Many of the entrepreneurs I’ve worked with feel that attracting clients is a mysterious process that’s based in luck, genetics, and wishful thinking. Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but most of my clients and students do shrug their shoulders and throw up their hands in bafflement when pondering client attraction – can you relate to that feeling?
What I’ve found is that attracting clients is actually a definable, repeatable process that uses basic skills that can be developed and honed. It’s not a mysterious miracle.
It’s true that attracting clients is both an art and a science. Much of the art comes with practice and mastery, when you’re able to attract clients with little conscious effort. That’s why those coaches who appear to be natural attractors often can’t clearly describe what they do or how they do it – it’s the water that they swim in. However, no one starts at that level of art and mastery! And that’s where the “science” of attracting clients is so valuable since it provides the foundation – the process, the skills, the preparation.
So what’s the basic concept of client attraction? I feel that it’s the same basic concept for living a powerful life, and it comes in 3 small words: Think – Be – Do. These 3 small words, in that order, are what shapes our world, our work, our relationships, our success, and our reality. We are thinking, being, doing all the time and most of the time we are unaware of what we are thinking, how we are being, and often what we are doing.
I believe that the core of client attraction is based in our thoughts and their close cousin, our beliefs. It’s probably not news to you that our thoughts and beliefs have a huge impact on our lives. We’ve all worked with clients who have major obstacles in the form of internal gremlins or saboteurs that keep them small and stuck. These internal voices – sometimes critical and pessimistic, but often using the disguise of being “realistic” or “practical” for our own good – are nothing more than the negative and constraining side of our thoughts and beliefs. Although we are coaches, we certainly aren’t immune to those voices, though hopefully we are more aware of them.
Take a good look inside to see what your own thoughts or beliefs are around client attraction. Perhaps you think that you can’t connect with people because you’re introverted, or that you have to be manipulative and pushy to get clients. Maybe you believe that the area of marketing and client attraction is “difficult” or “sleazy.” If these are examples of the thoughts and beliefs that you hold, recognize that these thoughts and beliefs are the core of the reality you’re actively creating.
With thoughts like these in your head, how might you show up in your interactions with potential clients and referral sources? If you’re holding the thought of “difficult” or “inauthentic” or “I’m sure they won’t be interested” in your head, guess how you’ll show up! Recognize that your thoughts and beliefs are the source of how you “be” (your energetic impact on others) and how you show up in your interactions and activities.
Once you are more aware of your thoughts and beliefs (and recognize how much they drive you) and more adept at choosing which thoughts and beliefs you want to empower and which you want to discard, many of your perceived client attraction obstacles will fall away. I realize that this is easy to say and more challenging to do, but it actually does work with practice. Successful client attraction does not require that you be extroverted or sophisticated, nor does it require any kind of manipulation or pushiness. Actually, being inauthentic or manipulative are sure ways to fail at attracting clients.
What I’ve found is that most coaches tend to focus on the “doing” of client attraction– the various activities or tasks to become more visible to your potential clients and referral sources. In a way, this focus on the “doing” portion of Think – Be – Do is understandable, since we can only see and witness what others are doing, and not what they are thinking.
I believe that this emphasis on the “doing” is like focusing on the cart, rather than the horse. If you haven’t spent time clearing up and refining your thoughts and beliefs, you could go to any activity and probably not be successful. Conversely, if your thoughts, beliefs and way of being are clear and aligned and empowered, you don’t need to “do” any one thing in particular to attract clients.
I don’t want to imply that the “doing” aspect of client attraction isn’t important, or that there’s nothing more to client attraction than thoughts and beliefs. Client attraction requires all 3 components of Think –Be – Do and they are equally important. In addition, each of the 3 components have multiple sub-steps that improve overall success.
It’s an added bonus that the client attraction process is an easily understandable and repeatable process. A very simple description of the process is that it starts with your thoughts and beliefs, and then travels into how you “show up” in the conversation (both energetically and physically), what you say and how you say it, what you focus on (both internally and externally), how you perceive the other person, and how you end the conversation. The client attraction process actually starts long before you arrive at an event and ends long after you leave. Recognizing all of the steps of the process is a key move toward greater success.
There are also skills and components of attraction that can be recognized and developed through experimentation and practice, helping you move toward your own level of artistry and mastery.
With passion for your success,
Dorcas Kelley CPCC CMC PCC
Helping you make the leap from “coaching skills” to “coaching profession”