Successful client-based businesses and coaches are willing to work for free before receiving compensation — proving their overwhelming value up-front and therefore earning the trust of prospects.
Value-based service flips the old way of thinking on its head. It says, “first provide value, first solve problems, first help, and then receive compensation.” Inherent in this philosophy is the risk that people will take your solutions and go ghost; yet the immense benefits of working for free upfront far outweigh the consequences, in my view.
This is where what I call “personalized prospecting” or “account based lead gen” comes into play.
The idea is to provide actionable, tangible step-by-step directions, hand-made audits and evaluations, and examples and diagrams that literally show — not tell — your prospect what you’d do to solve their problem, plus how you’d do it.
Most coaches are inundated with messages from other coaches trying to get their business but 95% of those people are doing very little to actually stand out. The best combination of cold outreach — which has to be done at scale if you really want to grow your business — is a combination of a hyper-personalized text memo plus what I call “the jewel.”
The jewel is the asset you provide that they can take and use right away.
It is evidence that you did research into them, as an individual, and demonstrates genuine diligence into their opportunities to transform.
Examples of prospecting jewels could include:
➤ An entire how-to article just for them including examples and diagrams of their business
➤ Creating a multi-page PDF where you conduct an detailed audit for free
➤ A 20-minute training video on how they’re leaving money on the table and how to fix it
➤ Pre-written email nurture sequences they can plug into their cadence
How would receiving these things from someone change your reciprocity and willingness to work with them (as opposed to an obviously generic mass message that just feels squirmy)?
Each day, I am cold contacted by anywhere from 5-15 coaches. That’s 15 messages, 15 programs, 15 individuals. So, those who I happen to see who actually make an attempt to go above and beyond are likely to catch my eye. Your prospects will be more likely to remember you when they are ready to invest in a growth program because of the value you provided without asking for a dime.
Sales isn’t about selling (at least in the usual sense). It means going above and beyond what anyone else is doing in order to court a client.
Take some time to dig through each individual’s page before you reach out. Take your time with your scouting — I’d rather see my clients reach out to 5 people per day than 50 if it means truly personalizing messages to those 5 (knowing it will go a lot farther than the “insert first name” swap that anyone can do).
You have to do what others can’t and aren’t willing to do to get where you want to get.
That means literally creating usable templates, training content, and how-to demos specifically created for individuals.
The implication is “hey, I’m going to overwhelm you with such deep and immeasurable value that you’ll have NO NEED to hire anyone else… because here’s what you should do, and it’s all free, right here. Imagine what we’d do together if I’m giving you all this for free!”
When you outline these implementation opportunities — complete with screenshots, diagrams, call-out boxes and more — you can even outline what you’d do together in conjunction with whatever you’re showing them upfront.
For business coaches, show them how they’re leaving money on the table with less-than-perfect website tactics. For confidence coaches, create a lengthy self-recording geared specifically for them, citing personal experience and vulnerability to create empathy. For real estate coaches, create a prospectus showing a dozen available listings in your prospect’s city based on what their goals are. Include a step-by-step blueprint of how they can go acquire the properties even if they didn’t opt to hire you.
Such an approach is a wager on your end — you are risking the prospect taking your immense brain dump and running. However, this kind of prospecting will convert clients at a rate higher than random, one-size-fits-all DMs or Facebook messages that have no incentive, flavor, or value.
The problem with this approach is that it takes a lot of time… time you don’t have if you’re building businesses, coaching clients and holding sales calls.
You could do the work yourself. Or you can hire a dedicated prospector tasked solely with creating, say, in-depth PDFs that use illustrations, arrows, screen grabs, examples and blueprints for X-number of highly-qualified prospects per day.
Count it as a cost of doing business.
When these prospects inevitably thank you feverishly and ask why they would hire you after receiving all the answers in your detailed evaluation, tell them that, respectfully, you weren’t even being creative with the info you provided — that was the tip of the iceberg and that you thrive the deeper in the weeds you get.
Such an approach also drastically increases your value as a coach. Instead of charging $2,897 for your program, you can get away with an anchor of, say, $7,397 and go from there. Actual transformation is invaluable and if you can create the perception of legitimate, imminent transformation, cost is basically a non-factor.
Personalized prospecting is the way to get to five-figure months. And I believe it’s the way of the future for successful coaches.