We all know the first challenge to getting new clients is getting them to trust you with their business and their money. It’s not always an easy challenge to overcome. First they must get to know us, then like us. The technique I’m going to share with you in this post works well for building the know, like, and trust factor … what I’m suggesting is … working for FREE … stay with me here!
Why work for free? Many coaches (and other service professionals) offer a free consultation where the client can ask questions and you can explain your process. A kind of “get to know you” session. You need to stand out from the crowd to win the business.
Here are two reasons why offering a free sample of your services works:
It reduces the risk factor. Business is risky from all sides of the fence. It’ risky for you and it’s risky for the person doing the hiring. Your potential client will be trusting you to work with them and get results. They’ll be taking their valuable time and money to invest in your coaching services and they want to choose wisely. By providing a free sample to a potential client – maybe a one-hour session to get to know each other, you help them not waste their time by proving yourself before they ever pay a penny.
This is a good step to use after someone has gotten to know (and like) you through your website, blog, and on social media.
It builds the relationship. Working well together starts with having a good relationship. It’s really hard to do great work for someone who doesn’t like you and vice-versa, especially as a coach. If you offer a little sample of your services you instantly create a positive relationship and they’re more likely to like you from the start.
You may find some unscrupulous people who go around getting freebies and never be willing to pay. That’s why it’s your responsibility to do your research and hand-pick the clients you want to work with.
Make sure your potential clients are the kind of people you want to work with, the kind of people you’ll love to work with, and who you can create a rewarding relationship with. I use this technique for my own business and I follow online marketers, coaches, and other virtual assistants who’s business models I greatly admire. This allowed me to get an idea of who I was going to be working with – who I wanted to be working with. It also gave me the added bonus of learning what they did in their own businesses to make them a great success!
If you’re thinking giving a sample of your work is a good idea for you, here are a few suggestions:
- Offer a sample coaching session, up to an hour
- Offer the work no-strings attached, but do follow up with an email
- Only offer to people who are truly interested in hiring and who need the help (research)
- Do an amazing job – focus on one pain point during your session
- Ask for referrals and/or testimonials in exchange for your free session
Finally, this isn’t necessarily a technique to do all the time. It’s one you will use for a hand-picked group of highly sought after coaching clients. Try it a few times and see what happens. You really only need one or two good high-profile clients who love your work to get great referrals for a long time coming.
Do you offer free coaching to potential clients? Are you finding it a good way to grow your business? Share in the comments below…