You need to ASK for the next step

Here is something I recently noticed that many coaches are doing that’s stopping them from getting more sales – both sales from individuals but also those 4 & 5-figure sales from corporate clients. 

They are not ASKING their prospect for the next step!

In this post, I unpack why and how to ask for the next step successfully (with examples), in a 100% ick-free, non-pushy way so that you can fill your diary with dreamboat clients.

I will be focusing on how to do this in situations where you want to work with corporate clients as a coach or consultant, but they also work just as well when you’re aiming for individual sales (as I’ve learned from personal experience ;).

Firstly – you need the opportunity to make your offer

You probably already know you should be asking for the sale when you are on a sales call. That’s kind of the point of the conversation, right

There is loads of advice about how to ask for the sale (a quick google search came up with over 9 billion answers!). Which one is the right one? The one that feels comfortable to you AND gets an answer. [if you want to know more, tag me below and I will create a post on this topic].

But, before you get to the position of even asking for the sale, you need to ask your prospect to give you the opportunity to make them an offer. 

This usually means you need to ask them to speak to you in more detail, in something like a discovery session or at least an exchange of messages, where you can learn more about them and establish if and how you can help them. 

This is definitely true when you sell to corporates, as they rarely buy services simply off a website. 

Common fears people had/have (including myself!)

But it’s also true that too many coaches are worried about coming across as pushy or sales-y. As a result, they either leave it to the prospect to make a move or make their asks very vague.

In fact, I’ve personally been in the situation recently with two coaches who had piqued my interest in their work.  We had an exchange of comments and I was getting interested in finding out what exactly they would offer and how we could work together, yet they never asked me if I wanted to know more.

And I was worried that if I asked them more, I’d be barraged with pushy sales jargon when I was interested but not yet sure about working with them – guess what happened? Nothing, I didn’t ask, they didn’t ask any more and…

The opportunity just dwindled away…

(please note, asking if someone is interested AFTER an exchange of messages is very different from those sleazy tactics that ask if you want to buy without having ever spoken to you!)

But equally ineffective are those non-committal requests which are very popular when people contact corporate prospects. Things like “if you are interested, please reply to this email” or “I would welcome an opportunity to talk to you in more detail”. 

What asking for the next step should look like 

On the surface, the statements above may seem like a logical way of “asking for the next step” but really, they are pretty vague – asking for the next step should be more precise. For example:

  • Tell your prospect what you really want – an email, a phone call, or a meeting over coffee? 
  • How long will it take?
  • What will they get out of it? This one is important because if the only benefit of the meeting is that you get to pitch to them, that’s not really very attractive to them!
  • You might want to suggest a date & time or offer a range of dates (like “next week”) – I’m not completely convinced these are great methods (When I was in corporate, they annoyed me and invite a “no” answer as I pretty much never have time at the suggested date) but some people swear by it. 

Let me give you an example that I have used in one form or another for years with great success (my topic at the time was all about employee engagement and I was coaching professional services firms): 

(After introducing my topic in 2 sentences)

“I wondered if you wanted to have a chat about if your team is meeting your ambitions in these areas? Not some unfocused chit-chat (or a veiled sales pitch) but to create the space for you to have a genuine conversation about the trends and experience in other firms, the current levels of happiness and engagement in your team, and where you would like them to be.

I won’t assume that you are looking for support on this topic at the moment, but I can guarantee you that 45 minutes on the phone with me will give you some unique insights and even practical tools to guide your team to genuine engagement in their work, create agility and transform the client relationships over the next 6 to 12 months.

A brief “yes” or “no” reply is all I need right now to let me know if you are interested, alternatively, I can contact your PA to set up a meeting that’s convenient for you.”

This level of preciseness on logistics AND value led to a conversation which in turn led to 3 years of consulting work at multiple 6-figures.

What I can offer you

In my 1:1 program, I help you create tightly focused outreach messages as well as designing your layered lead generation strategy that plays to your personal strengths. That means you can implement it consistently, which actually means you cut down on the time and energy you need to fill your diary with prospective client calls.

I also work with you on focusing on the right niche that you are excited about working with, help you with your marketing message so that you attract only those prospects who are right for you and teach you how to have simple but effective sales conversations and create proposals that convert at approximately 80% of the time.

Following this program, you should be able to have 1-2 explorative conversations with ideal corporate prospects per week (if you reach out to sufficient numbers) and book 1-2 new corporate clients per month for your business for $5k-$15k contracts.

If you’re interested in the program, the next step is to DM me and we’ll have a chat over messenger where I ask you a few short questions to see if it’s a good match for your business. If so, we can get started immediately.

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Miriam Gilbert, founder of Impactfulness Lab, smiling

About Me

With more than 20years experience as a corporate decision-maker and CFO, 8+years running my own 6-figure consultancy I KNOW exactly what goes on in corporate mindsets – and how to sneak into their brain, charm their mind and get them to throw their budget at you.

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