Over the last several posts, we’ve been looking at a concept I call stretching the gap. This is so crucial to the sales process that skipping it usually results in you pushing your program too hard on a prospect who’s just not that interested.
They end up making excuses why they can’t buy, and you end up wasting your time and missing out on a sale.
Obviously, that’s not what we’re after.
Stretching the gap involves three main steps. First, we help our prospect see where they want to go (paint the picture). Then, we help them see their current reality (face the facts). The last step is to help them see what’s keeping them from getting what they want. To do this, we must eyeball the obstacles.
Think about it like this: I say to you, “Let’s have a quick conversation and I want you to tell me how you want things to be different in your business.”
We make a big list of all the things you want and I read it back to you to make sure we’re on the right track.
Then I say, “So, that’s where you want to be, but where are you right now with your sales, marketing, team, profits, losses, etc.”
Now I’ve got a clear picture of what you want and where you are right now, which allows me to say, “You’ve probably wanted these things for a while, so there’s obviously something stopping you or you’d be there already.”
It’s a very honest approach.
Stop Setting Goals
Almost all the books written on achieving your goals tell you to focus on vision — write down your goals, look at them daily, focus on what you want and you’ll eventually achieve it.
Personally, I’ve always been way more motivated by getting away from the “bad stuff”.
There’s an amazing title of a book that nails this idea: Stop Setting Goals If You Would Rather Solve Problems.
When I look at the gap between where I am now and where I want to go, my first instinct is to list out everything that’s stopping me and fix the problems. Naturally, by removing these obstacles, I get closer to where I want to be.
This may or may not be helpful for you in a personal goal setting process, but in a sales process, this is extremely valuable.
It’s great to look at a prospect and say, “I know exactly where you are right now and where you want to go. Something’s holding you back or you’d be there already. Let’s a make a list of everything that’s slowing you down, getting in the way, or stopping you from getting what you want.”
Asking prospects about their obstacles in these terms allows you to ramp up to the big problems without being too blunt or overwhelming.
Simply saying, “Here’s where you are and that’s where you want to be. Cool. Why haven’t you gotten there already?” doesn’t quite cut it. They’ve already been asking themselves that question.
We need to ask the prospect (in this order), what’s been slowing them down, getting in the way, or stopping them from getting what they want.
Take Them On an Emotional Journey
Think about where this process takes them emotionally. First, they get really excited when talking about their vision for the future. They’re optimistic and can see their dream coming true, which makes them really happy.
When you have them face the facts about their current reality, it brings them down a little from that emotional high.
Finally, when they talk about what’s holding them back, you’ll see that their energy is really different.
There’ll be a lot more pause between your question and their answer. Their tone will drop and they’ll be more introspective. That’s how you know you’re doing it right.
The fact is, people buy when there’s a gap — when they say, “I want this, but that’s in the way.”
This is why you get hired as a coach. When you stretch the gap, your prospect becomes clear about what they want and what’s standing in the way. Because you’ve helped them see this so clearly, they’ll credit you with the solution.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave a comment below.
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