3 Ways to Put Emotionally Hurt Clients at Ease
As a high-level trainer, speaker and certified coach with 20 years of experience in sales, one of my greatest passions is to support entrepreneurs, business owners and individuals in general to learn skills, tools and ways they can serve more people and bring their gifts to the world.
Whether YOU are a coach, teacher, consultant, or any other type of service provider or entrepreneur, you probably know that feeling confident about what you do is an important piece of your work.
You want to feel good about your skills and your services, and knowing that you have the ability to help clients and take really great care of them is essential.
But what do you do if a potential client has had a bad experience with another company or individual who offers what you offer? What’s the best way to serve them?
If you’ve ever come across a potential client who’s been emotionally hurt or burned before by someone in your line of work, keep reading!
1. Ask about your client’s experiences.
First and foremost, during the initial enrollment conversation, I’ve found that it’s helpful to simply ask whether or not your prospect has ever had an experience, positive or negative, with anyone who offers what you do.
Asking this question in the beginning will inform you of any experiences or preconceived ideas they have about this opportunity. Then, ask them what they would have loved more of AND less of.
These questions basically lead to a mini enrollment conversation because they actually tell you what didn’t work for them, if they were ever burned and what caused them to feel burned.
Oftentimes, you can immediately put their mind at ease by listening to everything they say. I recommend writing down the most important words and phrases that you hear from their comments.
2. Repeat back and acknowledge.
What people want most more than anything is to feel heard, to be seen and to feel acknowledged, especially if they were previously emotionally hurt by someone they hired. One of the best ways to do that is to truly listen and then repeat back the words they say. For example, you can start by using the phrase,
“So what I hear you saying is ______.”
Then, when they confirm you’ve heard them correctly, you can ask them,
“If you could wave a magic wand and create your ideal experience with a (coach/consultant/fitness trainer/massage therapist), what would that experience look like?”
The reason this question is so powerful is because in order to help your clients create lives they’d love, the first step is to get clear on what that even looks like – because it looks different for everyone! And the best way to do this is to have them create pictures in their minds. Most people have never thought about it this way before.
So, start by helping them to break down what they really want, and from there, you can then investigate and ask more questions.
3. Go for the “hot button.”
Ultimately, when a prospect can tell you exactly what they want, they’re giving you what we call in the sales world the “hot button.” A hot button is an exact description of how your prospective client wants to be sold.
This information is absolute GOLD, so be sure to write it down.
For example, a prospect may say they’d love to work with a coach who can help them lose weight within six months. Ideally, the response the coach would give to this prospect upon hearing this information would be something like,
“Great! Then we’d make a great team, because I’ve done that before for many of my past clients.”
Once you have the hot button and you know what your prospect would love, when it comes time for you both to explore the possibility of working together, you’ll know immediately whether or not it’s a good fit.
If you both are a good fit for each other, then let him or her know the reasons why you believe it’s a good fit, how you typically work with people, and how it matches exactly what they would love to experience.
If you find that you would need to make some adjustments to your service in order to match your prospect’s needs, then you might say something like,
“I’m more than happy to customize my work and what I do to fit your needs that you have shared with me, including [all the details that they’ve stated].”
This way, you can seamlessly merge your offer or your services with what they really want. And when you do, they’ll feel like you’ve made them a custom offer that fits like a glove, and they will be ten times more likely to say “yes.”
Let’s quickly review what to do if your prospective client has been burned before
First and foremost, ask your potential client if they’ve had any experience working with another provider like you, whether it was negative or positive, and what those experiences were like.
Ask them to summarize what they would have loved more of and less of, and then make sure you they feel heard by repeating their words back to them.
Next, get the “hot button” of what your client is really looking for – what makes them tick and how they like to be served. This way, you can much more easily customize your service, your product, and what it is that you offer to fit their specific needs, which makes them ten times more likely to say “yes.”
Finally, remember that although your client may have had a negative experience or been emotionally hurt in the past, and it’s currently leading them to feel fear and doubt, it’s absolutely possible to help him or her overcome these feelings when you serve them well.
For even more heart-centered enrollment strategies and to find out how to serve more people by helping them bring their gifts to the world, watch the video above!
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