Are you reluctant to get on the phone with me (or any?business coach)?
You should be. (I?ll explain why in a minute).
Let?s talk first about the ?free session? pretty much all coaches offer.
Several years ago I scheduled a ?free? strategy/discovery/consultation session with a well-known player in the personal development field.
Like most of us, I was interested in doing something much bigger with my business, and there was a lot of logic in having someone who had ?been there and done that? show me the path.
Two things went immediately wrong.?
First, I was not greeted on the phone by the coach himself.?
When your business gets to a certain level you might make the decision to outsource these type of calls, I get it. But this woman sounded like a telemarketer.
And she never gave me any clue that she had a connection with the coach, or any interest in my outcome.
In short, I felt like I was being sold. Yes, of course . . . because I was!
Second, the first subject of our conversation was how much money I had to spend on coaching. Including the available amount I had on all of my credit cards.
Seriously? If I hadn?t been so shocked I certainly would have just hung up.
Why These Things Aren’t Really “Free”
That woman wasted at least 30 minutes of my time. And I won?t even try to add up all the hours I?ve wasted over the years on ?free? sessions.
These things aren?t free.
The only thing free about them is the advice you get. Which is often worth what you pay for it . . .
They take your time. And my time is currently worth about $500 an hour.
Which means if I get on the phone with someone who isn?t going to make me money, it?s like I?ve paid them $500.?
Seriously. If I wasn?t on the phone, I?d be doing some money-making activity. And for every hour I work, my ROI is about $500.
This is exactly why I started by telling you to be reluctant to get on the phone with me (or anyone).?
Even if your time isn?t (yet) worth $500 an hour, it?s worth something. And yes, even if that something is just ignoring your children for an hour, that?s a priceless hour you?ll never get back.
So I want you to read to the end of this page before you decide whether you want to invest your hour in me.
It?s far from ?free,? and I have no desire to waste your precious time, or mine.
The 3 Types of ?Free? Sessions
When you see a coach offering you a ?free? session of any kind, you?ll get one of three things (in my 15+ years of experience anyway).
1. ?A straight sales pitch. Sometimes it?s a little disguised, but always pretty easy to see through. If the call is with someone other than the coach you want to hire, this is a warning flag, yet it doesn?t always mean you?ll get ?all pitch with no value.?
If the first topic is the coach, rather than you, get off the phone as fast as you can.
I remember one such session where I was told to come to the call with my most pressing business question. I put quite a bit of thought into that.
Sadly, the topic never came up, as the seller on the other end of the phone went straight into a pitch for the coach?s $5000 live event.
He clearly wouldn?t have had the knowledge to answer my question if I had been inclined to interrupt and ask it.
2. ?A cookie cutter solution. I went online once looking for a natural solution to my daughter?s toothache. I found a woman who had obviously put a lot of effort into sharing her clove oil solution with the internets.
It worked wonders for her. And if you?ve ever had a toothache, you know the joys of finding an effective relief.
For some however, clove oil had not done the trick. Many of these people offered alternatives that had worked for them in the comments to the clove oil lady?s post.
Point is, when we find a solution to a pressing problem, we feel compelled to share it in an effort to spare others our pain. But the same solution rarely serves everyone.
Yet most coaches take this cookie cutter approach, offering you only the exact path that worked for them.
I had a 15 minute consult with a coach one time who was convinced my solution was to hold an online telesummit.
She offered this solution within the first five minutes. And she wasn?t a shyster. It?s what worked for her. So it?s the path she puts everyone on.
Problem is, it wasn?t right for me. And even if it was, there?s no way she could have known this with five minutes of knowledge about my business.
3. ?A strategy session. If you?re lucky, this is what you?ll get when you sign up for a ?free? session with a business coach. But even these aren?t perfect.
While they sell it to you as a ?strategy session,? among coaches they?re most commonly referred to as ?sales conversations.? Because the main focus isn?t on strategizing your business, it?s on signing you up into a 6 month coaching program.
A strategy session done right, however, will provide you with some benefit.
You?ll walk away knowing how an expert (hopefully!) sees your business, and how she would go about helping you make it better.
Even if you don?t sign up for coaching, you should have one or two growth strategies you can implement on your own.? ?
My Problem-Solving Session
When you and I get on the phone, you?ll get none of the above. I?ve named my ?free consultation? a ?problem-solving session? because that?s what we?ll do.
Prior to our 45 minute call, I?ll have you answer a few questions about your business. That way I can take a look at what you do and make sure I can help you. If it?s obvious that I can?t, I won?t waste our time scheduling a call.
If it looks like I can help, the questions allow me to identify one problem in your business that we can solve on the call.
And I?m not talking about changing the colors in your logo. The problem we work on will be one that effects how much money your business is making.
Once we?ve solved that problem, I?ll either tell you I don?t think we?re a good fit to work together, or I?ll ask you if you?d like to continue working together through a coaching relationship.
Honestly, I do usually offer to continue working together, because I?ve gotten good at not even scheduling calls with people who aren?t a match.
There?s no set timeframe that I?ll ask you to commit to, because I know the pain of giving someone money every month when you don?t see the value in it.
And I don?t want your money if you see it as a monthly expense.
Our goal will be to make it a profitable investment within the first 30 days. On average, it will take 3-6 months to get your business where you really want it to be.
My Promise to You
I?m not going to pressure you. I only want to work with people who are equally excited about working with me.
You are completely free to take the plan we develop on our call and implement it on your own. I do hope you?ll report your results back to me though.
In addition, if at the end of our call you feel like I?ve wasted your time, I?ll happily pay you $150 to make up for it. I do this to show you how much I value your time, and how serious I am about providing real value during our call.
Now It?s Your Call
I know you?re serious about creating a bigger business and a better life.
And I know you?re tired of looking for answers and coming up short.
In 45 minutes I can help you gain clarity about your business that will make your vision for the future feel well within your reach, because it is.
If you?ve made the decision to invest a little time into solving your business’s biggest problem, get started by sharing a little information with me here. The more I know, the more I can help.
After you?ve answered a few questions, give me 24 hours to get back to you about scheduling a time that works for both of us.
P.S. Even if a personal phone call isn?t right for you now, I?d still love to connect and hear about your business journey.
I have conversations on Facebook at Facebook.com/JenniferHerndonBiz, on Twitter at twitter.com/JenniferHerndon, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/JenniferHerndonBiz