When I started writing this A-Z of Marketing, I did not plan out what I would write about for each letter. I often wait for inspiration and that’s exactly what happened with R.
I was sitting on the bench outside Appletree HQ a week ago, talking to a new client about his coaching business. He was telling me how the business was growing organically, through recommendations and word of mouth. One of his clients would refer him to someone else they knew, who needed his help. He would work with that new client, who would often ask my client to coach other leaders and managers within their organisation. These new coaching clients would then ask him to work with members of their own teams. In this way, my new client has been keeping quite busy for the last couple of years.
He wasn’t sure what he was doing, for this organic growth to happen, but I could see exactly what was taking place. He’s great at building relationships with people he knows. As a coach, a large part of his role is spending time with his clients, really getting to know them and the issues with which they struggle. He is frequently the person to whom his clients turn when they have a problem and need someone to talk to. Through all this time and these conversations, a very strong level of trust is built up between my coaching client and his clients. They trust him with their issues and they trust him to help the people with whom they work.
When people are looking for a supplier to recommend to someone – whether they are a friend, family member, work colleague or a direct report – they need to trust that supplier completely and know that they will do a great job. This is exactly what my client does, without any planning or much conscious effort. It’s just who he is.
I had a very similar conversation with another new client the very next day, when we were working out what marketing we would be doing for her over the coming months.* She is also a coach who has built her business on recommendations and word of mouth. Many of her initial clients are stressed Financial Directors. Once she has helped them to see better ways of leading their teams, without getting so stressed out, they frequently ask her to coach the members of their teams too. And so her business has grown.
Do you receive a steady flow of referrals from happy clients? What do you do to build trusting, lasting relationships with your clients? How can you encourage them to recommend you to other clients?
If you’re not happy with the answers to any of these questions, do get in touch and I can share more advice with you, on how to easily attract enough of the sort of clients that you really want to work with. *If you would like to know the basics of marketing for coaches, go back to the A, B and C blogs in this series and start with those three. Or you can call me on 01635 578 500 or click here to send me an email.