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Category Archives: Engagement

4 Best Practices To Engage Clients On Group Coaching Calls

Close up Young Office Woman Talking to Someone on her Mobile Phone While Looking Into the Distance with Happy Facial Expression.

Confession time…

I used to dread my group coaching calls.

I’ve lead groups for almost as long as I’ve been in business. These days, I get raves for my group calls. But starting out it was VERY uncomfortable.

There were long, awkward silences. Or just a few people on the line.

Or someone would come to a call and I would challenge them just slightly (in that apologetic, I-don’t-want-to-hurt-your-feelings coach-y way) …and POOF. Then they’d vanish, never to show up on a call again.

This set off a chain reaction of doubt and “WTF am I doing?” that sucked all the joy out of getting on the phone – which, as you can imagine, didn’t help. At all.

If you’ve ever tried your hand at group calls, I bet you can relate. And while it may be tempting to just avoid them altogether… this would be a big mistake.

A successful group program (especially a high-end group) requires more than just great content and a private Facebook group that you post in periodically. For your clients to get the big results, group calls are an essential part of the process.

And the way they are facilitated makes all the difference in whether or not your clients show up and get those results.

So here’s the big secret to group coaching calls …

Your clients are looking to you to BE the leader. To take the reigns and guide them – while making them comfortable and safe.

That starts with stepping into their experience, and the inquiry of what would be best for them.

Everything started to change for me when I asked myself the question: “What would really help my clients show up, stay engaged and get the best results from these calls?”

The answer led me to create a set of best practices or simple guidelines that I could share with my clients, to help them get the most from the call.

When I started giving these best practices in our Goddess Business School® calls, it totally changed the game. People started showing up for calls, they stayed engaged, they participated, and of course they got better results. And – juicy bonus – the calls became a LOT more fun to lead!

So would you like to know what they are? 🙂

Here are the 4 best practices that have turned my once awkward and dead into breakthrough-rich coaching calls that our clients happily show up for.

(NOTE: These work with just about any type of program; however, feel free to tweak them to your group by asking yourself the question above.)

  • Best Practice #1 – Come to the call with something you want coaching on.

How do you guarantee that people get value? By having them come with a very clear result in mind. Another way to phrase this is, “What’s the outcome you want to get from this call?”

Whether it’s a question, a challenge, or just a request for feedback, you want your peeps to be prepared to step forward with a specific breakthrough or outcome they want to create. This puts them in the role of active participant rather than passive observer.

It’s all about being intentional, which is a paradigm shift from what most women do which is hang back and wait to be called on (or hope not to be called on). Part of what they’re practicing in your program is taking action and doing something different, and this supports them in doing that. Plus, when you’re clear on what you want, you’re much more likely to get it.

  • Best Practice #2 – Be open to receiving what you’re here to hear.

I always tell my clients: “Whether you’re hearing my voice live or listening in later, it’s no accident that you’re here. There is a reason – something that you’re here to HEAR.”

I refer to these as the “Goddess Winks” – those messages that come through other people that are exactly what we needed to hear in that moment. (We’re all channels for the Divine 😉 )

This is also important because often what comes up on group coaching calls can be a little uncomfortable or confronting. This is true whether one is being coached themself or just listening to someone else’s coaching.

This can naturally kick up resistance or even have people check out completely. By staying open it’s much more likely your clients will be able to truly receive what they need in order to get the breakthrough they came for.

  • Best Practice #3 – Have something to write with and write on.  

This practice layers upon the previous ones in that it’s about being intentional and capturing the Goddess Winks.

Even though group coaching calls aren’t typically content-focused, there’s a TON of learning that happens in every coaching piece. On a well-facilitated call, your participants can get something out of everyone else’s coaching – in fact that’s one of the key benefits.

They’re there to get coaching and learning by way of the other participants, so you want them to be listening for that and capturing it, as it will enhance their results and growth in your program. Just the act of writing alone allows information to penetrate the brain at a much deeper level.

It’s also a great way to keep your participants engaged on the call. If they’re taking notes, they’re much less likely to be distracted by the email or Facebook or fiddling around with other projects. And engaged participants come back for more.

  • Best Practice #4 – End with an action step.

One of my favorite teachers, Eben Pagan, likes to say, “True learning equals a change in behavior.”

There is no transformation without action – i.e., doing something different. One of the best ways you can serve your peeps is by making sure they have action steps before they hang up the phone.

So at the end of the call, ask them what they’re taking away that’s of value and ask them to write down their action step. If time allows you can even ask a few people to share.

This also helps them become conscious of what they’re taking away from the call, which increases their perceived value of your calls and your program.

So how do you use these best practices in your calls?

Start by sharing them at the beginning of every call. Our Goddess Business School® calls are so successful in part because we say them every single time.

You can also include these in your program welcome information, in your call reminders and in your community forum. People learn through repetition, so you really can’t remind them enough.

Whatever you do, play around with these, have fun with them, and get ready to have a LOT more fun with your group calls!

Networking That Doesn’t Suck

Business Team Meeting Working Talking Concept

“Networking.”

For many conscious entrepreneurs that’s akin to a four-letter word. Let’s be real – most women know that they need to network, but very few actually like to do it!

Maybe you feel awkward talking about what you do, or maybe you think it’s a waste of time because you’ve tried it and haven’t gotten clients, or you think it takes too much time, or any number of other reasons to get out of it altogether.

Truth is, even in today’s online world, networking is still an important activity to build your business – especially when you’re just starting out.

Yes, there are ways to make connections online. But if you can’t have a meaningful conversation with someone about what you do in the Real World, you’re unlikely to be able to build those connections from behind your computer.

At its core, business is about relationships – whether you’re at 10k per year (that was me, back in 2007!) or 10 million per year.

So how can you network in a way that feels good AND attracts your ideal clients?

Try these strategies for authentic, magnetic networking without all the weirdness:

  1. YOU lead the conversation.

Yes, YOU start the conversation! This puts you in the driver’s seat, and is of service to others who are just as nervous…. as you used to be. 😉

Extend your hand and start with this CLASSIC Icebreaker question:

“Hi, I’m [NAME]… I don’t think we’ve met yet. What’s your name?”

Followed by “Tell me about your business…”

People will literally be thanking you on the inside for making the first move so they don’t have to. And it always feels more empowering to be in your leadership.

  1. Get curious and be of service.

Instead of approaching networking from the place of what you hope to GET (clients), approach it from what you can GIVE. Get curious and find out how you can help each person you meet. Possible questions:

“What are you looking for next?” (great for social, outside-of-biz events)
“Who makes an ideal client for you?” (great for biz events)
“When it comes to [X], what’s your biggest challenge?”
“What do you need right now to take your biz/life to the next level?

While you’re talking, you’re listening for opportunities to serve, whether it’s your service or someone else you can connect them with.

You do NOT have to solve their problems, fix them on the spot or give them all the answers! You’re listening for opportunities to offer them a tip, a connection, or a resource… including your service if it’s a fit.

If they aren’t a fit themselves, ask them who they know who would benefit from the transformation or result you provide and ask them to make an introduction.

  1. Have a breakthrough session offer ready to go.

Before you go to any event, have a simple offer ready to go to invite potential clients to have a conversation with you. When you meet someone who’s a good candidate for your work, you can say:

“If I could show you how to [X], would you like to hear more about it?”

If they say yes, “Great, I have a special session that I’ve created especially for [WHO] that want [RESULT]. I make a few of these available as a gift each month, and I’d love for one of those to be yours. Would you like to set that up?”

Then, get out your calendars and book the appointment right then and there!

(Don’t know what a breakthrough session is? Check out this article to learn more)

  1. Do your homework.

Research the groups you’re attending before you go. Who are their members? What is their main focus? What kinds of related services or problems are these people likely to invest in? Who else might be there who serves a similar audience who you could collaborate with?

With a little forethought and research, it’s not hard to figure out if your ideal potential clients are likely to be in the room. You don’t have to go to every networking event to be successful, just the right ones!

  1. Grab the mike!

In other words, be visible! If you’re at a networking event in which there’s an opportunity to ask a question or share an insight in front of the group, take it.

Most likely you’ll have an opportunity to introduce yourself before asking your question, and this is a fabulous way to let the whole room know who you are and what you do. This is even more powerful when you have a great “what do you do” statement already written and rehearsed.

  1. Have a sense of adventure.

Networking isn’t jus about getting clients. It’s about meeting people and expanding your field. You could meet fabulous JV partners, referral sources, someone who could connect you with a speaking opportunity, or even just a great friend to be accountability buddies with. When you approach your networking with the mindset “I cant wait to see who I meet today,” there are so many more possibilities.

  1. Be consistent.

It takes more than just one fly-by appearance to build relationships. Timing is everything, and sometimes people aren’t quite ready for what you offer. Once you find a few groups or events that are aligned for you, you want to show up again and again, and use the strategies above to ask new questions and deepen those relationships.

And finally, make your measure of success not how many business cards you collected or how many appointments you booked, but how YOU showed up and added value. That value is always returned to you in one way or another.

5 Ways To Generate A Flood Of Client Conversations

Smiling beautiful business woman with curly red hair talking on mobile phone on workplace in the office

 
Many women come to us asking, “What does it really take to get clients?”

The answer is… a conversation.

Specifically, a session that’s designed to determine where they are, where they want to be, and if it makes sense to work with you.

At Goddess Business School® we often call this a “Breakthrough Session”, or you may have heard them referred to as Discovery Sessions or Strategy Sessions.

This type of conversation is NOT a “sample session” where you actually give them a taste of your service to solve their problem.  (We recommend that you avoid those.)

Instead, it’s an intentional conversation that leads your potential client to a decision about hiring you.

When you are just starting out, getting really comfortable and skilled at Breakthrough Sessions is THE key business skill you’ll need to focus on first. And to get good at them, you need to have a lot of them.

Here are five of my favorite ways to generate a flood of breakthrough conversations, when YOU choose:

1.Create a “first dibs” offer for current or past clients.

Hands down, the best candidates for your next program are the people you’ve already helped – your past or current clients.

Start by personally reaching out to hand-selected clients, then open the circle wider by sending an email with your breakthrough session offer to all past clients. For past clients, you can send them a “thought of you” email saying “I cherish you!” and offering bonus of a free session, or a “get back on track” session.

2. At a training or workshop

One of the BEST opportunities for transformational entrepreneurs to find new clients is at a training or a workshop. Look for opportunities to make your Breakthrough Session offer in the training or on a community forum associated with the event.

IMPORTANT: Always “follow protocol” here. Most events have rules for promotion, and if the presenter is making an offer, be aware that they have invested a ton of time, energy, and money to fill the room. Stick to networking and simply follow up with your best candidates after the event.

3. At a free class that you give

Instead of offering something for sale at your next workshop, offer free Breakthrough Sessions to the first 10 people. Design an offer that’s a natural “next step” after your class (remember, you can’t teach them everything in 2 hours, or even 2 days) and invite attendees to apply for a Breakthrough Session.

4. Host a House Party

This is a variation on a traditional workshop that you’d offer at a venue like a retreat center or yoga studio. It’s a great way to launch your business to your best friends and colleagues.

Invite 10-12 friends to your house for a party / talk. At the end, simply share openly and sincerely about your business, then make an offer for Breakthrough Sessions.

This also works great if you have a LOCAL clientele and want to introduce them to a new offering. One of our past clients did this and it resulted in a nice $20,000 payday for her.

5.  Offer a Breakthrough Session as a BONUS with someone else’s product or program.

This is HOT. Why? Because the best “prospects” in the world are the ones who have JUST made a purchase.

I know a coach who used this strategy to launch her practice. Her friend had a launch, and she said, “Hey, I would love to offer your peeps value by giving everyone who buys your program a free session.” 40 people bought the program, and she booked sessions with most of those people. Her 1-on-1 coaching quickly sold out, with a 2 month waiting list.

Who has a service complimentary to yours, is “just 2 steps ahead” of you in business and regularly launches new programs? Keep your eye out for them on Facebook and remember, offer to help them FIRST.

What Might Change For You If…

…if you were having 5, 10 or even 20 Breakthrough Sessions per week?

Use these 5 ideas to begin to tap into new opportunities right away. Best part – once you turn on your “Breakthrough Session radar,” more will appear… along with clients, cash and impact.

What’s Working NOW to Grow Your List

“You need to grow your list!”

If you’ve been in the entrepreneurial world for any length of time, you’ve likely heard this before.

And it’s true, an engaged email list is a huge asset for your business.

“No list” is one of the biggest concerns we hear from new and emerging women entrepreneurs. “Elizabeth, I want to get clients but I don’t have a list!”

First things first: if you want to get clients and you’re just starting out, you DO have a list.  It’s your list of people who are in your world already (i.e. your personal contacts) – and for those first few clients, go to them first.  (We cover this strategy at great length in Goddess Business School®.)

AND once you’re past that point… you DO need to start (or continue) growing your list.  Otherwise you’re going to be stressing about where your clients are coming from, and stuck in the feast or famine cycle.

An email newsletter isn’t going to cut the mustard these days, as your peeps get a ton of email and newsletters are no longer seen as valuable in themselves.

So what’s working NOW to grow your list… which is really your community of awesome potential clients you get to serve?

What’s working now is high value and SPECIFICthe more specific, the better.

With online attention becoming more and more scarce, gone are the days where people are willing to wade through 100 pages of text or two-hour audios… especially if they don’t know you yet.

Instead, to magnetize your clients, your free gift should meet the following criteria:

  • Hot hook.  Solves a problem or answers a burning question for your ideal audience. With a “hot hook,” your freebie will be snapped up readily.
  • ULTRA specific. Think: “15+ Hot Niches for Transformational Entrepreneurs” (one of our recent free offerings that’s blowing up on Facebook) vs. “Strategies for Online Success” (real title of a recently spotted freebie that is NOT blowing up on Facebook)
  • Easy to consume.  Ideally, your free gift will be consumed in 5 minutes or less.
  • High perceived value. Gone are the days that you can get away with crappy design.  Today’s consumers online are barraged with high-end branding; your gift must be “packaged” with graphics that convey value.  (Luckily this is easy, with sources like fivver.com)
  • High actual value. Your gift MUST deliver the goods!  Note that this does NOT mean you have to do it all for them or solve a big problem that they really need to be in your program for.  Give them something small, powerful, and impactful that they can implement right away.

So what are some HOT opt-in freebies?

Templates and scripts.  Give people a template to create an outcome to an ultra-specific problem.  “What to say when” scripts are great!

Checklists.  Any time your clients have to make a decision of the best options when they don’t know what the options are is a great opportunity for a checklist.  Or our favorite here at Goddess Business School®: the action plan.  An action plan is simply a checklist of the exact steps to create or achieve and outcome.  Clients love checklists!

Blueprints or “Mind Maps.”  Got a big process to share, such as how to find the love of your life or how to lose 50 pounds?  Give them the “big picture” overview in the form of a blueprint.  Especially hot are infographics – illustrative graphics that give the entire process on a single page.  (Again, look to sources like fivver.com to find graphic designers who can take your process and turn it into an infographic.)

Reports.  Yes, reports are still working!  Once again, the key is ultra-specificity – solving a specific challenge for your specific audience.  Also, be sure to properly format your report so that it is skimmable – i.e., there are headings and subheadings that give your readers the gist without them having to read every word.  Reports are also a great place to insert testimonials to provide proof that your stuff works.

Quizzes and Assessments.  Hot, hot, hot!!  With the right hook, a quiz can quickly spread like wildfire online.   Recently, one of my colleagues got 5000 new opt-ins with her quiz in just a few weeks.  Why?  Because it tapped into her potential clients’ desire and created burning curiosity – they all wanted to know their results, and share them with others.

Don’t make the mistake of discounting any of these options, especially the “small” stuff like checklists and scripts.  What seems like no big deal to you is EXACTLY what is often the most high value to your ideal client.   “More” and “bigger” does not mean “higher value”!  Value is created by providing a real solution to a challenge that is top-of-mind for your clients.

Want to provide even MORE value to your clients?  Create a video or short audio walking them through the “main event” (template, checklist, blueprint, etc).   They opt in for your hot freebie, then discover that you are giving them even MORE than they expected, in the form of your video.  It feels like a big give (think: underpromise and overdeliver) while at the same time, they don’t feel over-burdened, because they get the result you promised in the form of the freebie you advertised.

Regardless of the format of your free item, your goal is to help someone solve a problem in your area of expertise. The reaction you are trying to create is, “Wow, this person really knows what they’re talking about – I want more.”

Also, free offers DO have a “shelf life” on social media sites like Facebook.  If you’ve been using the same free item for a while, consider these suggestions and upgrade.  (You can bring older freebies back after they’ve been out of circulation for a while – provided that they are not dated, they will seem fresh once again.)

The good news – creating a powerful freebie can be really FUN when you come from a place of providing great value.   Use these tips when creating your next free gift and watch the signups roll in!

Some content used under license, © Claire Communications