As coaches, we’re masters of creating a powerful context.
We take deep breaths at the beginning of our sessions to get our clients grounded. Then, we ask powerful questions like, “What would make this conversation extraordinary?” We invite our clients to dream bigger and go after what they want. We even talk about our work as being deeply transformational.
And yet, our context is not very inspiring when it comes to enrolling clients. For example, I was speaking with a coachingMBA member recently about his desire to enroll new clients, and I asked him a simple question: Why do you want to sign up new clients?
He told me his family’s cash reserves were low and that he’d like a little bit more of a buffer. I asked him, does that feel like a powerful context for creating clients? He paused for a long time, laughed a little, and then said no.
We all do this.
As coaches, we want to make money to pay rent, do the work we love, and live better, more comfortable lives. Or if we don’t need to make money to live on, then we use money as a way to judge our worth and value as a coach. We do this even though we know neither rent nor proving ourselves through cash are compelling contexts from which to enroll clients into our businesses.
Enrolling clients doesn’t just have to be something you must do. Enrolling clients can be a powerful creation, an expression of your most profound consciousness, and an act of passionate service – IF you want it to be, and IF you can create a powerful context from which to go out and enroll clients.
So how can we do this?
Creating a powerful context for client enrollment
1. Reflect on what you want
The first thing I do is ask myself, what could I create that would be amazing?
“Rent money” isn’t that inspiring, but all the money I need to live for a year? That’s more like it. Perhaps I want to go on an amazing vacation, invest in a fantastic coach, or check out a new program I’ve been eyeing.
I think about what I could create or do if I had the money to invest in them and prioritize based on which paths I want to take.
2. Ask what the best part would be
Sometimes, we want to do something like to take a trip, pay off a debt, or buy some nice gifts for the holidays. There’s nothing wrong with these simple desires, but they often hide deeper or more powerful motivations. . So think about the best thing about what that money could give you.
If it’s rent money, think about the freedom you’ll feel when you know you have enough to cover your rent for a year or even just a few months. If it’s paying off debt, imagine how great it would feel to let go of that stress or the freedom you’d feel in being able to invest in whatever you want because your money is yours. Imagine the pride you’d feel in overcoming such a big obstacle.
The point here is not to settle for what you want but to magnify the best thing about what you’d like and focus on that. See and feel the benefit of the state, opportunity, or status you are trying to create.
You want to aim for something that feels exciting, so if it doesn’t feel exciting, find something else to shoot for until it does.
After all, even small goals often have much more significant implications in our lives.
3. Determine the cost
Once you have your goal in mind, and the big benefit if the goal is clear, you have to put a dollar amount on it.
This is a straightforward step if the goal is something easily valued, like a car you want to buy or a program you wish to attend. But if it’s something less concrete, like your living expenses for a year, or a trip you want to take, the dollar amount might feel a bit vague. So try not to settle on a vague number; vague goals lead to vague ambition.
Instead, sit down and do the math. Figure out how much a year of rent and food costs for you. Then, pick a place you might want to go and price out flights, hotels, and side adventures you might want to take. Doing this will make your vision more real and give you a sense of precisely what each future sale and proposal means in the context of achieving your goals.
4. Break the number down
Now that you’ve got your number break it down into the specifics. For example, how many clients will that be? How big will the packages need to be? What offerings might make up that number?
You can see how realistic your plans are by breaking down the number into clients. It may also help reveal where you need to raise your rates or diversify your offerings.
The idea is that you want to play with the numbers until what you’re creating feels good in terms of delivery and goals. If you know you only want to serve ten clients but don’t feel comfortable tripling your rates, you might have to shrink or subdivide your goal to match that. You might also think of other ways to create money besides working one-on-one with clients.
The idea behind this step is that you get a sense of what you must do and what it looks like. Whenever I’ve done this, I’ve been able to create the money for the thing I wanted in a fun and inspiring way, and I’ve made lots of cool things as a result.
5. Set an action goal
The next step is determining the actions needed to propel you towards your goal. This is different from focusing on results, sales, or other metrics because results are deceptive.
Sometimes, you can do all the right things, but the results you expect don’t come. Success happens much later and increases over time, so if we judge our future outcomes based on what we’re currently seeing, we’ll stop long before we hit our stride. It’s like quitting a marathon 2 miles in because you can’t see the finish line yet.
So instead of focusing on results or sales, we need to focus on action.
Action is easy to measure, and if your action is consistent, the chances of hitting your goal increase.
There are two simple ways to set an action goal:
- Take your total monetary goal and triple it – this is the number of proposals you need to make.
- Take your total client goal and quadruple it – this is the number of “no’s” you need to collect.
No matter your chosen method, the idea is to incentivize your action. So if we can find a way to make the process of enrolling more enjoyable, and to make the feeling of taking action a good one, we can create a good sense around taking action.
This is why focusing on no’s and proposals are so practical. We are rewarding ourselves for taking the actions that we know will lead to success rather than on the success itself, the latter of which can be deceptive and elusive, especially if we’re emotionally attached to it.
6. Create your powerful context
Once you’ve completed the five steps above, you’re finally ready to create your powerful context.
Take a sheet of paper and write the powerful goal you are trying to create in big letters at the top. Next, underneath, write the dollar amount for what you want to create in support of that.
Then write down the number of proposals you’ll make or No’s you’ll collect over the next 30-90 days in support of your goal.
Here is an example:
Toku’s Vision For Creating a Life Free From Debt and Worry
I will make: $60,000 worth of proposals over the next 90 days in support of this vision.
Finally, include anything else that inspires you. This might consist of the reasons why this goal means so much to you. It could be little boxes you can fill out for each no, or for each $1000 you proposed. It could be a picture of the car you want to buy, the beach you want to go to, or the coach you want to hire. Whatever it is, remember that anything you add to this vision should increase the power of the context you want to create.
Then, post this context in a place where you can see it or refer to it regularly.
Selling coaching for the sake of selling coaching isn’t that inspiring. But if you can create a powerful context for yourself that breaks down your business into important goals and actions that matter to you, inspiration will start to flow so much more easily and consistently.