Econsultancy did a survey with some of the major consumer brands to ask them basically: How well do you know your customer?
The brands reported that overwhelmingly – 81% – said they really get and understand their customers.
But when they surveyed the customers, they found that only 37% said that their retailer understands them.
Isn’t that shocking? These are the people with the big bucks and all the research and not only are they not connecting with their customer, they are convinced that they are.
Now if huge retailers who are paying professionals big money to connect with their customer are missing it, what hope do we as coaches have to really reach our target market and get clients?
Well, a lot actually. Lots and lots of hope!
Let me really quickly show you what advantages you have that aren’t based on creative advertising or a marketing budget, but are simply based on the nature of what we do.
Here are 3 places coaches have an edge that they can leverage:
People who have to sell products usually have to sell to a bunch of different types of people.
First off, retailers are selling loads of products – not just one. And, secondly, their customers are a bit broad.
And even though we as customers shouldn’t be turned off when we get an irrelevant email or walk in to a store and get offered products that we’d never buy, we still feel like they should know. Somehow out of this sea of humanity, they should know who we are and only offer us things we want, like, or would find really useful. They’re trying to sell many different things to many different people.
And that’s why we coaches have an edge over pretty much every business that’s out there – that is, if we do it right!
Just last week, a coach contacted me and told me that they were having trouble narrowing down between 2 very different niches.
So I asked this clarifying question: if it was guaranteed that you would make a million dollars coaching either one of these markets, which one would you choose?
And she immediately had her answer.
And here’s why…
She already knew who her ideal client should be. She already knew who she wanted to work with.
But I think a lot of coaches starting out feel this incredible weight and urgency to get started, and, along with that, there are these feelings that there aren’t enough people who are interested in coaching.
When you get desperate, it makes you devalue what you do and compromise on who you really want to work with.
You feel like you need to broaden your options – from who you work with to what kinds of services you offer – but all that does is make it more difficult to tell people what you do and ultimately to land clients.
When I asked this coach the clarifying question: “What if the result was guaranteed…?” I translated her from the realm of limited possibilities to the land of abundance.
When you know who you want to work with and what kinds of solutions you want to help them get, it helps you get your voice and your communication really dialed in. As a result of your choosing to commit to who you want to help and what kind of life you want to help them create, they will understand what you’re trying to communicate because you’ll be speaking to them.
Rather than just trying to speak to everyone as a generalist – which is a turnoff by the way – you’ll separate yourself from all the noise and marketing chatter, while winning serious points with your ideal client who will come to believe that you know them because you’re speaking their language.
You’re not selling a product; you are selling a service.
The hardest job that most businesses have is that they are selling a product. And, in most cases, the product isn’t that unique.
Verizon is selling an iPhone. Best Buy is selling an iPhone. Amazon.com is selling an iPhone. They are all the same product. And the reason you choose where you buy could be price; it could be convenience; it could be because one offers free shipping.
Coaching, thankfully, is a service. But, let me take it a step farther: it is a personal service that is relational.
Most businesses don’t really have a relationship with their customer. And where there is no relationship, it’s just a transaction, and there’s no loyalty.
Coaches have a great opportunity to make meaningful connections with the people they want to serve. The quicker we understand that it’s relational, the more quickly we’ll create a momentum that helps us grow our businesses.
I was just at a business event yesterday and sometimes I really hate going to those things because everyone wants to sell me something. And the worst part is that these people are often in service-related businesses. They don’t grasp the fact that their services are not products.
If they took the time to get to know me, they’d establish some trust, and maybe I’d check out what they’re offering. But as long as they’re doing “Sell, sell sell!” I’m not interested.
So for you, never feel like being a non-salesperson is a bad thing. It’s actually a good thing. Do the work of meaningful connection. Not only will people want to work with you, but they’ll also open the doors for you to work with others.
And you’ll also be sowing the seeds of loyalty which will hold much greater weight that price or anything else.
While they are selling many things, you are selling only one – hopefully!
Most businesses have a wide variety of products. Retailers feel the pressure to have everything they can fit on a shelf. And some services like insurance brokers feel the pressure to be a one-stop shop for everything.
When your attention is split, you’re unable to be intentional with your customer. You start trying to sell things they don’t want and don’t need.
With coaching, we have the edge of doing one thing really well. I’m not saying that you can’t offer coaching in a number of different ways – you can! But you are offering a specific kind of coaching.
Many coaches attempt to be generalists and they fail at creating a momentum for themselves.
That’s because coaching is already so intangible, and people are always asking: “What’s in it for me? Why do I need that? What problem is your service going to solve for me?”
And that result is very specific. You need to choose what kinds of problems you’re going to help people solve.
Once you do, you’ll endear yourself to people who understand what you’re selling and how it can help them because you’re speaking their language.
Today, we stirred the pot on this discussion. On Wednesday, we’re going to get really practical on how we do these really well with existing clients so that that stick with us for a long time.