Here’s a message exchange from LinkedIn that began promisingly. A fellow group member politely offers to help with referrals.
However, as I reject each suggestion, he responds with a request for a bigger commitment. If you’ve read Influence by Robert Cialdini (one of the classics of marketing psychology), you know that’s backwards. Research shows that when people turn down a big request, they’re more likely to comply with a small one….but not vice versa!
First, he wants to know how he can help me. That’s very nice. But then he wants to phone or skype, and I just don’t have time for those “how can we help each other” calls.
Then he suggests we do strategy sessions for each other. Again, I am just too busy with paid sessions. And I notice his website isn’t up and running.
So after talking about a co-branding program, it turns out he doesn’t even have a brand or a website.
Yes, he could use my help. No, I don’t want him as a client. He’d be a “pain in the arse,” as my friends across the pond would say.
Naturally his name and company have been changed and I edited the dialogue.
MARTIN: I’m Martin and I wanted to introduce myself as a fellow coach and member of the [group]. In this group and on LinkedIn we are here to help each other with ideas and referrals. If there is anything I can do to help create customers, sales or referrals for you please let me know. I’ve been in business for a while now and my company has its own certification and co-branding program so I could be of some help!
Love your website! Especially the cartoon of you 🙂
ME: Thanks, Martin! I mainly work FOR coaches to help with marketing and communication. So if your fellow coaches need a website, sales letter, strategic consulting or any copywriting, I’d be a good resource for them
MARTIN: Cathy, I’m keen to hear more about what you do and who your ideal referral is so I can pass them along when I come across them. How about we get together for a quick skype chat?
ME: Thanks, Martin. My ideal referral is a veteran service business owner (coach, designer, lawyer…usually a solo-preneur) . They want to get more clients from online marketing – often they need a website makeover or a sales letter. I rarely do introductory “get acquainted” calls. My best clients are action-oriented and all the info is on my site. Our first step is a strategy session. I’m actually pretty busy.
MARTIN: Cathy I believe we might be able to help each other out here. I am a big believer in getting video testimonials because it creates a deeper connection to potential clients. So what I’m proposing is that we both take each other through a strategy session in return for a video testimonial. We are both in sales/marketing for coaches so we could learn some great stuff from each other too.
ME: Thanks, Martin! I’m pretty busy with paid strategy sessions and I don’t recommend exchanges. Finally, I’m not sure I’m in the market for what you offer. I looked at “goldcoaching” and found it’s under construction – not a website strategy I’d recommend.
MARTIN: I know it’s not a good look to have the website as it is. I’m in the process of re-branding and didn’t want to confuse people with my previous content. My LinkedIn profile gives a good overview of how I help potential clients however this might make it more clear:
My company assists coaches to charge 5x to 10x more for their services … Unlike the typical expert model, the greatest advantage of this new credibility system is its ability to create a subconscious trust that has your clients closing themselves into your 5k to 50k programs and services.
So Cathy, if you’re interested in how you can position yourself at the forefront of the multi-billion dollar coaching industry with your own Coaching Certification program …
ME: Delete, delete, delete …
So, what do you think? Have you had a dialogue like this on FB, LI or ordinary email?