Earlier this year I began coaching a client who was just starting out business. She was right at the very beginning. She had done a few photo shoots and got paid a little bit, but wanted to make her hobby a real business. We sat down and made a plan for her business growth for the next 12 months. I asked her how many clients (realistically) she wanted to be seeing per month by the following Christmas. Then we created a plan to work backwards to achieve milestones along the way. The first month was dedicated to learning, the second month dedicated to setting up the structures, registering business names, creating systems etc. On the third month she would see her first paying clients.
We had been working together for a about six weeks when she started to feel nervous about business in general. She asked me how I had so much confidence to invest a lot of money in my business coach all those years ago. My answer was simple. I found someone that had been there and done that. Someone who had experienced the challenges in my industry, who had overcome them, and who had a proven track record of success. I told her that I believed he had the recipe, and all I had to do was learn the recipe from him.
She was still not convinced of how I could commit a large sum of money to business coaching, without a guarantee of success.
I asked her, ‘What is your reality? What is the biggest sale you have ever made in this industry?’ When she gave me her answer, I told her about the biggest sale that I had ever made. It was 22 times her biggest sale. For me, doing sales 4 or 5 times her biggest, was an every day occurrence. In fact, it was the average that we based our statistics on. So my reality was that not only is a sale 5 times what she had experienced my average sale, but that I also knew a sale 22 times her biggest, was also a reality. Did I believe that when I first met my business coach? No. I wasn’t sure that I would ever achieve a sale or a yearly turnover anywhere close to what he had, but I knew that in front of me was someone who had already been there, and who teach me what he has learnt along the way.
Would I have stayed working with my business coach for four years if I was not seeing results? Absolutely not! In fact the evidence I needed to support my faith in him was provided on the very first sale after our first ever session. My first sale after working with him for just two days was 50% higher than I had ever done before, and the next sale was 30% higher again. The small wins I got very early on in our business coaching relationship confirmed that I was making the right decision.
I have had a couple of clients that I coach say, ‘But that is you, I don’t think I could do that.’ The challenge is that our experiences frame our beliefs. There is an old saying: ‘Something is not possible until it is done.’ Even when it is done right in front of us, we can still find reasons why we couldn’t do it.
When I closed my photography studio to start business coaching, I gave some leads to the photographer who had managed my studio for five years. Although she had been a part of a business doing great sales, she still didn’t believe that it was possible for her. She was the photographer, not the sales person, but her photos had sold for multiple thousands of dollars, and here she is struggling to believe that she could do it. She was making excuses such as she wasn’t in our high class studio, or didn’t have the same facilities. True, but were her photos any less valuable? Ultimately she was struggling to believe in herself.
As kids, we take on things, we believe we are almost invincible, but then at some point we begin to let our fears overcome us and we start to hold ourselves back.
I would love to encourage you to think about your biggest sale. What where the circumstances leading up to it? How did you feel during the process? And How do you feel now? You know a sale of that value is possible, you have done it. What level of service and value would you need to offer your client to top that sale?
What is stopping you offering that to your next client?
Written by Nathan Archer – Certified High Performance Coach based in Perth Western Australia.
PS: I must finish this blog by saying that even though I have talked a lot about sales and the size of the sale, I believe that the money a client pays is the reward for us doing a great job. People buy for a range a reasons, and yes skilled sales people can manipulate the buyer to get bigger sales, but I believe that when you have an amazing product or service, one of quality and one that has the clients best interests at heart, then the money will flow. Business is not about targeting a bigger sale, for me business is about offering a client something that genuinely enhances their life. Do you really think that your product or service will greatly benefit the lives of your clients? If so, then why are you letting fear hold you back. If you can genuinely say I have the best interests of my clients at heart, then nothing can stop you except yourself.