Contrary to popular thinking, teaching classes is not what trainers spend most of their time doing. In addition to teaching, trainers must design courses, manage the administrative aspects, market their business and constantly search for new clients!
Sales prospecting and maintaining client relations form a large part of the work of a trainer, but also represent those aspects trainers tend to neglect the most at the start of their training career. This is normal: we decide to become trainers to pass on our knowledge and skills, not to spend hours on the telephone! Without clients, however, there can be no training. Many trainers new to the profession see prospecting as a necessary hurdle before finally being able to devote themselves to what they love doing.
In reality, there are as many ways of finding new clients as there are of teaching: depending on your style, your preferences and your environment, you can approach prospecting in whatever way suits you best! Here are our tips for finding (and keeping) new clients!
Create a solid network
Networking remains the biggest source of clients for freelance trainers. Whether via their previous professional activities or with the help of smart partnerships with other complementary trainers, contacts are the best way of building a loyal customer base.
Start activating your network by contacting your closest professional contacts. Then start to fill it out by taking part in events linked to your activity: websites like Meetup, for example, list professional events in your region and enable you meet a lot of people in the same business sector as yourself.
Want to build a network? Be patient! Any contact can, in the long term, turn out to be key to your business and become a client or recommend you to others. Cultivate links with people you meet, therefore, without necessarily coming across as aggressive!
Use the power of social media!
Social networks are an extension of your physical network: there are an excellent means of forging a quality relationship with your professional contacts. The two most widely-used professional networks are Facebook and LinkedIn: you can interact with your contacts, joint discussion groups focused on your activity and share quality content linked to your expertise.
Social media is not a direct marketing tool: use it to understand and help your prospects, promote your expertise and share your clients’ testimonials. In themed discussion groups, you can respond to professional ads or present yourself: an opportunity for acquiring qualified leads!
Get your courses listed online
Many job sites exist on which trainers can find training work. Regularly consult the ads displayed and set up ‘alerts’ to inform you quickly when a job corresponding to your activity is posted!
Here are a few website that list jobs for freelance trainers:
You can also list your profile on specialized websites to increase your visibility on the Internet. These platforms enable you to contact companies seeking trainers for occasional assignments: a good way of contacting interested companies!
Don’t forget old-fashioned telephone prospecting
While the Internet has really helped freelance trainers by giving them greater visibility, some companies have still not completely made the full transition to digital technology. Telephone prospecting therefore still has a lot to offer! Far from being inefficient and exhausting, this process can be very useful if done properly: it enables you to build up a highly qualified prospects database that you can expand and maintain over time, better understand your clients’ needs and refine your sales pitch.
For efficient sales prospecting, consider using professional software to help you better manage your client relations! You can also enter your contacts (companies, training bodies that outsource work, etc.) and re-contact them when the right moment arises.
Simplify your clients’ lives
Meeting potential clients is a good thing, but converting them into actual clients is even better! Be ready to remove the final barriers preventing your prospects from signing on the dotted line, while demonstrating your professionalism. Among the points to include in your sales pitch, you can, for example, include:
- Financing options for your training
- The digital and physical tools used
- Your quality assurance process and testimonials from former clients
Sales prospecting has a bad reputation and freelance trainers often shrink from structuring their sales activities when first starting out. Far from being restricted to unscrupulous wheeler-dealers, however, prospecting lies at the core of a freelancer’s business. Fortunately, a variety a ways now exist to sell your services and everyone can find a style to suit them!
Do you have good sales practices to share? Feel free to contact us to share your experience!