by Jean-Paul Cortes
I've been coaching from sunny Costa Rica for over 5 years now; if I told
you that most of my clients have lived as far away as Australia and
Hong Kong, you'd probably think that they're paying a truckload of cash
on their phone bills right? Especially considering that I like to take
my time with them, sometimes speaking for well over an hour...
You see, I do most of my coaching over the phone and international calls cost more than a pretty penny don't they?
Not exactly, they're spending less that what they end up paying for a cup of a dark roast cappuccino at their favorite coffee stand. In fact, most days they don't pay a single dollar for the call.
My clients haven't had to make an international call since I started coaching. And even if what I'm about to tell you is not exactly the world's best kept secret, it's amazing how few coaches use it to their advantage.
I know this because there are a lot of coaches I've spoken to that continually debate with themselves on the benefits of having a phone number. They ramble on stating “it's the professional thing to do” and so on and so forth, all the while managing to get fewer clients and paying more for things that clients ultimately don't care about one way or the other.
I've called landlines and mobile phones across the globe for about 2 to 3 cents a minute and connected to other users worldwide for free.
I have a landline as well, but when it comes to coaching people half across the world, I'm not about to ask them to call me on it just because I think it's “professional”. If I were a client, I would take the free solution in a heartbeat.
If what you're looking for is getting clients, it doesn't take much reasoning to understand the value of what I'm saying here. There's an added benefit as well. One that opens the door to coaching people no matter where you are.
There I was, in the middle of a sandy beach, in my flip-flops, sipping on coconut water and speaking with my 4:00 pm appointment. The meaning of my “office” had taken on a radically new meaning.
I realized then, that with a little help from technology I would be able to coach from practically anywhere. My thinking that I had to have an office in the middle of town wasn't exactly doing any good for my sanity. I was fed up of all the smog and was just about to be driven to tears if I had to go through one more hour of sitting in a 2 X 2 cubicle.
At first, it might feel like your severing your umbilical cord. But trust me on this, the last time I checked there were 28,557,238 keeping in touch for free using this software.
But enough already, I've spent far too much time convincing you of something you should already see the benefit for.
You might know that the secret I'm talking about is Skype . If you haven't used it before, you could potentially be closing your doors to being able to coach clients worldwide. If you still believe that I haven't made a strong enough case, here are some additional ideas that I've used to take full advantage of this program.
Apart from the obvious benefit that Skype-to-Skype calls are f'ree, lets look at a “hypothetical” (in fact, I've actually used it this way) situation:
While on vacation, you happen to meet someone at dinner. After some friendly chit chat, you explain to him or her that you're a life coach and how you help people lead better lives. Because you're great at what you do, it seems you struck a chord with this person so before you finish eating, you know you have a good chance of having a new client.
There's one problem however, this person happens to live all the way out in Florida whereas you call Colorado home. Not wanting to give up on your client, here's what you do:
You explain to him or her about Skype based on what you've learned from this article; you then ask what would it mean for them if they could call a local number to reach you. After that, you log on to your Skype account and get an online number where they can call you on at local rates (remember you're getting a (305) number).
Lets take it a step further, say you're not online, you can still forward the call to a number of your choice (your home, mobile or whatever), that way it gives you the freedom of being anywhere you want and you can still take your call.
But lets say you don't really want your calls forwarded, you're busy, doing something else or you just don't want to speak at that moment; in that case, just record a voicemail (have someone record the message for you if you want to make it seem like you have a secretary) and when you're ready just log into Skype and listen to the message.
There you go, a nifty way of using free software to be able to escape to whatever location you choose coach you're clients from anywhere you want and not pay a dime for it.
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