You feel like you’ve checked off all the important things when it comes to having a legally legit business…
→ Your business is registered in your State where you live/work.
→ You even got a business bank account.
→ And you might have a contract or two in place (woot woot!).
But the truth is, the most important part is actually implementing and enforcing those policies — not just having them.
I see it all the time. Someone has website policies up on their site, they might even use a contract with clients, but they don’t actually talk to people about their scope of practice, business policies, or terms.
If you’ve been around here for a minute, you know I’m all about WORDS = ACTIONS.
Your words (website policies, contracts, copy, etc.) have to match what you do in practice (work with clients, calls with clients, etc.).
One of the best and simplest ways you can not only protect your business, but yourself, is through a legally legit sales call process (aka. discovery call, free call, consult, etc.)
These are the sales calls you offer to connect with potential clients. They’re a way to see if you’re a good fit for one another, hear about what she’s looking for, and explain a bit about what you have to offer.
And, when done right, you can easily and professionally slip in some super simple protective measures.
Here are 10 super simple ways to have a legally legit sales call that attracts the RIGHT client for you…
1 // LINK TO YOUR POLICIES
When someone signs up to have a sales call or consultation with you, link to your website disclaimer in the call confirmation/delivery email.
That way, you have another layer of proof that you let that person know who you are, what you do, and who you aren’t/what you don’t do before you ever even talked. If they’re not comfortable with who you are, they can cancel their sales call before it even begins.
2 // SET THE TONE
First things first, you need to set the tone as the coach/creative/consultant who’s the expert in this situation. Once you’re on the phone with your future client, connect with her on a personal level. Find out a few things about her behind what you’re there to chat about that day.
After you’ve connected more personally, set the expectations for the sales call. Let her know how it will, what the call is for, and that you’ll listen and take notes. I usually kick off with a question about her business and let her know I’ll jump in with any questions.
3 // LISTEN UP
One of the best ways to make sure you stay out of legal ‘trouble’ is to LISTEN. Listening is always important, right? But it’s even more important here because if you listen (truly listen), you’ll hear what she’s looking for, needs, and wants.
If she explains wants/needs that are either A. beyond your scope of practice or B. beyond what you’re comfortable doing, you’ll be able to let her know. If you’re not listening intently, you might miss these crucial details.
4 // NOW
Find out where she is now. Depending on your industry, you might want to ask what her current state of health is, how her business is doing, etc. But this is important information to gather for the next steps.
5 // FUTURE
Where does she want to be? Does she want a 6-pack, a 6-figure business, or a rockin’ logo that reaches big brands? You need to learn more about where she’s trying to go so you can get a clear picture of whether you’re the right person for her.
6 // OBSTACLES
What roadblocks is she hitting between where she currently is and where she wants to go? Does what you have to offer help clear those obstacles? If not, what would be a better option for her? This is a great place to think of referrals or whether you need another professional or colleague on board to help this client together.
7 // SCOPE OF PRACTICE
If and when any of my clients ever had their own client problems in the past, it was usually because they took on a client they didn’t feel comfortable working with in the first place. Their instinct told them something was off, but they typically wanted or needed the experience (or $$) so they took on the client anyway.
This is where tips #1-5 come into play and listening skills are key. For example, if while you are chatting with a potential client on a sales call, she mentions she’s struggling with having healthy meals on hand and she’s looking for someone to prepare a meal plan for her so she knows exactly what to eat and when, that would be a great time to gently guide her towards your scope of practice.
Here’s an example of how I’d have that conversation with a potential client who says she wants something beyond my scope of practice…
COACH: “So, Sarah, what I’m hearing is that you’re struggling with having prepared meals on hand and you feel like having a meal plan would give you exactly what you need in terms of preparation. Is that right?”
“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m thinking!” Sarah says.
COACH: “OK. So as a health coach, one of the ways I work with women is to help them learn how to plan simple, healthy meals using some basic tools and resources that we learn about together. As a health coach, I can’t offer structured meal plans or tell you exactly what to eat — but in my experience, my clients have actually had the most success when they’ve learned how to plan and design meals for themselves. A lot of times it comes down to planning ahead and learning the components to delicious but basic, simpler meals!”
You get the idea!
Even if the client doesn’t ask you to do something outside your scope during the call, I’d still work it into the end of your conversation with the client that I’ll talk more about in tip #8.
8 // HOW YOU WORK WITH PEOPLE
After you’ve talked to the client about where she is, where she wants to go, and what’s frustrating her or getting in her way, it’s time to turn that spotlight on YOU!
This is where you can take the opportunity to explain who you are, what you do, and how you work with people.
It’s a great time to work in your scope of practice, too. Something like, “I’m a business coach who helps service-based entrepreneurs learn how to market their businesses online so they can achieve that laptop lifestyle!” If you’re a coach/consultant who works with clients on the nitty-gritty stuff like numbers, financials, or even dives into legal, it’s a great time to let them know you’ve got experts on tap to give them advice, since what you’ll do will be info/education based.
Depending on the kind of business you have, it makes sense to say something like “this is what I do… this is what I don’t do…” type of thing. For example, I might say “I help women entrepreneurs grow legally legit businesses through my DIY legal templates and signature program, the Ultimate Bundle™. I don’t act as anyone’s attorney or offer legal advice at any time. Beyond the templates, I can offer loads of information and education to guide you towards being able to make the best decision for yourself. And, of course, if you feel like you need personalized legal advice, you should always hire a local attorney who can help you.”
9 // NEXT STEPS
At the end of the sales call, let the client know what she can expect next from you. Will you send her an email? Will you send her a contract or invoice (if she said she’s ready to work together)? Are you following up with any resources you promised her?
I like to let people know exactly what they can expect. For example, if she told me she’s ready to go move forward with me (or that’s she really interested in doing so), I’d say something like, “Great! So after our call, you’ll receive an email from me by the end of the day with your invoice and client contract links in it. Once you take care of those, you’ll get an email with a link to your client portal and the invitation to my private client-only Facebook community. Sound good?”
If she isn’t sure whether she’s ready to move forward yet or not, I’d say something like, “So after our call, you’ll get an email from me with some of the things we talked about today. Feel free to reply to that email with any questions you have. I’d be happy to chat again if you want. Or, if you’re ready to move forward after that email, all you have to do is reply and let me know. You’ll then get an email with a contract and invoice to bring you onboard!”
10 // SEND A LEGIT CONTRACT
If / when your new client is ready to move forward, send along a professionally written contract for her to review and e-sign, along with your invoice.
Here’s the contract you need if you’re offering services (i.e., coaching, consulting, etc.) 1-on-1 to clients.
You can use this group program contract if you’re running any sort of group program.
Can’t wait to talk soon! xo,