In this blog post, I want to show you the Triage Pad™, the one-page worksheet that I use to qualify buyers better and to build trust super fast.
I want to quickly talk about this amazing tool that I use. By the way, I want to teach you about it today. If you want a copy, I’ll be happy to hit what we’ve got. It’s just a PDF so my clients have an actual notepad of these things. But when I’m on the road, I just use it on my iPad. If you want one, you can download the PDF here.
The Triage Call is a nine-minute phone call that we use to build trust really, really quickly with potential clients and to qualify in or out fast so that we don’t waste anybody’s time; not their time and not our time, talking to somebody who’s not ready to buy — not ready to become a client.
So, people book in these triage calls and when they’re on the call, there are nine questions that I ask.
So, what happens is we jump on a triage call and while I’m on the call, I take notes because it keeps me focused, make sure I ask the right questions, gives me call control. Right?
And so, I think that’s something that you want. You want call control as well.
Most of my clients just have a notepad full of these things to help them get through the next 50 triage calls. But I’m on the road, and so, I’m thinking that note pad’s annoying, and just do it on an iPad.
Okay. So, here’s how it works…
Jump on a call, start by writing in the dude’s name and the date, then we welcome them. We set up the call and I just find it really, really helpful to use a pad like this while we’re doing it.
It keeps me on track, and it means when we have the strategy session a few days or usually for us, a week later, then I can just look at this and in 20 seconds, I know exactly what we discussed and we can pick up where we left off.
So, we welcome, we set up the rules. And this is where we explain the timeframe —what we’re going to cover, how it’s going to work, that our job is to work out if we’re a fit or not.
If we’re not, what will happen, if we are, what will happen, et cetera. Really important that you get the first minute right.
And so, the first minute for me would sound something like, “Hey there, it’s Taki Moore here. I’m calling from Brazil right now. I’ve got a note in my calendar that we’ve got a 10-minute call right now. Is that right?”
And they’ll say Yes.
“Great. Okay. As I said, we’ve only got 10 minutes. I’ve got somebody booked in straight after you. So, let’s get straight into it. My goal today is really simple. I’m going to ask you a bunch of questions just to work out if or how we can help you. Is that okay?”
“Great. Okay. So, if I feel like I can’t help you, I’ll let you know politely and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction. And if I feel like I can help you, we’ll book in another time to talk about how. Is that okay with you?” Cool.
“Like I said, we don’t have a lot of time. I’ll ask you simple questions. If you can give simple straight answers, it’s going to be great. Let’s get started.”
And then away we go.
In that opening minute, it’s really clear who’s leading and who’s following. It’s also super clear that there’s a timeframe and that because of that, our time is super valuable and therefore, we’re the bosses and we’re in control.
I also said what’s going to happen if we’re not a fit —that I’ll point you in the right direction— and if we are a fit, that we will book another time to talk about how.
So in the end, I don’t have to sell the next call. It’s already baked into this opening minute.
Usually, in the pad, I don’t really take any notes here. I just kind of tick it and then we get into the rest of it.
Why Now? Why Me?
The decision question, “Why now and why me?” And when they answer, I’ll take my notes.
Why now —I don’t want to leave go without the ‘Why now’ mapped out. And ‘Why me’ is always really, really good to hear.
And then we find out about their business by asking these questions…
- ‘Who do you help?’
- ‘What problems do you solve?’,
- ‘How does it work?’
And that just gives me a quick sense of business model — is this somebody that our work might be useful for?
And then we Stretch the Gap.
And here, I want to know across a few different categories.
- Where they are right now
- Where they want to be,
- What’s the trend — is the business growing or is it fairly stable, or is declining. Right?
- Where they want to be in three years
And that just gives me a sense of the gap and I’ll be taking notes the whole way through.
‘What’s missing or broken right now?’
Again, top three things that they need us to work on. And so, to me, as I’m taking notes in this pad, it’s really easy for me to be useful because I’ve got all of their whole situation on a one-page snapshot.
So, as we’re having this quick 9-minute conversation and also in the strategy session, I’ve got everything I need to know about them here on one page.
So, if you have salespeople, and so maybe the person triaging isn’t the person who’s doing the sales conversation, again, really easy to hand this off. The can look at that and they know exactly what’s going on.
Problem Check In
While talking through what’s missing and broken and what do you need most right now and is this a later thing or a sooner thing — that’s a clock.
What I do is just highlight or circle the three biggest issues —whatever they come up that are the three big things because and I’d say, “Great. So, here’s what it sounds like is going on here right now. The three biggest problems are: problem one, and problem two, and problem three. You got this problem and this is the impact. You really want to do that, but it’s not working out. And you’re frustrated because of X. Have I kind of got that right?”
And all I’m doing is because I have it all on this pad, it’s really easy for me to just look at the three things that I’ve circled and feed it back to the potential client.
Fit or No Fit
And then we get to the end —the part where we show them the door.
We decide they’re either a fit or not. And we’re the Simon Cowell in this situation.
And so, we can either open the door and say, “Hey, you’re a great match. I said at the start that I was going to ask you some questions and if I felt like we weren’t a fit, I would point you in the right direction —point you in another direction —’I really don’t think we’re a match because of X so you should talk to Mary. And here’s why she might be great.’
Or if we are a fit, “I said right at the start of the call today that my job is to ask you a bunch of questions to work out if or how we can help. And I felt like I couldn’t help, this is what we do. If I felt like I could help, then we’ll book another time to talk about how. The good news is that I eat problems like this for breakfast. So, the next step for us to book in another time to talk about how.”
And then all we do is just schedule them in for the next time. And there’s a little bit of scripting around that, but really simple.
What’s really important for me, is a having a tool. Having to remember a script is hard, and it’s uncomfortable and awkward.
But having a simple tool —a worksheet that just walks me through has been really, really helpful.
Anyway, I hope this has been helpful for you and inspires you to build some tools to help systemize your processes.
Again if you’d like a copy, you can DOWNLOAD THE TRIAGE PAD HERE.
Taki Moore, out.
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