Ep #25: Building Relationships for Business

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Continuing on from last week’s episode on networking for business, I wanted to dive even deeper into building relationships for your business. I get a lot of questions about this topic, and there’s often a lot of fear or uncertainty around how to go about attracting clients without being “sales-y.”

This week, I’m shedding some light on what relationships really are and how you need to channel the right energy to come across as passionate and confident about your business. If you’re an introvert like me, this episode is especially important and I’m giving you a new way to think about meeting new people.

This particular skill is something I’ve worked on right from the beginning of my business and it’s definitely a skill I’ve honed and perfected. I’m hoping my insights today empower you to keep looking at your belief system and identify the value you give to everyone you come across, potential client or not.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why the difference between being passionate and being “sales-y” is important.
  • What a relationship really is.
  • The beliefs you don’t want when trying to build relationships.
  • How to see every person you come across as being valuable.
  • The secret to attracting clients and building relationships.
  • What you’re really believing when you think you need a strategy to sign clients.
  • How I worked on growing my value so people wanted to pursue a relationship with me.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Make Money as a Life Coach podcast, where sales expert and master coach Stacey Boehman teaches you how to make your first 2K, 20K, and 200K using her proven formula.

Hey lovies. Welcome to episode 25. We’re going to dive into building relationships for business today. I get a lot of questions about this but first, I have to read you something one of my clients posted in the 2K for 2K. As soon as I read it, I screen-shotted it and I thought this is the best testimonial I have ever received. And also, I’m so excited and I want to shout-out and celebrate my client Lizzie.

So she just posted in 2K and she said, “So I didn’t announce right away, but I’ve made double what I put into this program as a result from being in it. I am so grateful to the many coaches I’ve worked with, but I have to say some of the best of the best of the best in our industry are involved in the creation and/or oversight and coaching in this group. I am delighted to be here, and as I knew I would, it was only a matter of time. I’ve doubled the 2K I put in here and like Stacey likes to say, this is just the beginning.

Love to all of you, my fellow coaches. If I could share one thing I’ve seen and learned since being in here, the thing that I feel that has contributed the most to my success in my business this month, it is this; work harder on and in your beliefs than you do in any other part of your business. If you do this, all the other activities you do in your business will be more fruitful for you and more impactful to those you serve.”

Yes. I just want to read that at the beginning of every podcast. So good. I am so happy for you Lizzie. I am over the moon for you and I’m so glad that you have found a community that feels like yours. I remember my client Clara saying you know, she’d been in a bunch of other programs and when she joined 2K, it really felt like she had found her people, and I think having found your people in this industry is everything.

Even if my people aren’t your people, I hope that you find your people because finding them is everything. It’s not just something. It’s everything. And I am honored, Lizzie, that you love the community so much that you recognize the level of coaching that is happening in that group. I really do genuinely feel like that is my goal is to create better coaches. So I don’t want you to just be a better salesperson. I want to help you be a better coach because I care about the reputation of this industry and I want to help grow it.

My coach and I are on very similar missions to help life coaches make money, to help coaches be better coaches, to up-level this industry in such a way that everybody in the world gets the help that they need. It’s such a powerful thing. And I just have to say, my client Lizzie, I was introduced to this – Lizzie, you don’t know this but I was introduced to the fact that you are also a singer and I saw a music video that you did. We’re going to tag it in the show notes.

My client Lindsey showed it to me. It’s called Enjoy The Ride. I listened to it. Lizzie has many songs that she has done, but Enjoy The Ride is the one that I heard and it definitely took my day from a seven to a 15. It was amazing. I loved it. It brought my energy – it felt like just love. A big hug. Like a snuggle. So if you want to watch Lizzie in her music video, Enjoy The Ride, go find that in the show notes. It’s so darling. It will just make your day and also congratulations for making money as a life coach.

Okay, so let’s dive in. So, last week we talked about networking for business. I want to dive a little bit deeper into actually building relationships because so many people you meet at networking events, you’re never going to talk to again. In fact, I think it takes a lot of discipline and belief to follow up with people you get business cards from.

I remember early on I would not follow up until past the point where it was awkward to then follow up. I remember seeing this meme on Facebook the other day about taking so long to respond to a text so that it now seems rude to actually reply, and I died because I totally do that. Two weeks later, response from me on a text.

So don’t wait two weeks to follow up for networking events. If you did, just move on. Chalk it up to a loss. I used to beat myself up about that a lot, especially in the beginning and I was still telling myself the story that it wasn’t going to matter anyway, and that none of these people were my ideal clients, so just wasn’t following up with people or I would just have fear of success.

Like, if I reach out to those people and follow up with them, they might actually become a client and then I’m like, I’m actually a coach and then I have to be a coach. So I had so much fear of the success that I would just totally avoid reaching out. So I used to beat myself up about that. Don’t beat yourself up about that. It’s kind of part of the process.

Eventually you will want to get more fruits from your labor and you will start reaching out and keeping up, so just do better next time. If that’s happening for you, have the model of I’ll do better next time. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t say you’re wasting your time, don’t say you’re never going to make it. Just do better next time.

Now, if you do commit to following up, some of those people you will have coffee with or a Zoom coffee date with and some of them you won’t. Some of them you’ll exchange emails, some of them you won’t. And then from there, most of those people, you will maybe not keep up with again. It might just be a one time coffee date.

But remember, every person that you meet out for coffee is a chance to talk about coaching and practice your identity as a coach and to practice listening, to learn how to build relationships. Now, when I say talk about coaching, let me just be clear. I mean talk about what you do in a way that excites and compels you, not sells them. That’s not what I’m saying here.

I could talk all day to a stranger about what I do from a place of passion and enthusiasm and confidence and never once sell them. So I really recommend finding the difference of how each feels in your body and be very aware. One will feel natural and fun and easy and one will feel tight and awkward and uncomfortable, and even a little sneaky.

Okay, so let’s talk about actually building relationships. How do you actually do that? Think about what a relationship is. I think you have to understand what a relationship is to know how to build one. A relationship is an exchange of value between two people. Really, it’s like a set of thoughts between two people, but we’re just going to say value for now because value comes from your thinking.

So value can come in many ways. Value is having someone to laugh with. You’re going to love and want to naturally engage with someone who you think is funny. Value is having someone that is fun, who likes to do the same things as you. Value is someone who you have things in common with, that you can identify with. Value is someone who gets you excited for you.

I remember a time when I used to wonder if I got married, who would be my bridesmaids? I didn’t have a lot of friends. I didn’t have a lot of value in my life and now I have seven bridesmaids and I could have asked more people. I have an abundance of value. People will tell me that they don’t have time for more relationships and I think that’s silly. That’s like saying I don’t have time for more value in my life.

Now, let me also be clear. The value is different with every relationship. So, some relationships will be business value. I have clients that are not my personal friends, especially now that I have hundreds of them, but even when I was coaching one-on-one, some of those clients became my best friends and some I was just their coach and that was totally fine.

So for me, I’ve always built value, a.k.a relationships everywhere I go. And I show up and I give value and I let it occur naturally as it will, and I think that’s the difference of what I teach that everybody else is teaching. That’s the difference is that I let it occur naturally as it will. It either transitions into business relationships or it’s a friendship and both to me are valuable.

What I see is when people come from lack, they think the only thing of value is someone who is going to hire and pay them. I remember my first year as a coach, I had a client – to this day when I think back I’m like – she was so clear about no, I don’t want any friends, I’m only interesting in building my business. If they are not interested in doing business with me, I’m moving on. I’m out.

It was so fascinating to see her belief system. It felt so icky. It felt so sales-y. That’s what we want to not have occurring for us and the way to do that is this; you build relationships understanding that they’re built on value, and you go out and you give value to everyone you meet. You let that be valuable to you and then you let that value naturally develop.

I just want to take a second and just say like, building relationships, especially if you’re an introverts – introverts tend to believe that it takes energy to go out and meet people, but you could let meeting people fill you up. You could let giving value to others be something that gives value to you because think about it. Every person you get a chance to talk about being a life coach or present yourself as a life coach to them, every person that allows you to play in the possibility of living your dreams is valuable.

If you take a compliment that someone gives you, that’s valuable to you. If you connect with someone and you’re genuine with them and you have a genuine connection that – you just meet those people out. If you’ve ever just taken the time to have a conversation with the person at the grocery store, maybe that’s helping you in the produce department or bagging your groceries, if you take the time to genuinely connect with them, you will feel value and you will leave feeling better about your day.

That’s what we crave is genuine human connection. I used to shop at this Kroger. We moved so I don’t shop there anymore but there was this old gentleman, maybe in his 70s, late 70s who I used to talk to every time I went in there. I don’t even remember how our friendship developed, but every time I saw him, I would give him the biggest hug. He would ask me where I’d been traveling, I would ask him about him, we would just catch up for five, 10 minutes every time.

And it just became this little relationship that we had in the produce department and that always made me feel good. Like, I would leave the grocery feeling good. So think about it as yes, you’re giving value but you’re also receiving it all day long in the form of receiving love and attention and consideration from other people.

One of the things I always say, moving back into building relationships with value is that you always need to be doing three things at all times. Meeting people, telling them you’re a life coach, and making offers to help them. But one thing people get caught up in is you actually do want to always be making offers. Like, I like to make offers to my email list, on my live streams, especially when I was first starting out I did a lot of live streams.

Now I do it on my podcast, but I wasn’t actually asking someone the day I met them to be my client. To me, that isn’t making an offer as much as a solicitation, which feels completely different. But what I do mean is make offers to help them as in give value to everyone you meet. Give them the time of day.

Now, does that mean it will take forever to build relationships and turn them into clients if you aren’t directly asking people to be your client? No. I’ve had situations where I just had free time in my day. I remember this was like, maybe two years ago. I had free time in my day. I had seen two friends, we’re going to have coffee on Facebook, and I commented underneath and was like, hey, can I join?

And they were like, oh my god, of course. I just thought you know, let me just have coffee with my clients, that sounds like fun, and I have free time. So, sometimes the people you meet could even be your clients, it could be your friends already. You can just be active, out and about. So I went and had coffee and then they brought a new friend that I didn’t even know would be there and so I ended up staying with this new friend and then she starts asking me about coaching and she starts really pulling questions out of me.

And then she’s like, I just think I need to be your client. I think I need to work with you. And I was like listen, let’s have coffee here. If you leave and you really feel like you want to work with me and you are really interested in learning about coaching, just text me. We can set up a time to have a conversation. For sure we’ll do a free consult. You just let me know. Ball’s in your court.

And then I just went back to asking her about her and enjoying coffee, and sure enough seven or eight days later she messaged me and she was like hey, I’ve been thinking about coaching, I really want to set up that consult. Can we still do that? It doesn’t have to take forever.

Another situation where I was giving value, I did 10 free coaching clients for free for six weeks in the beginning, and one of my sister’s best friends said yes to doing the six weeks of free coaching with me. And then she didn’t end up coaching with me, well, for a couple of years. She ended up – two years later she ended up coaching with me for several years.

But in the beginning she didn’t end up continuing beyond the free coaching, but she did tell her best friend about working with me and her best friend was like, wait, what is a life coach? I’m pretty sure I have to have one of those and so that was just like, being valuable to someone led me to someone else, and that stuff can happen right away and it can happen out of the blue. Even if you’re creating value with one person, that value may show up in return with somebody else.

You have no idea. But those relationships did transition to business right away and unintentionally on my part, I was just showing up everywhere, taking myself with me as a life coach. And I also meet a lot of great friends along the way that never turned into business. Like, I had a friend who knew I was into life coaching and she had a friend that was in network marketing and she said you know, I think you guys would be – you guys live in the same city, you’ll totally hit it off, you should connect.

And we did. She never became my client but she was in network marketing, I coached network marketers at the time and we never really ended up having a business relationship but we have a sushi relationship. We go out and we have sushi all of the time together and you know, I was at her wedding and now we like – she is married and we do couples dates now.

I love that equally as much. Now, before you get overwhelmed thinking that you’re about to have 1000 new friends, does it also mean that you will find value with everyone you meet? And the answer is no. And I don’t believe in forcing it. It has to feel natural on both parts. I’m not going to just continue to hang out with people that I don’t have an exchange of value with, that I don’t love being around.

And I also believe in letting the other person take the lead on what kind of relationship it will be. I sit back in allowance for whatever it will be. I want you to imagine if you’re on one of those chef shows where you have 10 minutes to cook something and then the judges taste it and someone gets eliminated. I think of building relationships that way. I show up for my first impression in belief that I’m a life coach, looking to add value in either friendship or business, just being me, passing on belief wherever I go, and then I throw my hands up and I let my value be sampled and the other person decide what to do with it.

My coach Brooke once said that you have to let the impact of your value be none of your business, and it hit me like the greatest truth in the universe. And when it comes to sales, I really love when buying is their idea, and I love when not buying is their idea. I love not letting it be any of my business. What I was pitching, I used to go in and just commit to doing the best, most authentic show I could do and being fully engaged in the show. Like, fully present and just really be me and then let – either they buy or they don’t.

And that’s the whole secret to success and to attracting clients and building relationships. And some people give me pushback on this and they say it’s woo-woo and in business today we need actual real strategies. But my friends, this is a misunderstanding of how the world works. If someone’s trying to say like no, but you have to have actual strategies, like, when you think you need a strategy to build a relationship, you are believing in that moment that you can control other people. You can’t.

I don’t have any secret tricks to you building relationships that automatically position you for them to hire. I don’t have the world’s greatest elevator pitch to help you sign a client in line at the coffee shop because it doesn’t work like that. We can’t actually make other people do things.

Now yes, you can sign a client at a coffee shop. I’ve actually had a client do that. But the value, the exchange was just as much influenced by the other person in that situation. It was natural and authentic, and that’s how it has to be. So the best strategy I can give you is knowing how relationships are created through value and where value comes from, your thoughts.

You really can’t “get” people to ask you about working with you by saying some great one-liner. People are like, how do I get clients? Not by thinking like that. But you can inspire them to ask about you based on the way you show up to them. Energy is contagious. And also, for all of you introverts out there, poo-pooing that immediately, that’s the whole structure of this podcast is just going to be me introducing an idea and then immediately saying what you’re going to think about it and how you’re going to hate it.

Know that I didn’t say hi, in your face bouncing off the walls energy is contagious. Confident energy inspires too. Calm energy is contagious. Authentic energy is contagious and inspires. So you really do have to be yourself, truly. And part of that requires believing that that is enough, that someone would want to hire you as who you are right now.

So here’s how I worked on growing my value so that I could make a very inspiring first impression so that people wanted to be the pursuer in relationships with me. Business or pleasure, yes, this even worked for dating too. It’s how I snagged my fiancé. I worked on my self-belief. The way that I thought about myself.

That was the shift of I’m a hot mess to a life coach, basically. From I’m not good at making friends to I love meeting people and people love meeting me. I worked on my self-love and my self-confidence. Loving myself through shame of having just said something stupid or having had mean girl thoughts, or of not feeling like enough or having caught myself being sales-y.

In my 2K group, I’m always like listen, just know that you will be sales-y at times and it’s okay. It’s the human mind to be self-focused and trying to get what you want. Just recognize it and step out of it. Don’t make it a big deal. And I worked on my self-integrity, meaning my commitment, honoring my word, showing up, busting through excuses.

I have a concept I love to teach my clients about even when. I will show up even when it’s hard. Even when I fail. Even when it takes longer than I thought. Even when something comes up. Even when I don’t know how. Even when other people succeed faster. Even when anything you could possibly imagine getting in your way. Growing my relationship with myself helped me build my relationship with others.

Learning how to be authentic and genuine and to show up for others and give them my energy and attention, it helped me leave a lasting impression on others. And it has helped them to be the predominant energy moving the relationship forward. It’s created that situation. And then I’m always meeting as many people as possible, telling them I’m a life coach and making offers to help them.

So I have so many people in my “pipeline” that I never need to force a relationship that isn’t natural. I don’t need to try and get someone to ask me about my business. I don’t need to ever even think about mentioning jumping on a call for a consult. I don’t need to think about when to position that.

People always ask me that. But when do I mention that I can help them, especially if I know I can? And I think that was the hardest thing for me growing my business. I always knew this idea about convincing energy and refused to be the convincing energy or the chaser. I knew they had to come from me, like inherently. I was like, coaching is not for the faint of heart. Someone’s got to really want that, so they’ve got to be coming to me.

And I never wanted to go after someone. I knew that we don’t want to make decisions out of fear. We need to make them out of love and confidence and belief. And so I was always very aware and I wouldn’t let myself make decisions and go after people out of lack and urgency. When I was in a situation where I thought I could help someone, sitting on that urge to make an offer when someone isn’t bringing it up to you and asking you and allowing them to come to you is one of the hardest things to do ever, especially if you really know they can help you.

But remember, we’re also trying not to be weirdos here, and trying to force that and create that, and especially coming from urgency because you need to sign clients because you got to make money because blah, blah, blah, like that will make you a weirdo. It’s not weird to show up to a networking event, chat with someone, exchange numbers for coffee or emails or connect on Facebook, or to be in a Facebook group as a student and a contributor for yourself, like a Facebook group you actually enjoy interacting in.

But it is weird to be chatting with someone and they say oh my god, a life coach? I probably need one of those. And then you say well, we could do a consult and we could see if we’re a good fit together. You have to have enough awareness to know the difference of when someone is just saying something, making a comment to engage in conversation, and when they are actively serious about hiring a coach to help them.

Remember, the networking events are mostly to grow your confidence. They’re not there for you to position and try to market yourself and sign clients. No one’s there to buy. You’re there to create a new belief for yourself. Now, your clients, while you’re doing all that though will come from referrals, or people who look you up on social media or your website or your podcast or your Facebook ad or whatever, and some will come from an actual people you meet at networking events.

Like, that will happen, but you can’t be invested in it happening with every single person. You have to account for this is just part of the process. Right now, I meet people with an ad I pay for. I give them a free five-day training. That training is so good because I grew my self-belief and my self-confidence and my value times 1000 since I first started coaching. I’ve done probably 10 free five-day trainings, and this was the first one that I was like, wow, we’ve got to give this to people. It’s good.

And now it’s so good, it’s good enough to take someone who has never met me and turn them into a client in 11 days or less. That’s how long I think my funnel is. But that doesn’t happen right away. You have to work up to that. You can do that in person or online. I get lots of questions about that. You can do it with networking events or in Facebook groups or live streams. You just have to be engaging with people, and then continuing on that engagement.

And I always say like, this is so important as well is you have to start where you are. Some of you need to start with learning how to build relationships, period. It isn’t optional. You don’t get to bypass it. If you’re like me and you’re an introvert, why would I want to keep building relationships and growing relationships? It’s a waste of my time. If you’re like that, you’ve got work to do and you just have to do it.

I actually have a bonus training if you’re in 2K called interrupt, and it’s an oldie but a goodie, where I taught how I developed self-belief and self-confidence and self-integrity and turned that into value. It’s under the bonuses tab in the 2K if you want to learn more about that, if that’s where you are. And also, I teach that in the 2K process under building relationships. I have several mini steps to do it.

But this is the foundation right here, what I’ve taught on this podcast today. So I want to leave you with one thing, which is don’t overcomplicate it. Building relationships is just giving value, and value is just being an authentic human interested in other people. It really is that simple. Be you. A life coach who listens to others, meets as many people as possible, tells them you’re a coach and makes offers to help them. That’s all you have to do. Alright, I’ll see you next week.

Hey, if you are ready to make money as a life coach, I want to invite you to join my 2K for 2K program where you’re going to make your first $2000, the hardest part, and then $200,000 using my proven formula. It’s risk-free. You either make your 2K or I give you your 2K back. Just head over to www.staceyboehman.com/2kfor2k. We’ll see you inside.

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