6 Reasons You Didn’t Get The Client – And What To Do About It
“I need some time to think about it.”
These might be the words you dread the most when speaking to a potential client.
I’ve been there! I recall having a great initial consultation with a prospective client – we were connecting, they shared their desires and their problems with me, and I knew I could help them.
They seemed like a perfect fit!
But then as I wrapped up the call I heard…
“I have to think about it.”
I waited. Checked my email inbox incessantly, hoping to get that “yes.” But I heard nothing. The woman I was hoping to have the opportunity work with never got back to me.
This certainly happened to me more than once, and it was always painful… especially because I felt lost about WHY clients weren’t signing up.
Over the years, I’ve learned that there are a few reasons why clients don’t sign up. The good news is that those reasons can all be fixed!
Six big reasons you didn’t get the client – and what to do about it
Reason #1 – Your calls aren’t structured strategically
If you are hopping on an initial consultation call and just winging it, you probably aren’t hearing yes very often. That’s because it’s very easy to lose control of the call if you don’t clearly state the agenda and stick to it. The conversation can quickly get off track, making it hard for you to make key points,set yourself up as an expert and feel good about making an offer at the end.
How to fix it
Go into every call with a clear outline – and at the beginning of the call share (with the potential client) how the call will flow. This way, they’ll know what they can expect out of the call so you can both stay on track.
You might say something like, “The way I structure these calls is:
- First, I’m going to get an understanding of what’s going on for you
- Then, I want to understand what you’ve tried already, what has worked and what hasn’t worked
- From there, we’ll talk about your primary goals
- Then at the end, if you’re interested, I can share how I work with clients
- Then ask them “how does this sound?”
It’s important to ask this last question, because you want them to buy into the process.
Now your client knows what you will be covering, and they won’t be surprised when you ask if they want to hear how you can support them. And you won’t have to make any awkward, sales-y transitions into that part of the conversation. Don’t you love that?
Reason #2 – Your confidence could use a boost
If you seem shy or unsure during any part of your consultation calls, your potential clients will sense that and have trouble having confidence in you. They may begin to question your experience and expertise…and whether you can really help them.
Many coaches I’ve worked with tell me they are confident during the beginning and middle of the call, but when it comes time to make the offer, they get nervous and trip over their words.
How to fix it
Again, go into every call with a structure and an outline. This will help you lead the conversation so you can demonstrate your expertise while connecting with the client.
If you feel shaky going into the sales part of the call, you may want to do a little mindset work to boost your confidence. Just remember that people are reaching out to you because they want and need your help. In most cases, they’re WAITING for you to share how you can support them.
If talking about money trips you up, you may want to look at how you’re pricing your programs.
While I certainly don’t want you to undercharge, it’s important to structure your pricing with numbers that you can OWN and feel good about charging.
That might mean starting low and increasing your rates over time. This is what I did when I was starting out as a health coach, and it worked beautifully to boost my confidence and allow me to raise my rates fairly quickly.
Reason #3 – You don’t have a follow up process
If a client doesn’t say yes during your initial call, it can be easy to think that they’ll be impossible to re-engage and that you’ve lost the sale. This is simply not true! Many clients really do need time to think about it/discuss it with their significant other.
The fact is, people are busy. Your potential clients have a million things vying for their attention, just like you do. They need reminders.
How to fix it
With the right follow up process, you can ensure that you’ll be able to re-engage those clients and get the sale back on track.
I’m going to share my favorite strategy for ensuring a follow up happens. It’s called the “check-in call” and it’s super easy.
If, at the end of a session, a client said they “needed to think about,” here’s how I responded:
“Great – definitely think about what we discussed and what would work well for you. Let’s schedule a time to check-in by phone for 10 minutes once you’ve had time to think about this. When would be a good time for us to check in?”
We would schedule the check-in call while we were still on the phone together so it was in both of our calendars. This makes it feel like an extension of the initial call process, so it takes that sales-y vibe away.
In fact, you’re almost giving them a bonus 10 minutes of your time to answer their questions after your initial call. This totally reframes the way the client is thinking about the follow up.
During the check-in call, you’ll be able to answer any questions (and address any concerns) they have about working together and they’ll be able to make a fully-informed decision.
Reason #4 – There’s no sense of urgency
When your services are evergreen (always available), it’s difficult to create a sense of urgency and excitement with clients. They feel that they can come back and work with you any time, so there is no real reason to pull the trigger today.
How to fix it
Using expiring bonuses or discounts is the best way to get someone who is sitting on the fence to make a decision. Here’s how to use this in your call:
“I love working with people who are ready to take action, so, if you sign up by [insert date – usually a week later], you’ll receive [insert discount or special bonus]. If you need more time to decide, that’s totally fine, no pressure. But if you do sign up by [insert date], I’ll be excited to give you [insert incentive].”
Your offer could be a discount, though I usually choose a bonus. Think about what your ideal clients would get excited about for a bonus – think private cooking class with you, massage, or a collection of your favorite cookbooks.
Experiment with a discount vs. other bonuses and see what people respond to and what feels right to you. If you decide to offer a discount, you’ll want to increase your pricing so that the discounted price is still fair payment for your services!
Reason #5 – You aren’t clear enough about the results you offer
Many coaches make the mistake of selling their process instead of the results clients get.
Clients may want to hear about HOW you work, but what they’re really interested in is what they will get from it.
Using generic results like ‘more energy’ or ‘weight loss’ is good, but it’s not enough. You’ve got to get personal with it and make it super relatable to the client.
How to fix it
In order to get really specific about the results that matter to the client, you should be using the first part of your call to listen and take notes so that you can understand their desires on a deeper level. Ask questions that get your client to open up and share.
As they begin to tell you what’s going on for them, make sure to ask follow-up questions so that you can get as much information as possible. Get them to talk about both the physical and emotional symptoms they are experiencing.
Once you have a good picture of what is going on for them, try asking these questions to go deeper:
- “How long have you been feeling this way?”
- “How has [insert struggle] been impacting you? What has it been like for you?”
- “What have you done so far? What changes have you tried?”
- “How would you like to feel?”
- “If you [insert the desires they shared], how would that make a difference for you?”
These questions are going to help to start connecting their desires to real, tangible things in their life.
For example, earlier in the call they might have shared that they want more energy. When you ask, “how would having more energy make a difference for you?” they might share that it will allow them to travel more and experience more adventure in their life.
In this case, what they’re really looking for at the end of the day isn’t more energy, it’s more adventure.
Using these questions and listen intently to what they REALLY want, and then share how you can help them with their specific goals and desires.
Reason #6 – You gave them too many options
If you’re giving your clients more than 2 or 3 packages to choose from, you’re probably overwhelming them.
How to fix it
Structure your offerings in a simple way that avoids confusion, and makes it easy for potential clients to make a choice.
Here’s a detailed article on how to create 3 packages that will fit your clients needs. At the end of the call, you should have a good idea of which option is going to be the best fit for this client, so recommend that option first – and then mention your second choice option so the client has 2 programs to compare.
With preparation and practice, you will become a pro at connecting with clients in your consultation calls so you’re closing the deal more often! Try these strategies for your next call.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
What’s working well for you in your initial consultations with clients? What hasn’t been working so well and what would you like to change?