How To Close Clients


Show Notes

Once you've found prospective clients, how do you get them to decide to hire you?

On this episode, Tyler and Steve discuss two sales techniques and what works and doesn't work about each of them for their particular businesses.

  • 00:00 An embarrassing sales call
  • 02:15 The CLOSER method
  • 09:20 Aspects of the CLOSER method that resonate with Steve and Tyler
  • 13:52 Following up with a prospect after the call
  • 16:51 "Send a gift and a note"
  • 22:18 Tyler tries a CLOSER script
  • 23:26 The "Creating Clients" approach
  • 34:25 Steve gets nervous talking about pricing
  • 40:23 What to do if a client is driving the bus


[00:00:00] Steve: what's the worst thing that has ever happened to you on a, a client call? Like a consultation or a sales call?

[00:00:09] Tyler: Ooh. Yeah. I would say the worst thing is something that happened after, as a a consultation,

[00:00:17] Steve: Okay.

[00:00:18] Tyler: I had set my price. This is very early on in my. Business. I really had no idea what I was doing even more than now. And I had fallen for, or sorry, I, I'd was really drinking the Kool-Aid of value pricing, right?

Pricer set your prices really high, so it's a little bit painful for them so that they think it's valuable so that you know you're getting what you're worth, that kind of thing. So I had done that and I threw out some ridiculous number to this prospect, and they were like, okay, thanks. I'll let you know.

Goodbye. And so I sent a, and I like read the room, right? I was like, Ooh, that was like, they were turned off by that price point. Okay. So I sent them a follow up email and I was like, but for you, I'll do

it for this price.

[00:01:01] Steve: Oh no.

[00:01:02] Tyler: And then they were like, nothing.

Silence. And then a little



[00:01:05] Steve: how soon after the call

was that email.

[00:01:07] Tyler: I don't remember, I really hope it wasn't the same day, but it could've been.

I'd have to go look. And I did that like once more, I think. And then I just gave

up. Yeah, I mean,

[00:01:17] Steve: Did, like did you lower the price again, or you, or just

[00:01:21] Tyler: I mean, I was,

[00:01:23] Steve: Oh, no.

[00:01:23] Tyler: this is a great example of what not to do. I think it came across as super needy, as lack of confidence as, you know, amateur hour. So yeah, I would say that's, that's one of the worst things that's ever happened to me in the sales process.


[00:01:38] Steve: I'm sorry.

[00:01:39] Tyler: I did it to myself. It didn't happen to me.

[00:01:44] Steve: So many of our problems are self-inflicted. It turns out.

[00:01:49] Tyler: It is true,

[00:01:50] Steve: Hey there, I'm Steve.

[00:01:58] Tyler: and I'm Tyler, and this is, It's Not About The Money where we discuss a wide, a wide range of topics related to creating and running small businesses.

[00:02:07] Steve: We are two small business owners ourselves, just trying to make sense of the world, one podcast at a time. So Tyler, last time we talked about ways to find potential clients. So now let's imagine you've. They've signed up for a call. You're going to have a conversation with them. How do we turn these potential clients into clients?

[00:02:35] Tyler: Yeah, that's right. And we'll, we'll cover two general approaches that we've encountered to converting potential clients or prospects into clients. One called The Closer Method and one called Creating Clients.

[00:02:50] Steve: Okay. I'm looking forward to this. I don't have much sales training. Well, I don't have any sales training, let me say it that way. So I have just kind of been flying by the seat of my pants trying to find what works. So this will be

[00:03:05] Tyler: Same.

[00:03:06] Steve: good some to, has some structure of around how I'm, how I should think about this, kind of, this process.

[00:03:15] Tyler: Right. Well, I think that's one of the interesting things about being a small business owner, especially a first time small business owner, is you probably don't have a lot of sales experience like us. And so it's gonna be fun to talk about what we've tried so far, what we've learned so far, what's worked, what hasn't worked, and you know where

we can go from

[00:03:32] Steve: For a lot of folks, sales feels like a slimy word. Like I don't want to be salesy, like as if that were. Something to be avoided, but really the, that you've gotta get, you have to get the revenue coming in for the business to work. And sales is an, an integral part of that process.

[00:03:53] Tyler: Absolutely. Yes. Even at work, you know, I've always been on the operational side of, of, you know, the fulfillment side of, of the business rather than on the sales side. And it can be easy within a business to complain about sales, cuz sometimes they sell things that. Don't exist exactly yet, or you know, whatever the case may be.

However, you know, without them we wouldn't have a business. So they're great in their own way. So, and now we are them for our own businesses.

[00:04:21] Steve: So, so will you, let's take, take, take us through the closer method first, I guess.

What's that about?

[00:04:28] Tyler: sure. Yeah. So I got this from a webinar that was given by a guy named Alex Hormozi. He's kind of a prominent, popular business person on YouTube these days, and he's written a book called $100M Offers, where he talks about how to create offers that are, you know, people would feel stupid to say no to, basically.

So very, very, Prolific sales trainer. So that's where this comes from. And the closer method Closer is an acronym that he uses that stands for, clarify label, overview, sell, explain, and reinforce. The odds of me remembering all of that on a sales call are pretty small. But I have tried using it. I just had my notes open on the side, you know, so I could cheat a little


[00:05:15] Steve: you can get a little poster. Put it up

behind your

[00:05:18] Tyler: Exactly. Yeah.

[00:05:21] Steve: Okay, so some of those sound sort of like synonyms to me. Can you break

them down?

What are all those


[00:05:28] Tyler: Sure. Yeah. So the C stands for clarify specifically clarifying with the prospect why they are on the call with you. So you could ask them questions like, what made you wanna talk to me today? What made you wanna reach out? What is your goal right now? Why is that important to you? Those kinds of things.

So you're just helping yourself and them. You're helping yourself understand their needs, and you're helping them clarify their needs, hence C, clarify. The L would be to label them with a problem, which is basically done by recapping or restating what they've said. So you could say something like, so it sounds like X, Y, Z is your goal, or, It sounds like ABC is what you're struggling with right now.

Does that sound about right? And you wanna keep clarifying with them until they're like, yes, that's exactly how I feel. That's, that's

exactly why I'm



[00:06:26] Steve: reminds me of active


[00:06:28] Tyler: it basically is, yeah, a lot of similarities.

[00:06:31] Steve: Okay, good.

[00:06:32] Tyler: So that's labeling. And, and once you've basically gotten them to agree what the nature of their problem is, then you want to O, overview their past pain with that problem.

So you could ask them questions like, what have you tried so far to solve this problem? How long did you do it for? How long ago was this? How did it work out for you? What else have you tried? Anything along those lines. To remind them that uh, it's a problem that they have not been able to solve by themselves and that they've actually tried a lot.

Ideally you can explain. It's not their fault. They just had a missing piece or two to the equation, and that's what you're gonna provide for them uh, which leads to the s which is sell. And so in this step, you would explain to them what your program is, what your service is, what your product is. And how it's gonna alleviate the pain that they've experienced.

And honestly, the how is much less important than them believing you that it will work. And so

[00:07:36] Steve: Oh,

[00:07:36] Tyler: a little rule of thumb that Alex or Mozy talks about is he's like, just think of three things, three pillars to whatever it is that you're selling. You kind of make 'em up, you know, they should be real, they should be part of what you're selling.

But, you know and, and so when I did this for my coaching, I basically came up with, you know, here, here's what I'm selling you. I'm selling you the system, the habits, and the encouragement that you need to be successful with your personal


[00:07:59] Steve: Mm-hmm.

[00:08:00] Tyler: Three, the three pillars of my system, right? Or the three pillars of my offer.

Okay, so that's S and then E is for explain away their concerns, which for me is the hardest part. You know, people have objections to. Reasons they don't wanna buy what you're selling, whether it's the price, whether it's that's not really what I'm looking for anyway, et cetera. So explaining way the concerns has to do with overcoming those objections.

And finally, R, once they've decided to buy from you, you wanna reinforce their decision, help them feel like they've made a good choice by paying you money for your services. So that's kind of a basic outline of this particular sales framework. And I know I have relatives who work in sales. I've heard of a lot of different sales methodologies and, and, and, you know, this is only one of many, but I think they all share a lot of these common characteristics of finding out what the person needs, figuring out what their pain point is, and honestly kind of like making 'em feel that pain so that they have a desire for.

Relief from that pain or solution that you're gonna sell them, overcoming their object objectives and then reinforcing their decision.

[00:09:14] Steve: Okay, that makes sense so far.

[00:09:20] Tyler: So I, I, it sounds like you haven't heard of this specific method, the closer method before. But I'm curious, in your own experience with, you know, trying to close clients for your business, have you found yourself trying any, you know, did, have you applied any of these principles in those conversations? Or what has your experience been like so far?

[00:09:42] Steve: I would say yes, I have used a lot of these. Methods when I'm talking to a potential client uh, figuring out what their problem is that needs to be solved um, going over what they have, maybe going over what they have tried in the context of tax. It's more like, what, what did you do last year and what has changed this year that has necessitated. You going out and looking for a tax

[00:10:16] Tyler: Mm-hmm.

[00:10:18] Steve: Um, I don't

do a whole lot of uh, making them feel the pain of the problem because by the time they have come to me, they already know that they need or want a tax pro, either because it's more complex than they want to deal with or because they have questions that they don't know how to answer.

[00:10:40] Tyler: Oh, that's interesting. So you, so you don't find yourself selling the idea of tax. Prep like they already are like, I want this. I just want to decide if you

are the person.

[00:10:49] Steve: Yeah, that's more what it is. like everybody needs their taxes done and you could do it yourself or you can hire somebody to do it. Uh, and by the time they've come to me, they've. More or less decided, I think I wanna hire somebody. But it's figuring out is this the right person? Do they have the skills in my particular kind of business?

Do I like working with them? Are they gonna be a good communicator? Can I trust them? Those kind of things. Uh, and that's more what I have to sell in the, in the call. Like obviously we're, we're, we're gonna outline, yes, I will help you solve these problems. I have the technical knowledge to. Do that, but also I have to demonstrate to you that I'm a person that you would want to work with and that you can trust your financial information


[00:11:40] Tyler: That's interesting because I, I, I found that often people who are on these calls with me, Maybe aren't sold on the concept of coaching or they don't even understand what it is exactly, or they have a different idea than I do about what I'm selling, you know? So that's interesting. I think that may might be a small difference between how this is going for us in this specific arena.

[00:12:06] Steve: Okay. That is really interesting cuz I would not have expected that.

[00:12:11] Tyler: Well, part of it, you know, last time we talked about how we're finding potential clients, and I'm finding most of my potential clients at this point through one specific channel, which is being listed in a specific directory of coaches who talk about budgeting, personal finances and stuff, and so, Yeah, I think but at a, at a surface level, that can mean a different, that can mean different things to different people.

They, they all have different ideas about what that means. What if, what it looks like to be coached on. You Need a Budget, right? So


[00:12:43] Steve: I can see that where the, the, the value prop for a tax professional is, Fairly well understood by, if you're a business owner, you know that this is a thing that you need and there are people out there that do that. And this is, that's kind of a well-defined space already where coaching can mean a lot of different things,

[00:13:03] Tyler: Yeah.

[00:13:03] Steve: from, as we've talked about in a previous episode all the way from like software support, kind of technical, how do you do things in here?

All the way up to uh, life coaching almost.

[00:13:16] Tyler: Yeah, so I'd say for, for my business, one of, one of the hangups for me is that part is just kind of establishing whether this is a good fit

for both of us.

[00:13:27] Steve: Okay. And I would guess that your offer of the, the two hour coaching call, let's sit down and try this out. Let's have a long conversation and go through some things together and see if it, see if it works, see if that's what you want. See if you like it.

[00:13:44] Tyler: Well, we'll talk about that a little bit more when we get to the other method, the creating clients method because yeah, I do wanna talk more about that, but.

So, so are there any, so I, I'm curious, what's going well for you right now in converting potential clients into paying clients? Is that what we're calling 'em into? Into full-fledged clients? And maybe what are some of the challenges, you know, in hindsight in what would you do differently with some of these calls?

[00:14:13] Steve: That's a good question. the things that I feel like are going well are the, by the time I'm on a call with somebody, I have a general idea of what they're gonna ask. So I am a little bit prepared beforehand. and that's both because of the kinds of clients that are coming to me and also because they're often a referral from another professional, as we talked about last time. so I, I have a little bit of a view into what problem they need solved, so that's helpful. But then when we actually get on the call, then we're. Working through what particular questions do you have? And I may try and answer those as directly as possible, or I may say, here's the, the general plan of how we would solve that over time.

Uh, the implication being, if you retain me to help you with these things, that I'll be able to solve it for you. This, this, and this way. the thing that. I don't know if it's going very well is sometimes I will have a call with a potential client where we'll go through questions and I'll answer things and give some pointers and then I don't hear back from them.

And I don't know if they like, was that sufficient? They got their question answered, they've moved on, or they're doing it themselves or they found another tax pro or

or have they just gotten busy and they'll get back to me two months from now. And, and, you know, and be like, let's pick up where we left off and it'll all be fine.

I don't know.

[00:15:50] Tyler: Have you ever had someone come back much later, or is it pretty much once they go quiet, that's that In your experience,

[00:15:59] Steve: I have had folks come back later like at the end of last year, for example, I had a few discovery calls in like December, early December. Of folk. I was trying to get ahead of like, Hey, you're gonna, you know, you expressed interest in tax prep. January's gonna roll around pretty soon. Let's get the ball rolling now.

I'll send him a proposal and then I don't hear anything for two weeks because it's the holidays. and so I would, you know, once I realized that, I'm like, okay, I'm, I'm stressing about nothing. Let's wait until January, like middle of January. If I still haven't heard back from them, then, then I'll start to worry.


[00:16:36] Tyler: How often do you follow up with prospects before you consider them a lost lead?

[00:16:44] Steve: I will usually try at least twice to contact them again, whether that's fall is well, so typically after the call, if they had some particular question and I said, I don't know, but I'll look that up and get back to you. I do like to have that kind of a thing so that I have an excuse to email them later that day or the next day to be like, I'm just following up on this question.

Here's the answer to. Whatever. , both because that I think builds trust with them of like, I was willing to say I didn't know the answer to a thing, but then I went out and found the answer for you and gave you a good explanation of it. , but also then it gets me back into their inbox again.

So we'll have that one, and then

maybe like if I haven't heard back a week or two later, then I'll email again, and then maybe once more after that.

[00:17:32] Tyler: I love that. In fact, it reminds me of an idea I've kind of been chewing on and I'm gonna find a line from the prosperous coach that I highlighted on that exact topic of what, you know, what does a good follow up look like?

And I wanna share this with you and see if you, yeah, what do you think of it?

Do you agree? Do you disagree? What's your experience been like? So here's what the book says. Here's the line I mentioned from the prosperous coach about how to follow up. It says, if you haven't heard back, send a gift and a note. Don't even refer to working together. Contribute and serve. You don't need them.

They need you. Behave accordingly.

So it's an interesting, you know, I. That's the idea I've been chewing on. I don't know if I a hundred percent agree with the absolute terms in which it's laid out here, but that's something I've been trying to apply. So instead of emailing a prospect that I had a call with, After a few days and saying like, Hey, so did you want to pay me?

Did you want to hire me? Do you wanna sign up? You know, which is very tempting to do. Cause like we had this amazing conversation. They seemed into it like, but nothing's happening. So instead of doing that, I'll try to send them like a worksheet or a free pdf, you know, that I've made to help a previous client just provide some kind of value.

Not even mention, you know, Hey, do you want to work together? Just, just kind of provide some kind of value and like you said, get back in their inbox, get back in their Thoughts, I guess you could say, remind them that we had that conversation and above all else to not appear needy because anything needy is creepy to the other person potentially.

So, or, you know, off-putting potentially. So anyway, that's just an idea I've been chewing on. I, I don't know. What, what

do you think about that?

[00:19:18] Steve: I like that idea a lot. The. Philosophy that I like to have with potential clients and with networking and all these kinds of things is I want to be a helpful person. like that's why I got into this business is to help people and in a particular way with my particular lens on things, but to help people.

And so if I can get you an answer to your question or if I can follow up, you know, later, oh, by the way, this, I've found this. Thing that can be helpful for your situation. , you know, whatever. I like that idea. What, I have a question. When they say send a gift, does that mean something specific in the book?

The examples you gave were like a, a resource or a thing that they could use.

[00:20:09] Tyler: I mean, I don't recall. I'd have to look back in the book in the context of that paragraph and see, but I mean, A lot of this book is written about very high ticket clients, so I don't know if they're referring to like a bottle of champagne or like, you know, maybe a book. You know, actually one that I've thought about is sending I've actually done this more for existing clients than potential clients, but sending them a book in the mail.

If I have their address with a paragraph highlighted or something, a little note about, you know, Hey, this reminded me of you. I was just thinking


our conversation. Something like



[00:20:41] Steve: delightful.

[00:20:42] Tyler: Yeah. So there it's, I mean, the, it's limitless possibilities, right? Just, just be creative, I think. But, but for prospective clients, I haven't sent gifts.

I, I've, I've sent resources, I've sent, you know, I've been, I was. I remembered you were struggling with this. I just watched this cool YouTube video that covers this topic, stuff like that. Just trying to provide some kind of, you know, useful, you know, hope you're having a great day. Take

care. Something like


[00:21:05] Steve: Okay. And I also like the idea of not not using this interaction to appear needy or to be like, oh, hey, do you do you wanna hire me

by the way, I know we never closed that

loop. but

[00:21:19] Tyler: circling


[00:21:20] Steve: just circling

[00:21:21] Tyler: as as

the emails say it.


[00:21:24] Steve: I have sent many emails of, of this sort following up afterward and felt a little bit like I don't, I don't wanna be like salesy here.

Back to that

[00:21:36] Tyler: I know. It's like we don't want to be salesy, but we do want to,

We do


sell our services.

[00:21:41] Steve: We do want to


[00:21:43] Tyler: and I think you and I well, I don't know, I don't wanna like, put words in your mouth, but I, you know, I think both you and I have potentially introverted tendencies in certain aspects of our lives, so I, I don't know.

For me, this is hard. Like this is the hardest

part, this kind of stuff. So,

[00:21:56] Steve: Uh, right, because most of the, the actual work of being a tax pro is, is working with the number, you know, it's just me and my computer,

[00:22:04] Tyler: Yeah. Perfect.

[00:22:06] Steve: Uh, and so it's really, it's really the, the networking events and the client calls and the those things where I have to.

[00:22:14] Tyler: Yeah.

[00:22:15] Steve: out in front of

the people.

[00:22:18] Tyler: Well, I will say my experience with the, this Closer method specifically, I mean, I'm in learning mode right now, right? So I watched the webinar, I'm like, I'm gonna go do this. Exactly. So I put the script up on my screen, the acronym, and I tried it with a few clients. And you know, I, I, I think there's a lot of great elements to it, regardless of what it is that you're selling.

I found myself not being in love with it, though, with the feeling that created in me of pressure.

Because it seems to be a formula, if you just follow this formula, you will close the sale. And in real life, that's not how it works. I mean, I do believe that talented salespeople can have higher close rates because of their experience with these concepts.

But it kind of drove me to look for, for alternate methods, I guess you could say, which is, you know how I found the well, The prosperous coach contains an alternate method that's specifically geared towards people who are selling coaching services. And when I read it, it was like a revelation. It just resonated with me so deeply.

And it kind of resolved some of the concerns that I had with more traditional sales methods. So, if it's okay with you, I'd like to just kind of outline briefly what the, the method for closing sales, closing clients is that they talk

about in the

prosperous coach.

[00:23:36] Steve: Yeah, let's do


[00:23:37] Tyler: And then we can see, you know what our thoughts are about that.


[00:23:41] Steve: So this

is the second approach. We talked about the closer method. This is the other one now.

[00:23:47] Tyler: Yes. Which I suppose doesn't have a name I'm calling creating, I'm, I'm calling it creating Clients, which is a phrase that, that appears in the book. And in our last episode where we talked about how to find potential clients, there's like a lot of overlap with this actually, but if so Um, when we're looking for clients, we're just trying to connect with people in natural ways in our everyday life, and then inviting them to have coaching conversations.

So this part is what happens after they've accepted the invitation to have a coaching conversation with us which is what they call in the book, creating a client and then proposing that that person become a paying client, creating a proposal.


[00:24:27] Steve: Okay, So,

this is like a, a coaching conversation.

[00:24:31] Tyler: Yeah. So,

[00:24:32] Steve: This is not a

sales call or discovery call kind of a thing.

[00:24:36] Tyler: Right. I, I think, I think that if you were thinking of sales in its traditional sense, this would be a disc, like you would call it a sales call or a discovery

[00:24:44] Steve: Oh, okay.

[00:24:45] Tyler: But, but in this methodology, it's just gonna be a different, it's not gonna be the closer method. Right. There's not gonna be a script. It's, the goal is, is the same, I suppose, and that you're trying to Propose a solution to this person that they are willing to pay for and work with you.

Right. So that's, the goal is the same, but the, the approach is totally different.

[00:25:05] Steve: Okay, is the client expecting. A coaching interaction. When they come into this, do they already know that's what this is gonna be or, or do they think this might just be a sales kind of a call?

[00:25:17] Tyler: So I do everything into my power to make sure that the expectation is set, that this is. Actual coaching. This is not a 15 minute consult. This is not a 30 minute discovery call. This is two hours where you have my undivided attention so we can actually do some deep coaching.

So I'm very explicit about that on my website and in my profile on the coaching directory.

I don't know if everyone really knows what that means going into it. Right. I mean, I only have a few words in my profile to, to spell it all out. So that's what I, I choose to spend those words on, is inviting them to this coaching conversation and instead of going through a, a script, like I said, like the closer method, basically the idea uh, there are similar elements like finding out what they're struggling with, what they're, you know, but, but that's not mandatory.

It's just having a. Conversation with them and serving them so powerfully that they never forget that conversation for the rest of their life. That's the challenge, right? That's not easy to do in my experience, but that's the goal because once they've experienced the power of coaching, it becomes a no-brainer for them to wanna work with you more.

And in the calls that I've had where I've tried this method and where it's gone relatively well, It's always them asking, okay, how do we do more of this? Which is crazy. I mean, it's like the it, that's what I love about, that's why it resonated with me so much is it totally flipped the script for me being like, okay, and here's how it's gonna work.

Here's my solution, here's my program, here's how much it costs, what are your objections? Go. And they're like, well, that's kind of expensive. Or whatever their objections are.

This is totally opposite. It's just, I basically we, we go deep together. We have a powerful conversation. Until they realize like, ah, oh, the two hours are almost up.

Like, what's next? And then at that point I can, I I, I kind of skipped the overview of the method. Sorry. But, but once you've invited them to coaching call, it's really simple. You have a powerful conversation, and then you create a proposal. You give them a proposal, which would be kind of like what it would be like to work with you.

How much would it cost, you know? So I typically phrase that at you know, at the end of the conversation, if they're asking like, okay, how, what, how does this work? What would it be like to work with you? Which they do ask a lot of the time, not, not all the time. It'd be nice if something had a hundred percent success rate.

But anyway, when they ask, I usually say um, well, there's a couple paths I could go down. But essentially, you know, if it, if we get to the point of actually talking logistics, I say, you know, people usually pay this much to work with me for this amount of time. Or this much to work with me for this amount of time.

So say like a six month engagement or three month engagement. And then I just wait. And then I don't know what happened. And then it just goes every, every which way after that, sometimes like, cool, thanks for letting me know. I never hear from them again. Sometimes they're like, great, send me the link. I'm sending the money now.

You know, we can start as soon as I get your money. That kind of thing. So it's, it's kinda interesting. It's, it's. It's no guarantee. Right. But I, I find the approach to be much more suited, well suited to what I'm trying to sell and like my personality even a little bit.

[00:28:25] Steve: So will you reiterate for me what are the steps of this uh, process?

[00:28:31] Tyler: Yep. So it's a, in total, it's a four step process. In the last episode we talked about. The first two steps, which are connect and invite, such as meeting fun and interesting people, and then inviting them to a coaching conversation. And then the closing half, I guess you could say of this cycle is create and propose.

And the create is serving them in some way, usually through having a powerful conversation and then propose, which is where you explain what it would be like to work with you and asking if that's something that they'd like to do.

And I feel like maybe we're splitting hairs here. Like there's definitely overlap between these methods, right? I it's not like it's either one or the other. In fact, part of that create, part of that create step, having a powerful conversation is probably gonna pull in elements from the closer method.

Like understanding what, why are they here today? What is their goal? What is the pain that they're facing, right? I think there's, there's a lot of room to o to overlap


[00:29:30] Steve: That's true. And like you said at the top, there's lots of sales frameworks and these are just two of 'em. Like they've got, they're gonna share principles,

[00:29:40] Tyler: exactly.

[00:29:41] Steve: but for coaching specifically, this one really resonates with you and how you want to build relationships and and create. Clients.

[00:29:52] Tyler: Yeah, and I think it also solves part of the problem that I mentioned earlier when you were explaining how, hey, when someone signs up to talk to a tax preparer or like they know what. They want, they, they have, they want their taxes prepared and they want them done well, and they want a good refund or whatever.

Right. Not always the case in my experience with my potential clients. And so this opens the door for a little bit more. Mm. Flexibility, I guess, and exploration. Another thing, I don't know, I, I'd be curious to know if you do, but something that I definitely have started doing more is I'm kind of a, I think of this more, and this is a mindset thing more than anything maybe, but I'm kind of auditioning these prospective clients.

Like, do I want to work with this kind of person?

[00:30:35] Steve: Mm.

[00:30:36] Tyler: Right? And, and that, that can become apparent through a powerful conversation as w you know, as well as they are also auditioning me trying to figure out if I'm the kind of person they want as a coach, but,

[00:30:46] Steve: Right. I. Agree with that idea. I'm trying to think if I have done that in the past with potential clients. I, conceptually, I, I would see myself doing that where like as, especially as I niche down further being able to say, This client is right up my alley. This is exactly the kind of thing that I am good at and specialize in, or like, I can help you, but it would really be better going with someone else that's more specialized in what you need or, or I would have to become too much of a generalist to do your thing.

I don't know. So I, can

see myself doing that In the future? I don't know that I have yet.

[00:31:40] Tyler: Yeah. And that's okay. I mean, again, that's one of the things I think that gets talked about a lot in the realm of sales and, and, and creating a business. It's like only. Work with the best kind of clients or like, you know, don't, as opposed to like, don't turn down work, right? If they're paying client, they're paying client.

I actually at a, in one of my previous. Jobs as part of my professional career. Uh, Got into a bit of trouble over this actually because I had the gall, I was an, I was an operations manager and I had the gall to suggest to the the C o O and the c e o, that like, maybe we should drop a certain segment of our clients as clients because they were so low margin compared with how much work.

That it took to service them. It's kinda the 80 20 rule, right? I was like, you know, let's just, let's just work on the 20% of clients and do a really good job with them that are giving us 80% of our revenue. Yeah, they did not like that. They're like, we cannot turn on revenue. Period. End of story. I'm like, Noted, and I worked at that company for a very short time after that.

Anyway, it was an an interesting learning experience, right? I guess a lot of that is informed by the leadership of the company, by the current goals of the company. I was relatively new with that company, but anyway, yeah. So,

[00:33:00] Steve: Mm-hmm. That's a difficult balance to strike, especially when you're new. You, you need the experience. You want the experience. You want to, yeah. Uh, you want the satisfaction of having closed a client. But you also don't want the low margin clients or the clients that are really hard to work with. Push out the good ones cuz you don't have the bandwidth to go find the good ones or to serve the good ones well.

So there really is an opportunity cost there of just taking everybody.

[00:33:34] Tyler: Yeah. Yeah. So let me just describe briefly what I think is going well as I've tried to apply this approach and where I'm getting hung up currently. And maybe you can coach me and then maybe, maybe you have, you can see something I'm not seeing. So what is going well like I mentioned, is the number of conversations that I have where the potential client is the one asking to work with me or how it would.

Look like to work with me. At the end of, at the end, towards the end of the conversation has gone up. Like, that's you, that's becoming like a, pretty much the, the default


[00:34:11] Steve: Oh, awesome.

[00:34:12] Tyler: which has been super surprising and awesome. So that's what's going well. And I, you know, I really don't know what to attribute that to other than I'm just trying out this, this method the best I can and, and seeing how it goes.

But where there's two places that I'm currently getting really hung up. The first one is very tempting for me to forget that I'm trying to have a powerful conversation and actually let the client drive the conversation too much, right? They might have a very specific, detailed question that I can, oh, so happily answer because I'm a genius, or I have the expertise about this software.

Like, oh, yes, I can answer that. I get a all excited and I go, I kind of go down and like, Myopically focus on their question. And I forget that that's not the point. The point is to have a powerful conversation. So that's, that's something that I'm struggling to remember often. And I, you know, I've become self-aware of that now, so I'm working on that.

But cause like, and the desire to provide value, I'm like doing a hundred percent what they want and not creating the environment for potentially transformational conversation. So that's one hangup. The second hangup is man, It's the proposal at the end. I just can't, you know, I, I need to rehearse it more.

I don't know, like actually telling them what it would be like to work with me and how much it would cost. I, I, I don't feel confident there. Usually it's getting better, but I think that's, that's the next thing for me to kind of focus on.

[00:35:33] Steve: Okay, let me start with that second one. cuz I feel that same uh, dread as well when we get to the part where, I need to talk about pricing. And I to be honest, often say, I will send you a proposal after the call and I don't even talk about pricing on the call. and that's more because I'm uncomfortable with it and not because I don't think it is a good fit for the call.

I th

because. I have had times where I was very comfortable with the price I was asking, and I just said it on the call and they're like, yep, sounds great. and then we went ahead with it. So I think the, that's all a mental thing on my side.

[00:36:12] Tyler: Interesting.

[00:36:13] Steve: When I'm at the point where I feel comfortable with the price I'm asking that I can say it to their face on the call, that would be a better.

Situation, and that's part of my experimenting with pricing. And it's, you know, it's still a little bit

hodgepodge right now,

[00:36:30] Tyler: So you, you think it's coming more from a place of discomfort or fear than because it's inappropriate

that, that, that, that re that tendency to say, okay, cool. Great call. I'll send you a



[00:36:43] Steve: Yes, because the client often, like, we've got to the end of the call and they have probably already decided, yes, I would or would not like to work with this person, and price may still play into that decision, but they, you know, they want to know what the price is, what the engagement will look like at that point.

So me chickening out and saying, oh, you'll, you'll get an email about this. Mm. May maybe doesn't


[00:37:06] Tyler: Well, are you closing any of those clients that you're, that, that you're,


[00:37:09] Steve: Yeah. Well, yes. So maybe it's

[00:37:12] Tyler: working Yeah.

[00:37:14] Steve: and the proposal that I send afterward has a lot of detail in it and it can go through, like, here are the options of often there will be a couple of options that they can pick.

Uh, you know, this one includes this, this and this, and this one also includes this extra thing. And, and you know, so there's all that too. So uh, there is some advantage there. But that's not to say that I couldn't. Describe that in broad strokes on the call, and then they also get the email later with the details.

[00:37:42] Tyler: Yeah, no, that makes


[00:37:45] Steve: I don't know. For you um, is that kind of your experience as well of the why you don't want to do the um, describing the engagement and the pricing is because you're uncomfortable with it or is

it something else?

[00:38:01] Tyler: I think it is a little bit that, I mean part of that discomfort just comes from lack of practice, which is slowly going away as I do this. More and more often. Right. A big part of it at the beginning though, was just having no idea how to price my services and getting lots of information from all over the internet about everyone's opinion about how things should, you know how to price.

And I think for sure, I lost clients in the beginning, lost potential clients because of pricing myself too high. I don't know if I ever feel like I lost a client. From pricing too low. But the other thing about coaching is like, there's all kinds of different ways to sell it. And there's this concept of packages, which is basically just like, how many sessions am I gonna sell you for this much money?

How many hours? Right? So I was experimenting with all kinds of different packages and also I didn't have a lot of experience under my belt yet, so I didn't really have a concept of how many sessions it. Would take the average client to have the transformation that they were looking for. Right. So I was basically just throwing a dart at a dart board and iterating, which I suppose is where

it's one way to do it.

Yeah. It's one way to do it. Now, you know, for recently I've, I've had the same pricing for maybe a couple months now. And it's working well. Not saying, you know again, nothing's a hundred percent close rate, or anything like that, but like it's, you know, very few raised eyebrows and people are agreeing to hire me at that rate.

So I think I found a comfortable spot for now where I wanna stay until uh, you know, At such a times, I feel like I either want to increase my capacity or like do the supply and demand game, I guess, right? It's like, oh, do I have a waiting list? Do I, but we'll cross that bridge when I come to it, I guess.

So, long story short, yeah, I think it's just lack of experience, lack of understanding of the market that I'm slowly gaining over time. And then just like the con like, like just general lack of confidence, right? Like I, I, it's so funny cause like I, I know. This topic inside and out. I, I, I know the software really well.

I'm confident in my ability to help people, but I, I just, it's hard to believe sometimes that people would wanna pay for it. So there's that element too. So, I don't know. It's a whole, it's a mind game, I

feel like,


[00:40:23] Steve: Okay. And that's a good transition back to your other, your first question of sometimes you feel like the client is driving the bus on the call, and what do you do

about that?

[00:40:33] Tyler: Well, which is like, I don't know, isn't that good? Isn't the customer always right? You know, you've got that mindset to it. But, but I think in, in a sales situation, I, I don't know if that's right. I think you want their needs to be guiding the call, but I don't know if, I think they should actually be like, in control of the call,

if that

makes sense.

[00:40:53] Steve: Yeah, I agree

with that cuz you need to understand what it is that they're looking for and what their concerns are. But they. Also want to see you as an authority who can help them solve these problems. And if you're just taking the back seat, that's not gonna go very far

in conveying that


[00:41:16] Tyler: So I guess to answer your question, I would go back to a positive experience that I've had with this. I think I mentioned on a previous episode where, we, we had an episode about my epiphany that I didn't wanna be technical support. Right. That I really wanted to be a coach. And, and do higher level topics and go deeper with people. That call went really like the call on which I had that epiphany went really well.

And I think that I just need to kind of remember that going forward and explain to the, to these people potential clients that that is the value that I provide, not this other

thing. And then see if that's interesting. And, and you know what? It's not gonna be a good fit for everyone, right? Some people aren't gonna want it.

Some people are like, just answer my question, please. I'm like, okay.

[00:42:03] Steve: Mm-hmm.

[00:42:04] Tyler: And that's okay because what's the point of working with a client that doesn't get you excited, that's not interesting. You know, I don't know. I feel good about that.

[00:42:15] Steve: that.

makes sense to me. Well, to sum up, Today we've talked about a couple of sales methodologies, approaches, the closer method and the creating clients uh, method, I guess, from the prosperous


[00:42:31] Tyler: Yep.

[00:42:34] Steve: And hopefully something of what we have said has been useful to you, the listener uh, in whatever

your business is.

[00:42:45] Tyler: Yeah, so, so, so far we've drawn heavily on our own experiences as small business owners, and we'd like to hear from you, our audience, what questions you have. If you are currently running a small business or if you're thinking about running a small business. You know, let us let us know your feedback. Have any of these topics so far resonated with you?

What have we not covered yet that you would be interested in, et cetera? Go ahead and send us an email

[00:43:15] Steve: And the email address for that is,

[00:43:21] Tyler: and thanks for joining us on this episode, and we'll talk to you next time on. It's Not About The Money.

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