This is part two of two-part article. You can read the part 1, “Pre-Consultation Preparation”, by clicking here.
Just to recap, this post is to help you conduct better consultations so that you get more clients without increasing the number of free consultations.
These guidelines applies during the free consultation.
1. Use Silence to Get the Answers You Want
Silence is a powerful tool that can turn someone with no intention of hiring you into a client. Whenever you ask a question during the consultation, it’s best to stay silent and let your potential client finish his sentences.
After speaking with a lot of prospects, you’ll find that few will be reluctant to share information with you. Some even answer quickly without any thought at all. Not saying a word when a potential client doesn’t give you the answer you’re looking for will surely make them spill.
Silence means that their answer isn’t good enough for you and forces them to give you all the information you need. This also puts you into the higher ground, making you lead the call.
“I don’t even know you. Why would I ever tell you anything about my future?”- The Dan Sullivan Question
Now, what if they’re still resistant to giving you the answers that you want?
Simple. Tell them that you won’t be able to help them and politely end the call.
You want to only focus on getting clients that you can actually help and work with. This will also make you valuable in the eyes of potential clients, since you care more about giving value than money.
This is a valuable lesson I’ve learned from the book The Dan Sullivan Question. I highly recommend you to read this book as well to make you better at handling consultation calls. I have written a summary of the book for actionablebooks.com and you can read it free here.
2. Never Solve Their Problems on the Spot
If you want to sell your high-value offers, never solve their problems on the consultation call. Potential clients are coming to you because they’re experiencing pains and problems. But even if you know what’s wrong, never teach or coach them on the spot.
Prescription without diagnosis is a malpractice.
Solving their problems on this call will release your potential clients from their pains. They’ll feel that they won’t need to hire you since you gave them the valuable advice that they needed. All you have to do is write down their problems and focus on diagnosis.
Remember, your goal is not to solve your potential client’s problems on the spot. You’ll want to study their situation and let them know how your high-value offers can help them.
3. Connect With Your Potential Client at the Start of the Call
At the beginning of your call, you’ll want to connect with your potential client. You need to break the ice to make the entire consultation a pleasant experience for the both of you.
It would be a great idea to start every consultation session with small talk. This should only last around 2 – 3 minutes and it’s sole purpose is to create a connection before going into serious matters.
Questions like the “How are you doing today?” or “How’s the weather there?” would be a great way to start a consultation call.
4. Set the Agenda and Lead the Conversation
After establishing a connection with your potential clients, it’s important to set the agenda and lead the conversation. This can help you establish yourself in the leadership role and make your prospect open up even more.
Setting the agenda will also prevent potential clients from expecting that you will solve their problems on the spot. It’s also a good idea to let them know that you two may end up working together if (and only if) you feel that the both of you are a perfect match.
But you may encounter some people that try to overpower you and lead the call. Don’t let them. If they still insist on setting the agenda for the call, politely decline and tell them that it doesn’t work that way. End the call and don’t waste your time.
You need to lead the conversation and even if potential clients try to keep asking you questions, ignore them and stay with the agenda. Unless, you think you can fit those in your agenda later.
5. Be Aware That Some People Are Just Trying to Get Free Answers From You
Some people would have no intention of hiring you at all. They just want free advice from you and this can really be a waste of time for you. But guess what? You can still turn them into clients!
Honestly, I’ve had a few of clients that had absolutely no intention of hiring me at first. But, at the end of the call, they get so excited to work with me that they changed their mind. (Yes, they actually told me this!)
But what can you do when you feel someone is simply trying to get free answers from you?
Don’t give up and just stick with the agenda. You’ll be surprised that this actually works. If you’re able to show the value of your service, even someone who has no intention to hire you will definitely change his mind. ‘
Trust me, I’ve had clients in the past that admitted they had no intention of hiring me at first. They have absolutely no regrets right now since I was able to help them reach their goals.
Alternatively, if you have the guts, you can also try letting them know how you feel. Simply let them know that you feel they have no intention of hiring you but don’t stop the call and continue the consultation.
Most people would do their best to prove you wrong and appreciate your effort of continuing the call despite how you feel. It’s a win-win situation for you!
If you get too many people who just come to waste your time then you have a marketing people. You need to qualify them before they can book an appointment with you.
Are you ready to get more clients with your free consultations?
This is just the second part of my blog post series. Make sure to read the following next ones to learn the right way of handling consultation calls and how you can convert potential clients into paid ones. I’ll be explaining every step of the process in detail so make sure not to miss it…
I’m super excited to see you get more clients after finishing the “Get More Clients With Your Free Consultations” blog post series!
You can read the part 1, “Pre-Consultation Preparation”, by clicking here.
Call To Action
Let me know in the comments below the one thing you are going to implement from this post into your own consultation practice.