A lot of my clients lament not having enough “ideal” clients. When we unpack what this means, they tell me things like, “I need more clients but don’t know how to get them,” or, “My cashflow is inconsistent,” or, “It’s hard to find clients.”
But the reality is, they lack the confidence to pick up the phone and have a chat with their current clients. They worry if they called them, they’d be “bothering” them.
I’m no fan of the cold call – never have been, never will be. But I am a fan of picking up the phone and helping people see the value I can add to them. I also know that not many people call anymore. So, when you do ring to check in on others, they are stoked.
This rang true for me when we had to pivot “Lunch with the Queen” when our old mate COVID-19 hit. I rang 15 women in one day to explain what was happening. Most of them were surprised that I genuinely wanted to have a conversation with them and didn’t “just send an email”.
The power of conversation
I had a client who was having trouble finding customers. She was a graphic designer and had enjoyed a few very successful years. When I asked her how many of her current clients were repeat business, she said none. I thought that was odd, and wondered aloud what would happen if she created a campaign targeting her existing clients – no cold calling, just a genuine, “Can I help you with something?” We worked out that over seven years, she had built a network of hundreds of people. So, she started calling.
Do you know what happened next? Her books became full for three months – and she hadn’t even called half her list yet! She was thrilled, and I was amazed that all this time, there had literally been money sitting on the table that she had not picked up.
You see, we can get so wrapped up in the idea of getting more or new clients that we forget to service our existing ones. They become forgotten, and we wonder why we don’t hear from them. The truth is, our clients are waiting to hear from us. We just need the confidence to reach out to them, and the belief that we can add value to their lives.
I have a confession to make…
When I first started my women in leadership coaching business, I didn’t feel like I had anything to say (those who know me know how ridiculous that sounds!). I lacked confidence in my ability to create content. So, I took myself off to Holly Cardamone at Blue51 Communications. Holly grilled me for three hours, and by the end of our session, I had a killer content plan to work with (magic, she is!).
Some people pop a plan like that into a drawer, never to be seen again. Others pull it out occasionally, play around with it, and then put it back. I committed to Holly (and to myself) that I would be consistent and write a blog each week. (Side note: I am gifted with discipline as one of my top strengths, so sticking to a plan is relatively easy for me. I realise this is not the case for everyone).
To do this, though, I had to set myself up for success. I still needed to get into a habit, get into a groove, and get writing. So, I dedicated an hour each week to writing. I put it in my diary and spent this hour writing, not procrastinating or looking at emails. I did this consistently for 18 months, and I got quicker. These days, I can kick out a blog in 25 minutes, which is a luxury I never thought I would have.
Let me break it down for you…
I started with discipline: sticking the time in my diary, keeping the appointment with myself, and not letting myself off the hook.
I was consistent (actually, I still am; I still do this).
I created a habit I knew was good for me. Having the time in my diary, knowing I could get my thoughts out of my head routinely, was as addictive as going for a run (for those runners out there) or as addictive as eating chocolate (for the chocolate lovers!).
The more I wrote, the more experienced I felt. If I was unsure of the topic I was writing about and needed further research, I knew how to do it, because I had a template to work with.
And, finally, my confidence – and, in turn, my belief – grew. Confidence comes when we least expect it. It wasn’t until very recently that I realised, “Woah, I can write some good stuff in 25 minutes and feel confident that I am hitting the nail on the head!”
What about you? Is there something you would like to get more confident with? If you put a few strategies in place, what would happen?
I’d love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m Emma, and I’m a business and executive coach who believes wholeheartedly in the potential of women. My coaching philosophy is simple- taking action leads to results- and I love working with women in business and in corporate roles to take their passion and drive and transform their professional and personal lives.
Be enthusiastic, optimistic and energetic, every day.