Posted by: Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert

Meet Hobbes!  Our little female kitty that Hubby and I find hugely adorable.  We rescued her from the scary outside world when she was 4 months old.  And yes, we know the comic strip characters are a boy and a male tiger, but in this case our Hobbes is a girl.  She’s now 5 years old, hugely skittish around strangers but loves attention and is very vocal.  She has the cutest kitten meow you’ve ever heard…it makes me melt.

Hubby has yet to get our little Hobbes to allow him to hold her.  It took a year to get her to start to trust me.  I would sit her on my lap or hold her for short periods of time (a few seconds).  She would really enjoy it at first but then realize it was a human doing it and run away.  I could tell that she really was an affectionate cat and wanted lots of love, but just wouldn’t allow the humans to provide it.  So, I kept increasing the time.  I’d make her sit a few seconds more every time I petted her.  After about 2 years, she finally admitted that she enjoys sitting in my lap.  She’ll jump up in my lap any time I’m sitting on the couch now.  She also occasionally likes me to hold her, but it has to be in the only position SHE likes.  Typical cat thing.

Just like Hobbes, clients need you to force them to see something they didn’t know they wanted.

Your clients know some things when they come to you.  They know they need to change something.  They know that something isn’t working.  They know they want to do something about it and they know there is someone out there who can help them.  They are just trying to figure out if you are that person.

I’m sure you’ve noticed your clients typically end up finding deeper problems than the ones they came to you for.  I’m guessing there are a whole host of contributing factors to the reason they need your help.  I’m also pretty sure there are some things they need to wake up to in order to successfully solve those problems.  This is where the juice is.  You can help them start waking up before they even start working with you.  You can’t just “tell” them what they need to know, but you can start eluding to how things are showing up for them and what might be contributing.

For example, let’s say you work with women who struggle to attract the man of their dreams.  If your clientele isn’t very enlightened, then you can’t just tell them that they have to work on themselves first in order to get what they want.  Instead, write articles about the problems that are showing up for them.  Then at the end you can show what specific inner mindset could be getting in their way.  Then they can come to you for help busting through that mindset.

The client has to FIRST see that you get where they are and know the problems they are experiencing.  Then they need the solution.  You already know that you need to offer the solution, but are you really helping them dig in and wake up?  Are you challenging them to own their role in the process?

Be strong, be tough and stand for what you know they want.  Start as early as you can in your marketing.  Give the cold hard truth in your articles, blogs, newsletter etc… Help them admit to themselves what they’ve been thinking all along. If you challenge your potential clients they will start to see what they need to do and start to own their power to change it.  Wouldn’t that make for an awesome client?  Not only that, they are going to want to hire you faster, because they know you “get it”.

How are you going to challenge your potential clients? Share your thoughts in a comment.

PS - Did you read my intro. article about what my cats have taught me about marketing?  Check it out in the Coaches’ Marketing Source Newsletter.  In my next post, I share what Calvin has taught me about getting bored.


  1. 1
    Therese Skelly // September 6th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I love this article.
    It’s so true that we ’sell them what they want but give them what they need’ but often times, we as coaches either don’t dig enough, or don’t have the courage to have our clients do the deep dive.

    Very well written with some great teaching points. And how cute is your kitty cat?

    Take care,

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