When a prospect hires you, what are they buying? Your product? Your program?
Sure, but only to a degree. When a prospect hires you, they’re really buying certainty.
Ultimately, certainty is a combination of clarity and confidence.
- Clarity of where you’ll take them
- Confidence that you’ll actually get them there
When a sales appointment doesn’t end in making a sale, it’s usually because the prospect doesn’t feel certain about you or your coaching program. Establishing this certainty needs to happen right at the very start of the sales conversation, not at the end when giving the final pitch.
Over the last few posts, we’ve been talking about how to start strong in a sales appointment — specifically, why the first five minutes are so crucial and how to take the lead from the very beginning.
Right now, we’ll look at the second key to nailing the strong start.
Milestone the Meeting
Most of your sales appointments will be with prospects who have no idea how a conversation like this is supposed to go. They’ve never had a session like this with anyone like you.
All they know is that they have a problem that needs fixing and now they want some help.
But in the back of their mind, there’s some hesitation. There’s some fear about what you’re going to pitch them, how expensive your program is, and whether they can trust you to get them the results they’re looking for.
If left alone, this fear will gradually turn into resistance over the course of the sales appointment, so you need to meet it head on, right at the start, by milestoning the meeting.
1. Lay Out An Agenda
First, you need to lay out an agenda so they know exactly how the meeting will go. Once they know what the next hour of their lives will look like, they can relax and trust the process.
The real reason they’re sitting down with you is that they have a problem and they want an outcome. When you can name their problem and the outcome they want, and tell them how you’ll achieve that outcome, they’ll start to breathe easy.
They’ll lower their defenses a bit because they know you’re planning to take them where they want to go.
2. Give Control
The second thing you need to do to lower their resistance is to give them control instead of taking it from them.
When you say something like:
This is how I want this session to go. I find this pretty useful, but this conversation is about you and what you want, not about me and what I want. So if you think we should talk about something else or head in a different direction, that’s completely okay with me…
They’ll think to themselves:
Great! Now I’m in control.
Once they feel like they have total control, they’ll never feel the need to exert that control and they’ll happily follow your plan.
To give you a really clear idea of how to put all this together, here’s an example milestoning the meeting. Of course, this isn’t exactly how you’ll phrase it, but you’ll see the core principles throughout.
“There’s a framework I like to use for conversations like this to make sure you walk out of here today with a really great plan. There are three things I’d love to do today and right now I just want to run them by you.
“First, I want to get really clear about what you want. Where do you want to go? What’s your vision? The clearer I am about what you want, the easier it will be for both of us to make a plan to get you there. Is that okay?
“Second, once I know where you want to go, we’ll zoom back to today. I want to know what your current reality is. What’s working? What’s not working? What have you tried? What are you frustrated with? I want to know the lay of the land and find out what we have to work with. Once I know where we are, it’s easier for me to help you build the right plan.
“Third, once I know once I know where you are and where you want to go, I want to learn all of the obstacles that are in the way. I want to find out what’s stopping you from getting here to there so we can turn those obstacles into projects and craft you a plan to get those results really fast. Is that okay?
“Those are the three things I think would be helpful for us to do today, but this conversation is about you, not about me, and certainly not about my three-step plan. So if you think we should talk about this, that, or the other thing, I’m really happy to go there. Just take us wherever we need to go and I’m totally cool with that.”
Ninety-nine percent of the time, your prospect will say, “That sounds awesome, let’s do it.”
We’ve laid out the foundation and given them control. You’ve shown them exactly how you want the meeting to go, which makes them feel comfortable. Now they can lower their resistance and trust the process. This is milestoning the meeting.
Stay tuned to the blog for the next post where we’ll look at the final key to starting your sales appointment strong.
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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