How to get clients? (Show them the moon)

by | Feb 11, 2013

You are intelligent, intentional, and skilled–trust me, you are–yet you may sometimes struggle with how to get clients.

As in last week’s post, the key to getting clients lies in a distinction between purpose and destination.

Last week I talked about  the important difference between your business purpose  and your business destination. Now I’m going to share with you the important difference between sharing a purpose with your clients and inviting them to a destination.

So, how to get clients? Read on.

Where purpose fits

The purpose of your work with clients (which may or may not be the same as your business purpose) is a useful orienting generalization. Essentially, it tells people where you hang out.

But frankly that is not earth-shaking for prospective clients.

When it comes to hiring you, prospective clients don’t care so much how you articulate the larger meaning of your work.

They want to know where they will end up as a result of it.

In other words, you need to give them a compelling destination.

(By the way, this has the virtue of being far more interesting to you as well as to prospective clients. Read on to find out why.)

Purpose without destination leads to the glazed look

Have you ever watched someone’s eyes glaze over while you tell them what you do? In spite of your sincerity and expertise, the value just doesn’t come through.

They may get that working with you could be a positive experience in a general way, but they don’t get exactly why someone would invest hard-earned time and money in hiring you. That would be because you’re talking about a meaningful purpose without naming a compelling destination.

The destination sets up dynamic tension

When you paint a vivid picture of a compelling destination, you set up dynamic tension between the present and the future. For example, a coach whose purpose is in the territory of creativity might take clients from being jaded, confused, and stuck to being engaged, exuberant, and in focused action.

When that future is a compelling destination for prospective clients, they experience an almost irresistible urge to close the gap.

And that is how to get clients.

(Remember what I said about this being more interesting for you as well? That’s because you are a party to the dynamic tension. You share in the urge to close the gap. It’s very cool. In fact, it can take your breath away.)

What’s the moon for your clients?

Last week I asked you to reflect on a moon, or compelling destination, for your business.

What’s the moon for your clients?

The best way to come up with a compelling destination is to ask existing or prospective clients directly.

Ask them what significant transformation they’d love to make.

Ask what that transformation would allow them to be, do, or have.

Respectfully explore with them the gap between where they are and where they would love to be.

Help them tell you what moon they want to land on.

Don’t be afraid of promising the moon

Sometimes folks balk at this point, hesitant to make promises they might not be able to keep. Or they fall victim to a serious case of Impostor Syndrome.

I understand and honor the desire to make accurate promises. But if you choose your clients carefully, they will be fully resourced and accountable partners on the way to that compelling destination.

Offer a daring adventure

In the words of Helen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

Make your life and the lives of your clients a daring adventure by declaring a compelling destination.

That’s how to get clients and thrill yourself in the process.