I had the worst experience being the prospect on a client enrollment call last week. It was all I could do not to write a rant post tagging the company involved. It was a train wreck that spiked my blood pressure and pissed me off for days.

The odd thing about it was that I had been looking forward to the call! I had very carefully and completely filled out the application so we could have a constructive conversation about my business issue I was hoping that company could fix. I even had mentally filed away how much I was willing to pay for that help.

Needless to say, we didn’t end up moving forward together…

But this got me thinking about the client enrollment process in general, and the fact I have gotten to a point where I actually ENJOY my calls with prospective clients. And the prospects tell me they got a lot of value from the call, whether we decide we’re a fit to work together or not.

Selling can feel uncomfortable

Most entrepreneurs struggle with sales conversations. They don’t want to be pushy or slimy. They get tongue-tied telling prospects what they do. They don’t like bragging and calling out successes.

In short, many entrepreneurs dread the exact conversations they need to build their businesses.

Enrolling clients is a core process for your business

If you’re not in the groove of continually having conversations and enrolling clients, your business will struggle and have cycles of feast and famine.

I got clear on the importance of client enrollment over the last year. I started telling myself that I am actually in the client enrollment business, and what I do for clients is almost secondary.

That sounds strange, but after being in business for seven years, my process is well defined and my success rate is pretty high. If I get professionals to commit to working with me, I am confident that I can get them good results.

So, my focus has become getting people into my practice.

Having easier and more fun sales conversations

I knew I needed to figure out a way to make it fun or I would just find reasons not to do the calls.

Now, I actually look forward to them and enjoy the conversations.

Here are some strategies I use:

Have the right mindset. I go into the conversation with the mindset of being of service and being an advisor. I don’t know if I can help someone or not until I have a conversation with them and get to know them better.

Be helpful. Whether or not a prospect is a good client for me, they will get my best advice. If I am not a fit for them, I will try to recommend an online resource, or refer them to another professional in my network.

Be interested but not attached. Be your best self and be helpful, but recognize people will make their own decisions and you can’t control that. Don’t be attached to the outcome. Their decision may not have anything to do with you or your service.

Follow a structure for the conversation. It’s easy to get off track or off topic during client enrollment calls. It helps to have a structure. I have seen many “systems” but the common elements are:

  • Beginning with questions about the prospect’s current situation (uncovering their pain)
  • Helping them imagine what life would be like if they achieved their goals
  • Demonstrating how you and your knowledge can help them get where they want to go
  • Painting a picture of what it would be like if they stayed where they are
  • Addressing any outstanding questions or limiting beliefs
  • Supporting them in making a decision to move forward – or not

Please believe me when I say that I get thank-you notes from people and follow-up emails when they implement something I suggested. Imagine being thanked for a sales call!

The financial benefit of this shift in my mindset and strategy has been incredible. My business is growing rapidly and I have hired some people to help me scale my business.

I hope it works for you, too.