5 Foolproof Conversation Starters that are Networking Gold

Know you should be networking more but find it awkward? Check out this short list of conversation-starters you can use “as is” or that can be tailored for your next networking event.

What’s your biggest challenge?” is a classic coaching question. But, “What stands between you and your wildest dream of business success?” is sure to inspire a passionate dialogue in short order.

Change up those questions – juicy exchanges lead to ongoing connections!

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Marketing Tip: The Power of Words

Everyone knows words have the power to heal as well as hurt, persuade as well as prevent. When it comes to marketing and selling, executive coach Ann Kruse reminds us that the power of words is just as important for coaches, as we build our businesses:

If you are asking us about actually marketing and selling your services, … the single most important piece of advice I can give you is to be very focused on the specific result you can offer, who you can offer it to, and in what situation. No one needs “coaching.” What they do need is things like “Creating better teamwork in my team” or “Being successful in a very challenging new job” or “Being a better project manager” or “Guiding my team through a change in business direction.” Figure out the type of client YOU want to work with, and the subject on which you can honestly say you have a track record of helping clients. Once you figure that out, then you can decide how to locate those clients. It may, for example, be through professional associations.

Good reminders for us all. Now how can you tighten and focus your marketing efforts? To get you started, this 2-min video perfectly and powerfully drives the point home:

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Rapport-Building Tool #38: E-Cards

While there are countless ways to strengthen the relationship you have with clients, one that stands out is the practice of sending e-cards.Sending clients ecards regularly (birthday, congratulations, holiday) is a small but meaningful gesture that serves to strengthen the bond between you.

There are many low-to-no-cost websites that let you schedule cards in advance:

Check out the possibilities. For a minimal investment of your time, you’ll be well on your way to continuously renewing these critical connections. Not only will this leave your current and former clients pleased that they chose such a thoughtful coach, it might even win you some referrals!
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Prospecting Strategies

One of the first steps to building a thriving practice is developing a strong prospect list. Check out these 6 key strategies, courtesy of the National Federation of Independent Business.

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How to Promote Your Coaching Business Through Public Speaking

Most coaches love to interact with people. And a great percentage of us also enjoy public speaking.

Are you a coach who thrives on both? If so, public speaking might be a great way to promote your coaching business.

Check out this article on the ICF website, for a great step-by-step plan to get you started!

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The Do’s and Don’ts of a Powerful Testimonial

We all know that a strong testimonial is one of the most persuasive marketing tools out there. After all, there’s no better way to build credibility with potential clients than third-party endorsements. But how do you get them?

First, it pays to know what makes a good testimonial. Business consultant Michael McLaughlin offers a great overview – not only of what a top-shelf testimonial looks like, but also how you can ensure a good outcome by taking an active role in the process.

Once you have a plan for the what and the how, it’s time to decide the who.

Choose wisely: approach clients who’ve already given you positive feedback about their coaching outcomes. And when you ask, offer them some guidance about how they can easily create a high-impact testimonial – including the “three pillars” of a high-quality success story:

  1. Keep it short
  2. Make it authentic
  3. Be specific

In order to jump-start their thinking, you might even include an example (like the one in McLaughlin’s post) or some open-ended questions about their coaching experience.

By participating in the process, you can help make the difference between a lukewarm compliment and a winning endorsement – maybe even one that inspires a prospect to become a client!

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Share The Power of Coaching

Heads up, executive coaches! Don’t miss Judith Glaser’s terrific coaching advocacy piece, Effective Communication to Effectively Persuade.

Clearly, this article provides a wealth of material on which to coach. However, it’s also great to share with prospects who might still be on the fence about committing to a coaching program. Just be sure to make a follow-up call after they’ve had a chance to check it out!

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Infographic: Top 7 Marketing Musts for Success

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