Tuesday March 6, 2018
Have you even been on a group coaching call, waiting for the presenter to show up... and waiting... and waiting... and eventually realized that they weren't going to come?
Even big and successful companies have the occasional mix-up with their coaching calls.
Their presenter is on vacation and they forget to cancel the call, or something comes up at the last minute, or they have some kind of technical difficulties that prevent the presenter from accessing the call.
Whatever the reason, you and the other participants are now sitting there, fidgeting awkwardly and listening to the uncomfortable sound of dead air.
At this point, you have three options:
1. Wait quietly, hoping something will happen.
2. Leave the call.
3. Decide that it's time to establish yourself as an authority and get some clients, channel your inner Jack Sparrow, and cry, "Everyone stay calm; we are taking over this ship!"
Granted, the pirate impersonation is optional. But when the presenter is AWOL and everyone else is looking for training and leadership, you have a golden opportunity to share your expertise, stand out from the crowd, and establish yourself as an authority that people want to talk to.
What are the best ways to take over a coaching call when the presenter is missing?
When the captain is not on the bridge, there are two primary ways in which you can take over the ship:
1. If you have expertise in the subject matter on which the group focuses, give a spontaneous training session or Q&A on that subject.
2. If you don't feel like you're up to the task of coaching on the group's topic, take a leadership role in networking and asking questions.
Here are examples of how you can implement each of those approaches:
Coaching Call Takeover Strategy 1: Become the coach
A few days before I wrote this blog post, I was on a coaching call for an ongoing business and marketing mentorship program.
(Yes, even the coaches need coaches! And sometimes, the coaches who coach the coaches need the coaches they coach to coach their coaches for them.)
I was participating as a student, and I'm not a member of the staff, so I had no official authority in the call.
But when I joined the call, I was met with dead air. I could see that there were a few participants, but it was obvious that the ship was captainless.
I started to chat with the other participants, one of whom asked me if I could help her with sales funnels. Inspired, I replied, "You know what? That's a great idea.
"In fact, since it looks like we don't have an official presenter, how about we have a Q&A session on sales funnels right now?"
The group liked that idea, so my next step was to establish what level I should start from. I asked them, "How much do you know about sales funnels? Is there anyone here who does NOT know what a sales funnel is, how it works and why you need one?"
As it turned out, there were a couple people who were starting from ground zero, so I gave them a quick explanation of what a sales funnel is, with some examples of what components one needs at each level of the funnel and why those components are needed.
Once that foundation was laid, the Q&A was able to begin in earnest. People asked me questions about sales funnels, and I answered them.
By the time it was over, the person who had originally asked about sales funnels was even more eager to speak with me outside the call, and she'd actually begun to think I was a member of the mentorship company's staff!
What could have been a failed coaching call became a great opportunity for me to demonstrate my expertise, and to establish myself as an authority who could help my fellow participants to design and create their sales funnels and fill those funnels with clients.
Coaching Call Takeover Strategy 2: Ask the right questions
There may be times when you don't have enough expertise on the call's primary topic to take over in a teaching capacity. But even if you can't give answers, you can still rise up as a leader and make yourself stand out by asking the right questions.
For example, you could start by asking each person in the group to introduce themselves and - if the group is business-oriented - give their elevator pitch.
This helps to get the conversation going, and in the case of business calls, it gives each company in the group a chance to get some exposure.
While you're doing this, take notes - you're getting information about every potential client and referral partner on the call!
Once everyone's been introduced, explain that you're going to go through the group one person at a time and give each person a chance to ask questions and get help.
You don't necessarily have to be the one to give them help. Even if someone else on the call answers their questions or gives advice, you still facilitated that assistance by getting them to tell the group what problems or questions they have.
When you call on each person, ask them questions like:
1. What are your biggest goals right now?
2. What's standing in the way of you reaching those goals?
3. What are you doing to overcome that challenge?
4. How's that working for you?
This helps you to find out if they have the problem you solve, and if they need the solution you offer. Even if your area of expertise isn't the primary topic of the call or the program the group calls come in, some of the people on the call might still need your help!
If it sounds like they have questions or need a course correction that you can assist them with, give them some valuable advice, or ask further questions to learn more about their situation.
And if their problem is outside your area of expertise, tell the rest of the group, "I don't specialize in this area, but maybe someone else on the call does? Is there anyone here who can give some answers or advice about (the problem or question)?"
This strategy can enable you to get leads who might never have considered you otherwise, and it makes you stand out as a leader who can help them get where they want to go.
Whether you take over the call as a teacher, or as a facilitator who helps people get the teaching they need from other participants, don't leave an abandoned captain's chair empty if you can avoid it!
Seize the day, and take your opportunity to shine!
What if someone asks what YOU do in your business?
Taking over a coaching call can be an effective way to make people want to learn more about you - but do you know how to tell them about your products or services in a way that makes them want to work with you?
If you don't know how to describe your business and services effectively, you can lose the leads you just acquired!
And if you don't know how to help your referral partners send clients to you, you'll have a harder time getting the other participants to recommend you to their communities.
That's why I coauthored a book called Get More Referrals and Make More Sales: How to Get Your Referral Marketing Done For You, and Turn More Leads Into Paying Clients.
In it, you'll discover how to make the people who hear about your offer eager to buy it, and how to get your referral partners to send you clients who are ready to make a purchase.
Click the button below to learn more and grab your copy!