I had a wonderful conversation with one of my favorite clients yesterday. Karoleen is a coach to financial services professionals and business owners. Her insight, quit wit and sound judgement make her an ideal business coach. She has a full practice of financial planners and business owners who have doubled and tripled their income because of her insight and guidance.
I’ll admit, one of the reasons I truly adore her is she hired me as she was launching her practice. She absorbed my advice like a dry sponge soaks up water. Now, four years later, I was marveling once again at the POWER of knowledge when it comes to building a business. Once again, someone you’ll probably never hear of is creating a successful business all because she knows who her best client is.
Don’t talk to this coach about the latest web gizmo as a way to attract her clients. She’ll tell you her clients aren’t tech savvy and they definitely aren’t surfing the internet looking for the latest “get rich” scheme. As a matter of fact, they aren’t searching the web for her solution at all. Her current web site acts a her virtual brochure, a professional face for her home based business.
My client told me of an internet web site consultant who was vying for her business and suggested that many of the “tools” featured on her site should be bundled and packaged for sale. She called me to get my input and I reminded her that those fantastic “tools” were originally offered for free because they were acting as “bait.” Her potential client was highly unlikely to find the site on his/her own, remember, they aren’t searching the web for her services. The only traffic her site gets is when she is featured in a magazine or newspaper article or when she’s acting as a keynote speaker. The fabulous freebies are included on her web site to provide just a TASTE of what you’ll get when you hire her as your coach. Honestly, the “magic” in the tools offered is not int he tools themselves, but in Karoleen’s GUIDANCE as you use the tools.
I suggested that instead of selling a “tool” for $19.95, why not continue to use it to sign a client who will enter into a long term coaching relationship with you. (Did I mention that her average client “time on board” is two years and counting?)
Too many business owners lose sight of the big picture. That’s yet another reason why I adore Karoleen. Sure, she could have listened to the consultant and packaged those tools into an easily delivered package for $19.95 each. But it would take 25 sales a month to equal the cash flow she’d get from signing from a single client. And to promote her new products, her web site focus would shift from virtual brochure to web store. Then she’d get to worry about keywords, SEO and site promotion. None of those things make her heart sing, by the way. Sure, there are some people who really get into the battle for position on Google or Yahoo or MSN, but Karoleen isn’t one of them. In her case, it’s MUCH better to give away the fabulous tools in an effort to win clients so she can do what she’s so good at doing: helping financial services people and entrepreneurs get more without doing more.
There’s power in knowing your client. My client could have been led down a disasterous trail, leading her away from her strengths and into the depths of “technological hell” as she chased those $19.95 sales. However, she knew her client and knew they weren’t searching for her answers to their problems on the internet. Ah, the power of knowledge.