I presented a complimentary webinar to a group of coaches who were part of a community of coaches who are interested in having their own coaching businesses. I was – of course – talking about how to market your coaching business. As always, there were a couple of coaches there who are interested in working with corporate clients and wanted to know how marketing to corporates.
Business to business (B2B) marketing is different from market to an individual who would be paying for themselves – business to consumer (B2C).
Marketing To Corporates
The process that we teach works whether you’re marketing B2B or B2C, but there are some differences in how you go about it.
In both B2B and B2C marketing, you need to start with a niche and then find an ideal client within that niche as the focus for your marketing.
With corporate – or B2B – marketing, your ideal client will be the person that you want to coach. They are the ones that you want to build a relationship with. You want to demonstrate, very clearly, that you know the problems that they’re struggling with and that you empathise. You need to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of their situation in your marketing. There are however other stakeholders in a B2B scenario that simply don’t exist in B2C and this is one of the first differences.
These Were Some Of The Questions I Was Asked:
The Question: My client has to be someone in HR don’t they, because they hold the budget?
Well, even though they hold the budget, that doesn’t necessarily make them your target client. They are certainly one of the stakeholders in the process, but they are almost certainly not your ideal client.
The Question: But what about Preferred Suppliers Lists? If you’re not on it, you don’t get the work…
There are ways of getting onto preferred supplier lists that don’t involve already having a relationship with HR. Once your ideal (potential) client feels that you understand them, then they will become your champion with the other stakeholders. It is widely recognised that something an employee chooses for themselves will always be more effective than something imposed on them. You can provide comfort to the other stakeholders in various ways. To the line manager, your understanding of the problem. The impact it’s having on the potential client and the impact it will also be having on the line management will provide comfort. To the HR department, your understanding and your professional credentials. Your spot-on proposal and your ability to be flexible can smooth the way on to the PSL.
The Question: As individuals, how can we possibly compete with large organisations with dozens of associate coaches, can we?
You absolutely can. The beauty of having the potential coachee as your champion is that people buy people. They have already invested their trust in you. They know you understand them and that is worth a lot. Employees can have a say in how their personal and professional development budget is spent. They also already know they want you from following you for quite some time.
There’s So Much To Know About Marketing To Corporates!
Marketing to corporates as a sole practitioner, and it’s entirely possible, however there are lots of moving parts to consider.
That is why we have created a separate mentoring programme especially for coaches who want to work in the corporate space. It’s called Impact and we’re interviewing for it now. You can find out more on our website.