You’ve had an enquiry through your website, but now you feel all jittery as you’ve got to take the next step and have a consultation call with your prospective client.
We’ve all been there, me included just this week…so I know exactly how you are feeling.
5 steps to prepare for a brilliant consultation
Fortunately, I had a “tapping” session with Linda Anderson a few days after my client consultation, where I had the space to debrief on my jittery call. This helped me come up with the following points that I will definitely use myself in future, and want to share to help you too…
1. Start by feeling your best
Start by grounding yourself – this will most definitely help with feeling nervous. If you have a daily practice (meditation, yoga, dancing around the room to your favourite music on iTunes, going for walk in nature – whatever makes you feel centred and calm) make sure you follow through before your call.
2. Ask the right questions
Open questions are the way to go in a consultation! This is a coaching tool that stops the person with whom you are talking giving you a simple “yes” or “no” answer – you want to give them the space to tell you more.
In my consultation this week the questions weren’t quite working for me and it felt like we got stuck in a loop. Linda Anderson had a genius suggestion which I’m going to implement in future:
Send out a brief questionnaire BEFORE the call so that you are both starting from the same place when you meet on Skype.
This would definitely have helped with what happened next…
3. Keep the conversation on track
I completely got caught up in the story my prospective client was telling me and lost focus. (I don’t know about you, but I love to hear how others have turned their passion into a business and could listen for hours).
But I’m here ONLY to find out why this person doesn’t love their website, and help clarify the reasons it may not be working for them. (This is where sending a set of clear questions in advance would have REALLY helped). Then in our 30 minute consultation we could have focused purely on whether or not we would be a good fit to work together.
Bottom line, it’s important to hold the space for the consultation, which means it’s YOUR responsibility to keep the conversation on track and on time.
4. Stand back and assess whether you are a good fit and can help
What I learned (in hindsight) this week was to empathize but not get “stuck” with my prospective client’s confusion. I desperately wanted to give my client clarity and ended up feeling totally muddled myself.
I wasn’t able to stand back and assess whether I was a good fit. I really liked her and wanted to help but I had a crisis of confidence…
Imposter Syndrome had reared it’s ugly head – “who are you to think you can help if you can’t even feel clear in a consultation call?” The result being that I ended up talking myself out of working with her!
5. Confirm the next step
It’s super important to close the call with a “next step” on which you are both clear.
If you feel you are not the right fit – tell your prospective client – and, if you are able, point them in another direction for help.
On the other hand if you are dying to work with this person, let them know that too.
THEY however may still have some things to think about, so ensure the next step is in YOUR hands.
Linda, has a great follow up she uses at the end of her Discovery Sessions: she lets the person know she will be in touch with them in 48 hours. (The reason being that it sets enough time for the person to think about whether they want to work with her, but doesn’t give enough time for fear to kick in and sabotage their getting help).
Over to you
Have you ever had Imposter Syndrome in the middle of a client consultation, and how did you overcome the feeling? I’d love to hear your tips as this seems to be very common, especially for heart-centred solopreneurs.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Do you have website envy when you look at others’ sites and hear yourself saying “I wish I loved MY website?” Find out how I can help, and the services I offer.
Ready to see if we are a good fit to work together? Click here to book a Consultation Call (I promise I will send you a short questionnaire so we are both on the same page when we meet for 30 minutes on Skype!
Photo credit: Death to the Stock Photo