If you’ve ever bought a house, you probably used a realtor. You told them how many bedrooms you wanted, how many square feet, and your price point.
Once they found your ideal home, you paid them and never expected to need their services again.
Most businesses face a similar situation, especially consultants and coaches.
We thrive on helping our clients achieve one very specific goal. And when they achieve that goal, we say good-bye and focus on finding the next client.
But the truth is, you don’t need to find an endless string of clients to be successful. In fact, I earned $8,200 in one month without getting a single new client.
Total: $8,200 for November
Today I want to show you how you can continue to work with clients for months, and even years longer. How to turn them into “students for life,” as Ramit Sethi teaches in Zero to Launch.
First, I’ll give you three strategies to determine what more you can offer your existing clients. Then I’ll explain how to present these new options so your clients are eager to continue working with you.
Since you know your clients so well, it’s easy. Plus, you’re already doing most of the work.
Strategy #1: Check out your competition — and one-up them
When you’re focused on just one specific goal for your clients, it’s hard to think of more ways you can help them. Luckily, you have help here: your competition. Studying your competition can give you ideas on additional ways you can serve your clients.
My clients want to build their confidence and become charismatic, magnetic people. So I researched Tony Robbins. I found out that his clients report to him every single day.
Thanks for the idea, Tony.
I thought my clients would also love this because feedback is such an important part of our work together. So I added daily reporting to my services — and doubled my rates.
I know that most coaches limit their time with clients to a couple of calls a month. What I offer is 100x better than that, and it helps my clients. So charging $2,000/month rather than $1,000/month made sense to me.
It made sense to my clients, too. They eagerly accepted the daily feedback, and nobody flinched or questioned the price.
Make it a no-brainer for your clients to want to continue to work with you.
It takes less than an hour a month to research your competitors and see how they serve clients. You can offer the same things, and you’ll probably think of even better things you can offer.
Strategy #2: What are your customers (subtly) asking for?
Now for the obvious but not-so-obvious: Go directly to your clients to figure out what more you can help them with.
If you’re a coach or consultant, you probably record all your notes from calls and other conversations with each client in one place. I use a Google doc.
These documents are more than just a place to track progress and ensure that you’re meeting your clients’ needs. They are also goldmines for discovering other things you can help them with.
The key is to look for words that indicate a boiling point has been reached and they’re pulling their hair out.
Here are some phrases I typically look for. They are key phrases for most coaches:
- “This is a priority for me because…”
- “I don’t want to waste any more time on this.”
- “I’m frustrated with X. I feel like something needs to change.”
- “I’ve been thinking about X. What should I do?”
Once you find something you feel you can help a client with, talk to them to gauge their interest.
- What have you tried to do to solve this problem that’s worked?
- What hasn’t worked?
- How interested are you in solving this problem?
If they say it’s not a priority, let it go. But if they care, offer to work on finding them a solution.
For example, I realized one of my clients wanted to improve her personal style. I have no experience with style. Still, after one of our sessions, I made time to talk to her about it.
Me: “So I had something really interesting I wanted to talk to you about. I’ve been looking into helping clients with personal style, and I noticed that’s something you’ve brought up a couple of times that’s frustrating for you. What have you tried that’s worked well, and what hasn’t?”
Client: [Explained experience]
Me: Got it, OK. This is something I really want to help my clients with, so is it OK if I put a few questions in our doc for you to answer? I’m working on a solution for this.
Client: Of course.
Be on the lookout for these opportunities constantly, or schedule time on your calendar to look at your notes to see where you can fill in more gaps for your clients.
After a big win (like if you’re a marketing consultant and you just helped your client reach 20,000 subscribers), or 2 to 3 sessions before your scheduled work together is about to end is the perfect time.
Strategy #3: Partner with others to provide more solutions
Your clients will have challenges that you can’t directly help them solve. But you should still consider helping them out by partnering with people who can solve those problems.
Sure, you don’t have to. But I try to because I don’t see myself as just a “coach.” I believe that my job is to provide my clients with far more value than what they’re paying for. Plus, this makes clients want to keep working with you.
It’s like when you’re on vacation and your waitress offers you recommendations for what to do. She doesn’t have to do it. It’s not her job. But her advice makes your trip more fun — and it makes you want to tip more.
So once you’ve identified a challenge that you can’t help them solve, simply Google to find people with expertise in that area. You want someone who:
- has been in business for a while
- understands your clients’ problems
- offers the exact services your clients want
- has worked with clients like yours (tip: Read the testimonials on their site)
When you find someone who meets these criteria, reach out to them. Set up a phone call to see if your personalities gel and if they’d be comfortable with you sending them business.
Casual but professional works.
When you get on the phone, you want to get a sense of how well they know their clients. Ask them:
- What kind of clients do you work with the most?
- What challenges do those clients tend to have?
- What are some examples of how you’ve helped your clients?
- How did your clients feel after? What was different about them or their lives?
If they seem to really know their clients and those clients are just like yours, then ask yourself: Do I feel like I can trust referring my clientele to this person?
If so, negotiate a deal. Maybe if they send you a client, you pay them 10%. And vice versa.
The best part? It’s win-win-win.
Win for the stylist, win for my client, win for me.
This person helps your client, and now you’re more than just their coach or consultant. You’re their friend, their confidante, and the one person they look to when they need help: a trusted advisor.
As a bonus, this doesn’t take much time. Simply set aside 30 minutes to an hour, once a month, to Google for partners, using your client notes as a guide.
Make your solutions a no-brainer for clients
Now that you’ve determined what more you can offer your clients, it’s time to present these options to them.
You want to package and present your solution to their new burning pain so it’s a no-brainer for them to continue working with you.
This can be a delicate situation — especially with coaching. You never want to tell a client that you still see problems they have, and therefore they should keep working with you. That doesn’t make anyone feel good.
Instead, first get a pulse check to see what your client wants. Ask:
- How do you feel about your progress so far?
- Because of how much we’ve accomplished, would you like to continue working together?
Listen closely because you want to hear your client say exactly what they want, not what you think they should do.
Not every client is going to directly say, “I want to continue working with you.” But when they tell you how they feel, you can gauge whether it makes sense to offer to extend your services.
If they say something like, “I feel like I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve worked through X, but now I feel like there’s Y and Z,” that is your cue that they still want to work with you.
Don’t just reply, “So… you want to keep working together?” Your client wants you to take the lead.
Based on what they say, offer what you think is the best solution. Try something like, “Given that, why don’t we continue for working together for the next 3 months so we can focus on Y and Z, and also A and B. Those are going to help with Y and Z.”
Once they express an interest, give at least 2-3 specific options that range in price. This way it becomes a question of "Which do I choose?" rather than “Yes or no?”.
These 2 options are actually 4.
You can also offer the option of paying in full or using payment plans, as well as giving a discount if someone pays in full. This is great for cash flow, and it ends up being less for the client as well, so everyone feels like they got a great deal.
When I presented these options to three of my clients in November, all of them decided to continue working with me. One opted for a payment plan, and the other two paid in full to take advantage of my 10% discount.
Total: $8,200 for the month.
It’s incredible how much more money you can make by implementing these little tweaks to your systems.
The rewards of "clients for life"
Ultimately, the ability to not stress as much about where you’re getting your next client from — and perhaps even taking time off and still being financially stable — is one of the best perks of having clients for life. And the joy that it provides is another bonus.
Text from a client during the holidays.
I love knowing my clients so well that I can keep helping them get even better results in their lives.
Even better, as you also keep attracting NEW clients, you can continue to use these systems with each and every one, so from day one you’re set up for consistent revenue success.
I’ve given you three ways to discover what more you can offer your clients, plus how to present your offers. What will you do first?
In the comments below, share one of the following:
- Something that a competitor currently offers — and what you can offer that’s even better
- Someone in a different field that you can partner with by sending eachother clients — and why that partnership would work