“As teachers, we want to move people… Irritation is challenging people to do something that we want them to do. Agitation is challenging them to do something they want to do… It’s about leading with my ears instead of my mouth. It means trying to elicit from people what their goals are for themselves and having the flexibility to frame what we do in that context.”

—Larry Ferlazzo, high school teacher in inner-city Sacramento, in Daniel Pink’s to Sell is Human

Only invite them to work with you if it feels in alignment.

Your job is to discover whether working together feels right to both of you. Before you invite them to work with you, ask yourself— Does the idea of working with them excite you? Would you enjoy working with them? Would they get the results they want from working with you?

If so, great!  If you don’t think they’re a good match, offer a suggestion about where you recommend they seek support instead.

If you think you can help and want to work with them, first ask what they’re hoping for.

Finally, you’ve assessed what they need and want and whether they’re a good match for you. If you don’t think they’re a good match, offer a suggestion about where you recommend they seek support instead. However, if you know enough about their situation that you understand what they need and they’ve felt truly seen, you’re ready to invite them to work with you.

Before you’re ready to invite them to work with you ask the question that business coach Mark Silver calls the pivot— I think I have a good sense of what you’re struggling with, and I love what you’re wanting to do. Before I share what I’m thinking, I’d like to ask— What are you hoping I could do for you?

They’ll tell you how they hope you can help or they’ll ask you what you can do for them.

What if you don’t know if you can help?

If you don’t know whether you can help a potential client, ask yourself—If they implemented every step you suggested, would they get the results they want? Only invite them to work with you if you’re pretty sure they would.

If there are too many variables to know whether they’d receive the desired results, ask yourself— How many sessions will you need to have with them to know if they’re improving? Consider offering that many sessions and letting them know that it will take that much time to ascertain the results.

Track your client results and keep honing your work to make it more effective.

When you’re ready to invite them to work with you—

Stay in the role of advisor and ask—“I think you’re a great match for what I offer. Would you like to hear about what that would look like?”

Keep it short.

Share the areas that you would help them with and the steps of your work together. Rather than delving too much into your process, mirror back to them their biggest problems and longings and talk about the outcomes you would help them achieve. Use the words they’ve used with you. When someone feels stuck in their problem and confused about how to make things better, you offer them a gift by helping them sort through what’s going on, get clear about where they want to go and lay out the path toward a solution.

Make sure not to take a long time laying this out. Three minutes is all you need.

Ask the question, and then stay quiet.

Once you share what you could do for them, ask— How does that sound to you?

Then, be silent and wait for a response. It can be terrifying to sit in the silence here, but it’s very important to give them time to think.

X

Forgot Password?

Join Us