One Size Does NOT Fit All

Jan 12, 2022

I avoided creating a "signature offer" or "coaching program" for a long time because I believed that it would come at the expense of being able to give my clients the high level of personalization they needed. This simple shift helped me get more clients and improve client results...while still giving them the personal attention and customization they needed.

 Hello, and welcome to the Client Attractor Show. I'm your host, Jacob Ratliff, client attraction coach and author of the brand new book Client Attractor. If you haven't gotten your copy of Client Attractor yet, you can pick that up today at

Today, I want to talk about one of my very first clients, and for the purposes of this episode, we are going to call him Jonathan. When I first got started in my business, Jonathan reached out to me with some really specific things he needed for his business: stuff around improving his website, around growing his email list. And Jonathan, like I said, was one of my very first clients, not my absolute first, probably my second or third. I had a really great conversation with Jonathan; our first conversation went really well, and it was really clear that at that time, he was a really perfect client for me. He fit a lot of the checkboxes of the types of clients that I really wanted to work with. Even though I didn't really have this good understanding of who my ideal client was at the time, I figured he was still a pretty good client to bring on. 

Then came the dreaded question, the question that I knew was coming, that I hoped was coming, but that, in all honesty, I had no clue how to answer: the question of “Great, well, what does it look like to work with you?” the question where I was supposed to say, “Okay, here's my rates. Here's how this would all work if we were to move forward on this.” And so when that time came, and when he asked that question, I froze, because I was sitting there thinking, Oh my goodness, I have no clue how to answer this guy's question. I need to figure that out. And so I told him that “Okay, what I'll do is I will go and put together a proposal for you, and I can have that for you in the next four or five days, and we can go from there. How does that sound?” 

I went and I wrote the proposal. I got the sale. I brought Jonathan on as a new client, but the problem was that as I started taking on clients after Jonathan, as I continued to take on, say, my first 10-15 clients, I was making more sales, but it was such a lengthy process. It involved meeting a prospect, writing a proposal, meeting them again to talk about the proposal and answer questions about it, and then finally making the sale. Writing that proposal alone really lengthened my sales process, and it would take almost a whole week to do that, while still juggling work for my other clients who were actually paying me. 

The idea of working on two proposals for two different clients at once, that seemed unthinkable. I just couldn't do it; I didn't have the time. My sales process wasn't just ineffective. It wasn't just slow and lengthy. It was inherently broken. It really limited the number of clients I could bring on each month, and it took time away from actually working with my existing clients, so it wasn't fair to them either. It also meant that whenever I didn't successfully make a sale with a prospect, whenever I lost a sale, I had already spent as much as five hours putting together that proposal for them. That was five hours that I wasn't going to get paid for. 

The biggest problem, though, the absolute biggest problem was that when I would talk with a prospect, they would get so excited about working together, they would be so ready to start, and when I had to say, “Okay, let me go write up this proposal,” it absolutely destroyed a prospect’s momentum, and it destroyed that excitement to work together. So with every prospective client, they were asking, “Okay, how can I work with you?” and I was actually pumping the brakes, and I was saying, “Wait, wait, wait, wait a minute. Let me go and put together a proposal for you. Then we can go from there.” 

I started to notice that difference between the first conversation and then the second conversation where they had the proposal. In that second conversation, they were much more subdued, and ultimately, they had a lot less energy around working together. It was almost like I was talking to a completely different person in that second conversation. But as I started to craft a more detailed offer, not a set-in-stone, one-size-fits-all offer, but a more detailed offer, I became much more able to conduct that initial conversation much more effectively, which dramatically improved my conversion rate, mostly because I didn't let my prospect lose that momentum. 

The way that this conversation would look is I would ask them, “Awesome. Would you like for me to share what it would look like to work together?” and the prospect would say, “Yeah, of course. Yes, please,” and I would respond with “Great. Here's exactly what it looks like to work with me. Here's what it includes. Here's how it will help you achieve this specific result. Here's how much it costs. We can go ahead and get started right now if you're ready.” And because I had a clearly defined, repeatable offer that I could present to each prospect, I could completely remove that proposal-writing step from the sales process, which meant that my sales process was automatically shortened by a week, and it also doubled my conversion rate. 

To be honest, I really did resist this for a while, resisted the idea that I had to create an offer, because I equated creating one offer with this idea of creating a one-size-fits-all solution. I had this belief that creating an offer meant that I had to force people into the box of that offer if I wanted to get them to buy, and that was a really big concern for me, because I knew that if I took that approach, that it would dramatically reduce my client’s results. 

Honestly, it was a completely valid fear because I feared losing the flexibility that comes with writing custom proposals for each prospect. And sure, I knew that I was getting clearer on who my ideal client was, but I knew that no matter how clear I got on that ideal client, the particular details of their situation and needs would inevitably vary from person to person, and I needed to be able to accommodate that. But I didn't know what else to do, so I decided that I was going to create an offer anyway. As I did that, I learned that the purpose of an offer is really not to force your prospects into a box; it's not to give them a solution that they might not need for their particular situation. Instead, it's to create a framework that you can work with them to serve your clients to the best of your ability. 

One way to think about an offer is as a skeleton outline that kind of serves as the bones. Then, as you talk with different prospective clients, whose needs, like we said, will differ, how you fill in that outline is the customization by which you put the meat on the skeleton. No matter how your prospects’ needs differ, your process of working with them maintains that same general structure. For example, all of my clients have a similar goal; they have pretty much the same exact goal, in fact, which is that they want more clients, and that's exactly what I help them achieve. However, I know that the path to achieving that result varies from client to client, and therefore, there is some variation in how I help them achieve that. 

For all of my clients, we always begin looking at their offer, their ideal client, and their messaging, either fine tuning it or building it from the ground up. That's one of those things that we always start with, but then we move into the actual tactics and strategies for attracting clients, and that looks really different from client to client. For some people, it's focusing on LinkedIn; for some people, it's focusing on Facebook; and for others, it's focusing on Facebook, but taking a different approach on Facebook. No matter what that variation is, it does come back to this core structure that I operate. 

So if you've kind of felt bogged down by your sales process, or you're even just having trouble talking consistently about what you offer and the value that it creates for your clients, it's definitely a good idea to spend some time focusing on your offer, your ideal client, and your messaging. I talk about this a whole lot in the first section of my book Client Attractor, so if you don't know where to begin that process, that could be a really good resource for you to check out. But at the end of the day, it comes down to not only knowing who your ideal client is, knowing what your offer is, and speaking about it consistently; it's about making sure that those three things are 100% aligned. 

Again, thank you so much for joining me for today's episode of the Client Attractor Show. I'm your host, Jacob Ratliff, and I will see you tomorrow.

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