and be a Case Study
I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Black Belt this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with me on your client-getting and scale plans… just send me a message with the words “Case Study”. — Click Here
4. Work with me and my team privately
If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take you from 6 to 7 figures… just send me a message with the word “Private”… tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details! — Click Here
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