Making cold calls to prospects and leads is challenging for most financial coaches. Here are a few tips and one major mental shift to make before picking up the phone.
We’ve been holding our 21-Day Challenge for financial coaches a couple of times a year over the past two years. It’s a friendly competition of sorts to help us and the other participating coaches do some lightning-fast growth and business-building over the course of 21 days. One of the tasks in the challenge is to call five people who have expressed an interest in coaching. And even though this has tremendous potential (these are qualified leads after all), most coaches don’t want to make cold calls.
We get it. Prospects are a crucial piece of building your business but calling them can be intimidating. You probably feel awkward. What should you say? What if you bother them? What if they get annoyed that you called? What if they don’t want anything to do with you or what you’re selling?
Feeling scared to reach out to prospects is perfectly natural. After all, it can be pretty daunting to step outside your comfort zone. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple mental shift you can make that will do you and your prospects a lot of good.
The Mental Shift: Come From a Place of Service
Your anxious thoughts likely come from the belief that the purpose of calling prospects is to get them to sign up with you. It’s sales-y. And sometimes it can feel smarmy. Believing this is going to be a detriment to you.
Rather than put yourself at a disadvantage to start, here’s a better mentality: The purpose of the call is NOT to get them to book with you. Record scratch! What?!? The call is not about the sale. It is to serve them well and give them a step or two to take toward their financial goals.
If you approach the call with a service mentality, it’s more likely they’ll be grateful for your call rather than annoyed. Going into the call with a focus on helping your prospect (whether they sign with you or not) will free your mind from the anxiety of having to “make the sale”. It will show your prospect that they’re not just a statistic, not an item on a monthly business development to-do list that you’re looking to check off. Feeling that someone genuinely cares about you is a great reason to do business with them.
Strategies for Employing The Shift
Here are some action items to help enact your new mindset and make your call go smoother:
- Start by asking if now is a good time for a short talk or ask if they’d rather you call back.
- Put a time limit on your talk; say 10 or 15 minutes. It’s easier to make a call when you know it’s not going to last an hour.
- Check-in with them on their financial goals. Say “Is [insert goal] still something they hope to achieve? Has anything changed?”
- Ask them what they have tried. What has worked or not worked? Explore what would be most helpful, whether it’s a long-term coaching program or just a quick-fix they can implement now.
Remember: your mission on this call is to ensure they’re making financial progress through your service. It’s all about helping them. It’s not about signing a new client.
Sometimes, in order to truly serve the client well, the correct advice is “Do not hire me.” You’ve likely run into coaching situations in the past that haven’t gone well. And if so, you’ve learned that not everyone is for you, and likewise, you’re not for everyone.
Part of serving includes being honest about whether you’re the best person to help this prospect. Even if you aren’t, keep your service focus by recommending other people and resources to them. But if you believe you are the best person to help them, don’t shy away from saying that.
Get Creative in Your Service
Even if they don’t sign up for coaching or book another session, you can still be of assistance. Think of helpful ways to stay engaged with them. At this point, it might be enough to just suggest a book, a podcast episode (ahem, we know a good one, ahem), or some other tool.
Ask them to follow you on Instagram, and you could tag them in the comments when you post something related to their goals or see another coach or resource do that. If you help your prospects by providing specific guidance, you are doing them a service.
Something to Remember on The Call
Always think about how they will view you when you hang up the phone. They should end that call having received some guidance and knowing a step they can take toward their financial goals. If you do this call right, they likely will feel appreciative that you took the time to help them. Maybe they won’t end up being your client, but it increases the chance that they will recommend you to other people. And if they don’t seem receptive or your cold call doesn’t go as you hoped, don’t beat yourself. Don’t replay and analyze the conversation a thousand times in your head. Maybe it wasn’t perfect or 100% graceful. It never is, and I can say that even after 10 years of financial coaching.
Worth The Challenge
Making prospect calls is hard, but it will be 100% worth it, even if you do not get a single client from the first five or 10 people you call. You will feel proud of yourself. The effort alone reaps rewards, and it does get easier the more you do it.
If client calls are something you struggle with, check out the Financial Coach Academy. Our online training course includes, among hundreds of other materials, documents and templates, call scripts and guides to help you make those five or more prospect calls a little easier. Learn more here.
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