Four Must-Have Conversations For Bringing In The Business

by | May 29, 2024 | Business Development

The number one rule for agency owners who want to attract right-fit clients is this: don’t sound like a salesperson. 

“Enroll, don’t sell” is the main message of David Goldman, lead author of Bringing in the Business Without Sounding Like a Salesperson (2024, Indie Books International).

“Many professionals are averse to being perceived as salespeople, preferring to grow their businesses, expand their clientele, and receive referrals without the stigma of selling,” says Goldman. “The good news is that acquiring high-paying clients is less about sales and more about an enrollment process.” 

This shift in perspective, from sales to enrollment, empowers professionals to attract more business and guide potential clients effectively through the process.

Together with coauthors Henry DeVries (that’s me) and Mark LeBlanc, Goldman found that based on hundreds of interviews with top professionals, having conversations that focus on what a potential client wants is more effective in getting results.

Ultimately, their work is defined by four phases of conversations:

The Attraction Phase is when you get a potential client’s attention or interest in your business. If you want to attract high-paying clients, you need to clearly describe what you do and how you can best benefit the potential client. It involves having a good answer to the question, “What do you do?”

The Meaningful Conversation Phase is when you’ve received permission to meet, following the attraction phase. Once a prospective client is comfortable with you and confident that you might be the right resource or trusted professional, you have an opportunity to find out what they want and determine if you are a fit. This phase gives you a simple format for conducting the first meeting with a potential client.

The Decision Phase involves one of the last steps of the enrollment process: the conversation for action or call to action. The goal of the decision phase is to have people agree to work with you.

The Agreement Phase is where you discuss fees, options, and terms. During this phase, you may decide to offer a full scope of work or a no-brainer agreement. A no-brainer agreement is designed to get an easy yes from the potential client. 

“Done well, the enrollment process will lead to a bonus: referrals,” says Goldman.  “Coupled with a great experience working with you, people will refer others to you. But you must ask.”

Goldman says referrals are too valuable to leave to chance. More than half of your high-paying clients could come from referrals. So, don’t let fear hold you back as you seek them out.

Goldman is president of the Goldman Organization, which elevates and accelerates results for professionals and executives. He emphasizes the significance of these attraction-phase conversations and describes them as key to attracting perfect-fit clients.

“When you have something good to say, you will talk to more people,” says Goldman. “When you listen more effectively, more people will want to talk to you.”

LeBlanc runs a speaking business and creates retreat-type experiences for independent professionals. He says that if you show up, are present and listen carefully, the road to trust is established.

DeVries is the author of 18 books on marketing, has written more than 300 business development columns for and other publications, hosts the weekly Agency Rainmaker TV show, is the editor-in-chief of the news website Agency Owner News, and is the CEO of the publishing company Indie Books International.

Henry DeVries

Henry DeVries is the editor of Agency Owner News and the CEO of Indie Books International. He is the host of the Agency Rainmaker TV Show, editor of the Agency Rainmaker Newsletter, and the author of 20 books including Marketing With A Book For Agency Owners.