How to Get More Financial Coaching Clients Through Your Sales Funnel

Owning your own business, especially if you’re just starting, will have you thinking a lot about leads. Where do your best leads come from? How can you get more? How can you move them quickly through your sales funnel? These are questions many an entrepreneur has pondered in the middle of the night.

We qualify leads in one of three ways; cold, warm and qualified. How we classify each and how we gear our marketing and messaging toward them is different. Here’s how and why.

Nurturing Cold Leads

Cold leads are by far the most challenging to convert. Why? Because they have no idea who you are. They are people who yes, could benefit from your services, but they don’t have a clue about what problems you solve, let alone that your business exists.

People who are cold leads would likely come to know your business through advertisements, publications or cold calling. They’re not someone who may have heard about your business through their network of friends, acquaintances or business contacts.

The good thing with cold leads is that there are a lot of them out. Chances are more people who don’t know about your business than do. If you can find a way to effectively convert cold leads, that can lead to tremendous growth. However, converting a cold lead will always be the most challenging. Cold leads for our financial coaching business have a less than 2% conversion rate. Those aren’t great odds.

Warm Leads

Warm leads, on the other hand, are a little cozier with your business. These are the people who know about your business and may have even engaged with it or you in a passive way. They started cold but have warmed up to you a bit. Maybe they’ve visited your website, liked a post on Facebook, follow you on Instagram, or read a blog post of yours that someone shared with them. These warm leads could even be a referral from a client or a referral partner who mentioned you or your business in passing.

Regardless of how they’ve come to know you, they do. And at some point they’ve decided they like and/or trust you, making them that much closer to buying what it is you’re selling.

Warm leads for us, convert a lot better than cold ones. Their conversion rate is 15 percent. That’s still not a number to cause us to throw a lot of marketing dollars at this group, but we’re getting somewhere with them.

Nurturing Qualified Leads

These leads are our tried-and-true best source of new clients. They convert more than 50 percent of the time from leads to paying clients.

This rate makes sense to us. During the buying journey, qualified leads are the furthest down in our marketing funnel. They are on the cusp of buying because they have a need, you fulfill that need and they are aware of your services.

For example, a person who does a Google search for a specific product or service is a qualified lead because their need has brought them to a company like yours. A trusted referral partner who talks with authority about what you do can also produce great qualified leads for your business. If you offer a free Q&A with your business, anyone partaking in that Q&A is a qualified lead. We have found that more than 57% of people who schedule a Q&A with us buy our services.

Getting Hotter: Moving Leads from Cold to Qualified

In reality, most leads start in the cold to warm range. How many leads you get and how quickly they move from cold to warm and warm to qualified will have a direct impact on your profits.

To get prospects moving through our sales funnel, we focus on a few qualifiers:

  1. Our social media presence
  2. SEO
  3. Past clients and referral partners

Our social media presence reflects our brand’s tone and messaging, allowing leads to warm up and get to know and like us. With SEO, we work to capture leads who might be looking for financial coaching services but don’t know we exist. Our past clients and referral partners create great, qualified leads because they can help leads get to know, like and trust us all in one conversation. If they’re really great, they even provide a way for the lead to give us a try. For us, encouraging them to schedule a Q&A call.

When leads come our way, we have ways for them to better know, like and trust us:

  • For cold leads: We direct them to our social media, related blog posts, or a lead magnet or free guide as a way to capture them in our email communications.
  • For warm leads: We are directing them more toward specific content or scheduling a free Q&A call.
  • For qualified leads: We’re erasing any last doubts or questions with a Q&A call or circling back with a personal message, reminding them of our services and giving them a reason to pull the trigger and buy.

How We Convert Financial Coaching Clients: Two Scenarios

This is all fine to talk about the abstract, but we always think real-life examples work better. Here are two ways we’ve seen clients move from cold lead to client.

The Friend of a Friend

A cold lead, let’s call her Jennifer, sees a post of ours come through her Facebook feed. Jennifer doesn’t follow us on Facebook, but a friend of hers does and that friend commented on our post. Jennifer’s curiosity is piqued so she clicks on the post to see what her friend and everybody else said in the comments. She likes what she sees so she decides to follow our page.

Gradually she starts engaging more. We post a reminder about our Eureka (discovery session) on Facebook. Jennifer checks out our Eureka sales page on our website but doesn’t buy it. But she does sign up for our monthly newsletter. A few months later, we mention that as part of a year-end deal, we’re offering a discounted rate on Eureka sessions to our newsletter subscribers only. She’s been thinking about booking a session with us anyway, so she clicks on the link in the email and schedules a session with us for the following week.

The Referral Partner Super Fan

A referral partner is out to lunch with a good friend. Let’s call him Matt. Matt is telling this partner about how frustrated he is with his finances. He talks about feeling like even though he makes good money, he can’t seem to get ahead. Our referral partner mentions Fiscal Fitness. She talks about what we do, who we help and how great it is to work with us. After the lunch, that partner texts Matt our website and encourages him to schedule a Q&A call. He does and books a Eureka session on the spot.

Patience Is Key

We have been in business for more than a decade, so we’ve seen these buying scenarios play out in a lot of different ways. And as a result, we know some leads will take longer to convert than others. Not everyone who learns about us will buy our services on the same day. Some do, but we don’t count on it. We’ve created a whole ecosystem of free content, paid content, community groups, targeted communications and trusted referral partners to ensure that no matter the lead, there’s a path for them to get to know, like and trust us. And of course, eventually, buy our services. That’s the goal, after all.

Need help identifying ways for leads to work their way through your sales funnel? This topic is covered in the Client Conversions and Beginner Marketing modules of the Financial Coach Academy, our online course for financial coaches looking to start or grow their coaching business. Learn more about the course and how it’s helped coaches just like you design programs and marketing that move prospects through their funnel here.