Finding the right person to speak to about your corporate offer has gotta be one of the top hurdles that coaches come to me with when they want to sell to larger organizations.
Maybe they have tried the HR route and hit a wall (“We have this in house”, “This is not a priority for us right now”, “We’ll be in touch when we need something like this”). These are all typical responses from many HR departments – that’s if you hear anything at all.
Or maybe they’ve sent a bunch of messages to their network and on LinkedIn but have heard crickets back…
Often the question of the “right” person is based on the idea that they need to find the decision-maker – a concept touted by countless gurus and B2B sales trainers.
The guru advice usually states that you should either:
>> “Don’t waste your time on people who cannot make the buying decisions” OR
>> “Find a champion and get them to take you to the decision-maker”.
So what’s the problem with this advice?
Even though on the face of it they seem contradictory, both of these scenarios work on the assumption that there is this one person who has the power and desire (and budget) to buy a particular coaching or consulting service.
And that is exactly where the problem lies. Because this is not how large companies buy services from independent consultants or coaches.
For example, notionally, HR or Learning & Development departments are in charge of people strategies and people development. And they are likely to hold the budget for those activities. So they would qualify as the decision-maker.
Yet, it is very rare, that those departments are the only ones who buy people-related services.
And they are certainly not the only point of contact for an individual expert selling e.g. wellness coaching, productivity consulting, or even employee engagement advice.
Similarly, the CFO holds the purse-strings in an organization (aka, the decision-maker), but it would be a mistake to limit yourself by approaching only them as they are unlikely to buy e.g. stress coaching for the marketing team (they might buy it for their own team, though).
Different functions in a company will have different priorities and goals and make their decisions accordingly.
So it’s time to let go of the idea that you have to find “the” decision-maker and instead look at who are good people to speak to.
The 1st type of people you should contact
There are 3 types of people who you should contact – and yes, you should contact all of them
But you should be careful not to just send the same message to each one, as each type has a slightly different angle of how they perceive the issue that you can help with – and that means your message must hit the right focus to get them interested.
The first and most important is the person with the pain at a tactical level.
These are the people who struggle directly because they have the issue that you can help them with.
Maybe their team keeps missing deadlines because they don’t communicate well (if you’re a communications expert). Or maybe their employees are off sick a lot due to stress and burnout (if you’re a wellness coach).
These people generally have both a personal and professional challenge here.
They are unhappy because they are missing deadlines, goals, and targets. This puts them in an uncomfortable position in their organization. They might worry about losing their top people or they might be under pressure from their bosses.
The challenges are personal too because they mean these people are missing out on bonuses or promotions. They probably spend too much time at work, causing personal stress and maybe even problems and resentment in their personal lives.
These people are the keenest to buy your solution if you can demonstrate that working with you will help them resolve these problems.
Though they might need to get the buy-in and support from higher-ups and find the budget (both not as difficult as they sound).
The 2nd type
The second group of people also feel the pain but at a different level. They are one (or more) steps removed from the impact of the challenge but they have strategic goals and targets they cannot meet because of the issue.
This means they are still stressed about the challenges faced, they are still worried on both professional and personal levels but they probably don’t feel it as acutely as the people with the tactical pain.
To illustrate the difference: a senior manager or director with a tactical operational pain worries about their direct team e.g. of product developers who miss client deadlines.
Whereas the director or VP at the strategic level worries about the impact in client relationships and plans for market expansion when clients are unhappy about the missed deadlines.
The people at the strategic level will likely listen to suggestions for how the challenges should be resolved and have often larger budget authority to buy quickly. The good ones will have the ear of the tactical peeps, too.
The final group
Then there is the last group of people and those are even further removed from the direct impact of the issue that you can help with. These are the people in support functions, e.g. HR, Finance, Marketing, IT, Change management.
For coaches aiming to sell to corporates, the support function is most likely to be interested in HR but their pain is different from the other two groups.
While the first two groups will be concerned with the impact on the production of whatever the business sells (and all that’s involved in producing the goods or services), the HR function’s pain points come from not meeting goals around hiring & retaining staff, keeping absence to a certain level and maintaining the employer brand image.
Your message here needs to address how your work can help with those points as opposed to your message to say the person with the pain at the tactical level.
Understanding who those three TYPES of people are in any given company is crucial to reaching the “right” person to speak to about your coaching or consulting offer.
Because once you know these types, you can research your ideal corporate clients to find the likely candidates among their staff and ensure you reach out to them on a topic that is of actual interest to them.
And because you tailor your messages to their specific needs (see the examples above), you should be able to book 2-3 sales conversations a week with corporate clients, each worth 5-15k (assuming you are reaching out to sufficient targeted prospects).
My latest offer – Don’t miss out!
If you are currently making at least 5-10K/month from your business OR have a strong corporate background (you don’t need both), those results are entirely feasible.
And if you want to land corporate clients before Mar 31 (end of Q1 just ~ 6 weeks away), join The Launch Codes to Corporate Clients – my unique small group (4max) + 1:1 Coaching Hybrid program starting now in Feb.
Time investment: 6 weeks with weekly 60mincalls + 4-6rs/week implementation time
Financial investment: £7k (payment plans are available)
Pre-requisites: Ability to get results in your field of expertise and willingness to step into radical leadership for your business success.
DM me for a no-pressure chat on messenger or Zoom!