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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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How to turn a client’s need into a ‘want’


One of the *joys* (please note the heavy sarcasm used) of being an independent trainer is waiting on decisions from clients. I have nearly clocked up 5 years as an independent and one of the frustrations of the job is knowing just how many clients need my help - but getting them to take action (or a go/no-go decision) can sometimes frankly be impossible. 

Therefore, today's blog post is dedicated to how any trainer can turn the client's need into a want, i.e. how to get them to take action and buy your services sooner rather than later.

1. Tighten your marketplace

There will be people who want and need your training or coaching services. However, this may not be the initial marketplace you defined. Very often it is a far narrower subset of your marketplace than you envisaged. For example, although I specialise in helping professionals become the Go-To-Expert, I have hit a rich vein of small consultancy and accountancy firm clients (under 50 people) who want to radically grow their practice.  This is a far tighter niche than my original 'professional service firms'. If you have a look back to see which clients did come on-board, what were the similarities between these clients? This will probably give you the clues you need to re-define who you target.

Download now our free prospect qualification checklist to help you focus only on the clients who will want to spend money with you.

2. Identify their pain points

Very often we fail to turn a 'need' into a 'want' because we don't have a clear enough understanding of our potential client's real pain points. These Pain Points need to be strong enough and motivating enough for them to shell out money and take a risk on buying your training, coaching or facilitation services. In this era of very tight training budgets, 'Because it is the right thing to do, just wouldn't be a good enough reason'. Unless you truly understand the impact and threat to them of doing nothing, then you wouldn't be able to move your client from a need to a want.

3. Package your services

When you have a good idea of your client's pain points you can package your training and coaching services so that they truly meet their needs. This is another reason to tighten your marketplace, as it makes it easy to truly put together a package that meets the needs of your target market. Very often it is this packaging of your services which can get you across the line with your prospective client.

4. Work out the risk of doing nothing

If there is absolutely no 'pain' to the client of doing nothing, then you will probably find there is no motivation to do what you think they need to do. Therefore, you need to educate your potential client about the negative impacts of doing nothing. You may find that this moves your work from a 'need' into a 'want'.

5. Identify the benefits for your client of bringing in external help

I think everyone, whether in their personal or professional capacity, would prefer not to spend money. Well, unless it is a very nice pair of new shoes! Therefore, what are the risks of doing the work in-house? How will they get better results and better value by using your expertise?

Author Credit

Heather Townsend helps professionals become the Go-To-Expert. She is the author of the  award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’ and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’. Over the last decade she has worked with over 300 partners; coached, trained and mentored over 1000 professionals at every level of the UK's most ambitious professional practices.

Heather blogs regularly at Partnership Potential, How to make partner and Joined Up Networking

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Heather Townsend


Read more from Heather Townsend

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