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What are the things that you are making sure to do on your consultations? You’re getting the client’s exact words, getting more in depth on the problem they need help with, what they’ve tried before, why it hasn’t worked.
What is the connection? The first stage is rapport and pleasantries, the second stage is problem management and the third stage is exposing the bigger issues behind the presenting problem. Your goal should be to get that third stage in your calls. That’s where the deeper connection and trust is earned.
Selling without deeper connection is costing you sales because you didn’t earn the trust that allows you to ask the harder questions.
Connecting is not just about understanding their point of view but it’s about gaining trust as an authority, too.
It’s worth the investment of time it takes to focus on their presenting problem and finding out what related issues it might be causing. People won’t be able to treat your time like a free coaching session if what you are providing goes beyond helping them with an immediate superficial issue.
If there’s a feeling that you have a big gap from connecting to “making the pitch”, then you will want to work more on the connection so that the offer feels like a natural next step rather than a hesitant offer.
Unless you create a strong connection, you will not be able to ask the hard questions to understand the root problem.
People are hooked by a singular presenting issue but buy to solve the root cause. You can’t get to the root cause without trust and connection.
That’s why coaches tend to default to coaching on a symptom. They want to help the client feel better and then be liked and have them purchase based on likeability.
This can cost you and the client because you are helping them on the presenting symptom rather than exposing the total issue. You want to value trust over like. It is much more of a service to help them see the entire issue and what it is costing them rather than try to help put out a little fire. This requires trust and connection, otherwise you sound like an opportunist
When you are coaching them to solve a specific problem, you may not have enough context or time to get that resolve. No one feels better. But if you tell them that you can’t solve a problem on a single call and help them understand their problem better, that is something they can use better than an unsettled issue.
It makes sense to want to coach on a call because that is what you do, but don’t coach to solve it, coach to expose it so that they can get the help they really need.
How do you get to that third stage of connection?
Everyone has a different way to describe their issues and even if they are very similar, make sure you listen for the nuances. It’s the details you want to pick up on. Be very clear on how your service takes care of the problem that your client believes is getting in their way. You can help them get better clarity on the depth and breadth of their issue. Expose the problem so that they see the whole thing, not just the tip of the iceberg. This is why you want to ask more questions than you want to spend time talking and coaching. You coach to help them understand the problem better rather than help them to solve the problem itself. It’s the difference of saying “What if you already know everything you need to know to lose weight, what would you do?” versus “what if you already knew that you could learn the process to lose weight?”.
Ask them what problems the problem is causing. For example, if I have a problem with weight loss, then the problems that it’s causing is that I don’t have self-confidence that I can do it, I won’t be able to look and feel better because I am an emotional eater, and I will believe that there’s nothing I can do about changing my body and I am stuck for the rest of my life. If you can address the process that takes care of the problems that the problems create, then I believe that the weight loss will take care of itself. If you help me see how your process helps me create the self confidence that I can do it, that I can look and feel better by shifting my emotions, and that your program will help me change the way I address my body so that I am not stuck for the rest of my life, then I am more likely to believe that my happy ending is possible. Then I can understand the value of your program and how it helps solve the problems that block me from what I truly desire.
Think about how to be more of yourself on a call. Think about the ways in which you create connection and trust. It’s because you are not just interested in a sale but in a person. How do you help people feel like they’ve been invited to an experience?
You can be the coach that sets yourself apart by prioritizing connection and relationship. When you seek to understand your clients point of view, help them to feel heard and establish common ground, you gain their trust and earn the right to ask the hard questions.