A consultant was looking for help to attract more ideal clients and wanted to join my coaching program the other day.
We got on the phone and had a conversation to decide whether the program would be the right fit for them.
So if someone wants to ‘just call up a few of your clients’ I say “No” and explain why.
They were excited and wanted to move ahead.
A couple of hours later I got an email from a former coaching client that this consultant had reached out to them.
My former client shared with the eager consultant how joining my coaching program was “one of the best investments I’ve made in my life” – his words, not mine.
This got me thinking however…
How do you handle when a buyer wants references before making a buying decision?
I’ll share with you how I handle this…
1. My Duty, Not Theirs
I’ll first tell you that I don’t do this. If a buyer wants me to connect them with a current or former client I don’t – except in one case (I’ll explain in a minute). You see, it’s my job to communicate the value of working together to the buyer. Not my clients. I have great admiration and respect for my clients. I value their time and the last thing they need is to be getting calls from inquisitive folks. So if someone wants to ‘just call up a few of your clients’ I say “No” and explain why.
The only time I suggest that you make an exception, and I’ve done this in a few cases, is if the buyer is 99.99% ready to move forward. The only thing holding them back is speaking to a live person about their experience.
In that case, I’ll email the client and ask their permission with no obligations. I’ve never had a client say no. Most are delighted to share their experiences. Once they’ve given the okay I will introduce both parties by email so they can have a conversation. Every time I’ve done this and the buyer speaks with one of my clients they have signed up and became a client.
2. Be Prepared
An effective way to remove the need for a reference call is to have plenty of case studies, interviews and testimonials. For example, before I get on a call with a consultant to determine if they would be a good fit for the coaching program they receive an email. In that email they get:
- Several in-depth audio interviews where they can hear about the real experiences others have had in the coaching program
- A very long list of results and testimonials from consultants. These are all REAL people that with a quick search of their name or company you can find and confirm.
- A link to my LinkedIn profile (in case we aren’t connected) where they can see not only my full background and experience, more importantly they get a long list of recommendations from clients.
We’ve had great success with this ‘pre-call package’. You can do something similar in your business. Continue Reading