Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Heartbreak Market

A friend in the coaching business recently asked me why small-business owners tend to shy away from training and coaching. 

These were my thoughts:

Entrepreneurs tend to distrust consultants of all kinds (they've all been burned once or twice). 

As you probably already know, you have to have a relationship with them (or a prominent reputation) before they'll usually consider buying from you. They're wired to get the best bang for their buck, and they're looking for sure bets and guarantees - which of course don't exist.

Also, they don't really want to change. So when you say that coaching is all about transforming them and their results, they may just feel threatened. 

To sell to entrepreneurs, you need to stand out. What's your brand differentiation? Of all the coaches and consultants in the world, why should they rely on you? 

My friend offers a free initial coaching call. This might seem like a great door-opener, but he doesn't describe what it is or how it can help. Plus, he offers no reason why someone should call NOW! Busy entrepreneurs will always put off calls that cost them money, unless you can convince them an opportunity is slipping away! 

I call small business a heartbreak market. Entrepreneurs are always being sold to, so they have developed very strong resistance to conventional pitches. Unlike corporate types, it's their own money they're spending, so you really need to prove yourself first (case studies and success stories can help, and anything that reverses the risk).

You CAN sell discretionary good and services to small business. They just have to trust you first.

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