By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
A proven strategy for attracting clients is offering a "free introductory session" or complimentary consultations. These can definitely work, if done correctly, but frequently it can be a waste of time that has left you frustrated and discouraged.
You want a better way to turn the right prospects into paying clients. My friend and associate, George Huang, has developed a ground-breaking approach to working with more clients who appreciate your value (and gladly pay you for it)!
Let me explain George's system:
While free sessions and complimentary consultations can and do produce results, there are a lot of problems with giving away your time and expertise in the hopes of landing a new client.
Let's take a look at some of these problems:
1. For starters, one huge problem is that you can attract a lot of "tire-kickers" – poorly qualified prospects who book a session with you because it's free. From their perspective, it's easy to say 'yes' to a free session because there's nothing to lose and everything to gain.
But let’s face it - unless you have a way to weed out the tire-kickers, you’ll burn up valuable time, energy, and expertise on someone with little to no interest in going any further, forcing you to work even harder to win new business.
2. Another problem with “free sample sessions” is that sets the wrong context for paying you based on value, because such an approach doesn’t necessarily convey the value you provide. Perhaps the “free sample” method works well with gourmet chocolate, but it falls short of communicating the breadth and depth of your real value as a coach, consultant or other service professional.
3. With rare exceptions, conversion rates from "free sessions" tend to be low. It's like panning for gold; you have to sift through a lot of sand to find the hidden nuggets.
But if there was a way to:
• Eliminate the "tire-kickers” who only waste your time and energy
• Humbly, yet powerfully showcase your expertise (without a trace of showboating)
• Turbocharge the process of attracting high-quality, pre-qualified prospective clients
• Select only the best clients to work with
• Markedly increase your conversion rates, and
• Get PAID while you prospect...
...Would you use it?
Of course you would. Or at least your eyes should get really wide as you read this! :)
Simply put, the way to accomplish all the above is to start charging for your initial sessions. But you can't just take your existing "free" session and slap a price tag on it: George told me he tried this more than once and survived to warn people not to try it yourself!
Instead, if you're going to attach a fee to your initial session, then you need to first increase the real, tangible value that you provide through your initial session. And you need to understand how to position and communicate the value of your session in the eyes, minds, and hearts of your potential clients.
So how do you do that?
One of the keys to success in offering "paid sessions that clients gladly pay for," is that your session must deliver "standalone" value that is more than worth paying for.
Drawing on the medical model of diagnosis and treatment that George honed during his previous career as a plastic surgeon, the best way to really ramp up that value is to weave a “diagnostic” approach into your initial sessions with clients.
Look beyond the immediate pain, problems or symptoms to discover their underlying issues and paint a bigger picture of possibilities for them. Specifically guide your prospects through the myriad of choices and paths to reaching their goals. And don't worry, you don't have to become a doctor to do this!
Even as you're practicing and mastering this approach, you’ll offer much more than a “sample” or an introduction; you’ll provide a thorough, strategic, and actionable game plan. You’ll offer clients solutions for which they’ve been searching, things truly “worth paying for.” Additionally, you’ll help them invest in their own solution.
And so they’ll stand a greater chance of actually following through with a plan they have invested in, rather than one that was given to them.
While it may seem paradoxical at first, converting clients from paid sessions into longer-term clients is frequently easier than from free sessions. When you offer sessions that clients pay for, you are already working with a client who is paying you for value and they have self-declared themselves as serious about making changes in their circumstances.
Having a system for attracting prospects and converting prospects into long-term clients is essential for any business person, and yet, too many service-oriented professionals spend years studying and honing their crafts, only to “wing it” on a "hope and a prayer" when it comes to finding and keeping clients.
Relying on good luck and your magnetic personality is not a proven system, nor is hope a good business strategy. Instead, the approach George has mastered is part of a system that naturally and logically leads the right clients to hire you for extended work.
I know a lot of really talented people with big hearts are out there struggling because they hate selling. And that pains me because both George and I used to be certifiably allergic to marketing and selling. With the value-driven, "diagnostic" approach I've just described, there's literally no selling on your part; clients naturally sell themselves.
And that's really good for your business, for you, for your clients, and for the world.
The More Clients Bottom Line: One of the best ways to convert qualified prospects into paying clients is to offer them an initial paid session instead of a free session. You'll attract better clients, waste less time and earn some money in the process, even if they don't end up as a long-term client.
If you'd like to know more about how George Huang's "Get Paid to Get Clients" System works, please join us for a teleclass next week where I'll interview George. It's on Thursday, August 18 at 5:00 Pacific. Details here: