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Why Potential Clients Don't Buy Your Coaching Services

Posted by Julia Stewart

find new clients

Some coaches have more clients than they can handle while others struggle to attract enough clients.

Why is that?

Sales and marketing are complex professions, in their own right. Some coaches already have a good background in one or the other. Some take to sales and marketing naturally and their businesses take off. But some coaches have a longer learning curve than others.

The good news is that what makes you a great coach can also make you a great marketer and salesperson.

Here are nine shifts you may need to make. Any one of these could make all the difference in selling your coaching. Who knows how much more money you may make because you read this today?


Here are 9 shifts that will help you sell your coaching:

  1. Listen more than you talk. You wouldn't do all the talking in a coaching session and you wouldn't try to get your clients to do you bidding, either. Why would you resort to those ineffective tactics when having a sales conversation? A coaching business is a service to humanity. It's a collaboration with your market. Include your clients' and potential clients' thoughts, dreams, problems, and aspirations in everything you do. That includes your marketing and your sales. It all starts with listening.
  2. Technology is a great way to market but a terrible way to sell. It's shiny and new and everybody is obsessed with it, right? Right. That's why people crave real human conversations that help them clarify and align their lives with what really matters to them. Offer that, instead. Coaching has been one of the fastest-growing professions for twenty years because of the deficits caused by new technology. And internet marketing gurus have terrible tools for selling coaching. Don't get caught up in their hype. For example: One coach recently told me that marketing via text was the new big thing because people don't open emails but everybody reads their texts. Really? The people I know all hate getting SPAM texts even more than SPAM via email because they have to pay for every text they receive. People who feel disrespected, annoyed, or abused by you won't hire you to coach them. Here's another example: I've built one of the largest mailing lists in the coaching industry, but I still talk to virtually every potential client before I let them hire me. Because that's what works. Market respectfully and have real conversations with the potential clients you like most. Treat them like friends, not prospects.
  3. Make it all about them. A coach is even better than a friend, sometimes. That's why we can charge for what we do. The more you listen and find out what matters to potential clients, the more you can find out if they are a fit for what you offer. If not, refer them to someone else. Or, learn via those conversations and start offering what people really want. As you serve your potential clients, you will serve yourself and your business.
  4. You don't have to "put yourself out there" like a used-car salesman. I've written before about coaches as highly sensitive people. What makes us great at coaching also makes glad-handing at networking events, and high-pressure sales, a nightmare for us. And that's a good thing. Nobody wants a coach who is more interested in handing out business cards and making quick sales than they do connecting with people, hearing their stories, and offering to help. Use your strengths to sell your coaching: your empathy, your curiosity, your wisdom, and your desire to help others be their best. Forget the cliches and promote what is unique and valuable about your coaching.
  5. You do need to talk with potential clients, sometimes multiple times. This is why internet marketing is fine for getting people's attention, but nearly useless for selling high-touch services, like coaching. People need to feel they know you before they'll hire you to coach them. If you're a brilliant writer, you may be able to create intimacy with your blog posts, but for most coaches, conversation is the key. You don't need to cold-call ever (hurray) or talk to a hundred people everyday (yikes). Just check in now and then with people who you think might be a match. Find out what their challenges are. Let them know you can help. Give them a gentle nudge if you think they're ready. Sometimes you know they are ready before they do. I had one man hire me after nearly seven years on my mailing list. What made the difference? I called him and we had a great conversation.
  6. Trust and other emotions trump facts, features, and benefits. Stop trying to sell packages to people. Nobody cares how many sessions, how many webinars, how many videos, etc. your package has. They want to know if you can help them reach their dreams. Connect to that. Empathize with it. Help them imagine what it'll be like to coach with you and to transform their lives. That's magical stuff. Demonstrate that you can be trusted by continuing to show up with small solutions that make their lives a bit better now. That makes it easier to make the leap to hiring you to coach them.
  7. Find out what people need and align your coaching with the solutions to their problems. All this listening, communicating, and relationship-building will help you know your market better than anyone else. That's the surest way to find your niche. Now you're equipped with the knowledge, understanding, and ability to help and that makes you unique in the field of coaching. I know one coach who began with one client who was a dentist. He helped that dentist build a successful practice and then leveraged that knowledge to build a million-dollar coaching business for himself. That's a true niche.
  8. Be such an effective coach that your clients stay with you for years. That's real success. I'm not suggesting you make your clients dependent upon your coaching. That's a disservice. Learn to customize your conversations and keep your clients challenged and growing so that paying your fee is a no-brainer for them. It's not unusual for clients to stay with me for years. That means I feel much less pressured to promote my coaching. That's one of the secrets of making self promotion fun. By the way, I couldn't have done this without great coach training.
  9. Get your ego out of the way. I heard a coach, whose business was flagging, say that she had built a track record and reputation and that she shouldn't have to promote herself, anymore. I remember thinking, "Oh yes, you do." We all do. Another coach told me she was tired of everything you have to do to be successful as a coach. I asked what all she was doing. She said, "Nothing!" and laughed. I'd like to respectfully suggest that what is really tiresome is NOT promoting your business, because sales and marketing, done well, is a heck of a lot of fun. You meet awesome people, learn to serve better, hone your craft, and become a sought-out expert in your field. In other words, when you stop letting your ego stop you, you can start helping people and they will then start telling you how awesome you are and your ego will get a much bigger fix, as a result. Better yet, you'll be one of those coaches whose client roster is always full, and whose bank account is healthy. Everybody wins.

 

Sale and marketing this way takes time. The trouble is, everything else takes longer.

 

What if you joined a coach training school and had a full coaching practice by the time you graduated? We offer evidence-based coach training (because we listened and that's what our market told us they wanted) that includes, at no extra charge, a business-building program that is so effective everyone who finishes it has paying clients and 87% have full coaching practices. Learn to coach. Sell your coaching. Perfect!

 

Explore our coach training programs and get an effective business-building strategy for free when you join:

 

Explore the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program

 





 

 

 

Topics: money, coach training, marketing and sales, ego, curiosity, sales training for new coaches, successful business, Million Dollar Coach, Marketing for life coaches, coach training program, Strengths

Coaching Your Great Self: A Whole New World of You

Posted by Julia Stewart

Great Self Coaching

What is the Great Self?

That's a great question...If you're a veteran of personal development programs or of some forms of spirituality, then you may have been introduced to the distinction of the Higher Self vs. the Ego. The terminology may have been different, but the basic idea is that the Higher Self is good (ex.: loving, spiritual, altruistic, etc.), while the Ego is bad (ex.: selfish, petty, destructive, etc.) Read A New Earth for one of the best descriptions of this dualistic view of human beings.

The Great Self concept takes this idea a step further from either/or to both/AND. The ego is an essential operating system for any healthy human being. It's there to protect you and look out for your interests. It only becomes a problem when our interests conflict with the interests of others. This tends to happen, because we are either unaware of the Higher Self or are rejecting the Ego.

Eliminating the Ego would be like removing the Windows, Mac, or Chrome operating system from your computer and expecting it to still work. In Great Self Coaching, we integrate the ego and all of its 'apps' with the Higher Self, which is enormously powerful. This is a HUGE upgrade, like going from 8 Gigs to 160. And it's a fun process!

How did Great Self Coaching come about?

Another awesome question. Great Self coaching is the culmination of decades of professional experience, helping people reach their dreams. I've synthesized and developed the work of hundreds of master teachers from fields like coaching, psychology, neuroscience, spirituality, personal development and more, such as Thomas Leonard, the Founder of the Coaching Profession, and Zen Master, Genpo Roshi, whose Big Mind process added the concepts of the Controller, Protector and Analyzer as gateways to the Great Self.

Great Self Coaching has been years in the making and you're invited to taste it for free in one of 3 group coaching sessions coming up:

Find out more about Great Self Coaching Here.

 

 

Image courtesy of Elan Sun Star.

Topics: Coaching, group coaching, ego, Thomas Leonard, Great Self Coaching, psychotherapy, Genpo Roshi, Big Mind Big Heart, Life Coaching, personal development, Eckhart Tolle

The Market for Coaching is WIDE Open

Posted by Julia Stewart

People need coachingI've asked a lot of coaches why they came into this profession and almost all of them say the same thing: I love helping people.

And that's a great thing, because last I checked, there are 6.7 billion people who all need some help.  Less than 1% of those people have their own coaches. (WAY less.) More arriving daily.

So it would be silly for all of us to focus on coaching celebrities and Fortune 500 execs. That market is fairly saturated. And yet, many a new (and veteran) coach targets 'high-end' clients exclusively. Many others try to target the low end, but don't get paid enough.

Sometimes I think coaches make the business of coaching harder for themselves by not using their creativity to design their coaching businesses.

Maybe this is an ego issue? At the zenith of one's career, when one retires from the corporate grind to share one's wisdom with up 'n' comers, it sounds cooler to be coaching sports celebs, politicians and TV stars, than it does say, entry-level employees for  Goodwill Industries. But aren't there even more opportunities to help the less advantaged?

To start a remarkable coaching business, begin with the following question, 'Who needs help?' Then follow up with this question, 'Who will pay for it?'

The following coach-preneur did just that. Now, not only is he helping people, he's making such a difference that he's been honored by the White House. How's that for ego candy? By the way, recent estimates in the Wall Street Journal say 30-50% of low-income Americans are unemployed or underemployed. Sounds like a blue ocean opportunity to me. 

Thanks to Coaching Commons and the Harnisch Foundation for the following 7+min video:

 

 

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, coaching clients, coach, ego, Coaching Commons

Coaches: Are You Registered for A New Earth With Oprah?

Posted by Julia Stewart

I bet you’re already registered – along with over a million people worldwide – for the online course for Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth with Oprah. This is Tolle’s greatest work, so far. Do you have any idea how fantastic it is that millions of people are reading it, as a result of it being featured by Oprah’s Book Club? This is an incredible moment in the history of global consciousness.

And – I bet I don’t have to tell you this – A New Earth is now a must read for coaches. New clients will be coming to you because of this phenomenon. You need to stay ahead. If you want to join the course, read below:

Oprah's Live Web Event
Get ready to be awakened! Oprah and best-selling author Eckhart Tolle will teach an exclusive online class about his book A New Earth. Join us every Monday night for 10 weeks starting March 3 at 9/8c. 

MORE ON OPRAH.COM

Here’s my personal experience with this book, which I sent to Oprah:

 

I was on a business trip to New York City in early 2006, when the thought occurred to me that I'd like to have a book to read on the many train trips I was taking around town.

 

I walked into a Barnes & Noble and saw Eckhart Tolle's new book, A New Earth. No brainer! I'd already read The Power of Now and Stillness Speaks while training to be a coach. I snapped up the new book and started reading it every night before I went to bed! (Even after I finished it, I continued to read passages before I went to sleep each night.)

 

Fantastic! This is the most lucid description of the Self vs. the ego ever written. I started sharing what I was reading with other coaches, immediately.

 

This is a concept that coaches use with their clients, so it's a gift to have someone articulate it in a way that we can share with others. It's probably the greatest thing that we do: When a client is stuck, we help shift them to their higher Self and they immediately know how to solve their own problems. Frequently, they realize that they don't even have problems any more!

 

I was a choreographer before I was a coach and one of the coolest things I got from A New Earth is what it is that makes artists so special. I was always taught that it was talent. Talent is just a little piece of it. It's really the expression of the higher self.

 

That's what inspires people to pay hundreds of dollars to attend a rock concert, it's what draws tens of thousands of people to Barack Obama's rallies and it's what makes Oprah the mega-star that she is.

 

People want to be near greatness, because it brings out their own!

 

I started a coaching school last year and all of Eckhart Tolle's books are on the reading list.

 

Many grateful thanks to Eckhart for writing his illumined works and to Oprah for spreading consciousness in the world as no one else can!

Topics: Coaches, ego, OPRAH, New York City, Eckhart Tolle

Marketing and Sales: Nice Girls Don’t (Nice Coaches Don’t, Either)

Posted by Julia Stewart

Nice girl?If there's one thing that makes some coaches (OK, a lotta coaches, especially new ones) feel kinda squeamish, icky, or dirty; it's marketing and sales. Makes you feel like you did when those snotty, dirty boys pulled your dress up on the playground. You're not that kinda girl!

Okay, I'm being a little silly here, but if that's how you feel, it can get in the way of your success, Big Time. Unless of course, someone else is signing your clients on for you! So let's see if you can shift your perspective, here.

Gosh, where to begin with this issue? Let's look at why coaches feel this way to begin with. So what are all the reasons you've ever felt funny about selling? Please reflect on that. Make a list. Here are some I've heard about:

  • You were raised to be modest
  • You don't want to look pushy
  • You don't want to seem self-serving
  • You don't want to have an agenda
  • You don't want to be greedy

Hmm...notice the word all those phrases begin with?

YOU.

Yeah, ouch! There you go, worrying about yourself instead of focusing on the client! Oddly enough, when you're busy worrying about your modesty, you're ego is getting in your way. (And don't bother re-writing your list of reasons. Regardless of how you worded them, I can virtually guarantee that your objections to selling are ego-based, unless you honestly believe coaching is sleazy, in which case, why are you coaching?)

Your ego doesn't belong in a coaching call.

You probably already knew that, but how do you get your focus off yourself, onto the client, and still make a sale? Well, it's easy, once you get it AND until you get it, it's impossible!

Let's look at why you became a coach, in the first place. You may want to make another list. Here are some possible reasons:

  • You want to help people
  • You have a gift in this area
  • You've done a lot of work on yourself and you want to share it
  • You want to change the world

Well, these are pretty noble reasons and you may have noticed that there's a lot of "You" in there, again. But, what if you took "You" out?

  • Help people
  • Share gifts
  • Change the world

The noble stuff is still there and the phrases get more active. And your stuff is gone. If you're not in the picture, then your modesty, how you want to look and be, don't even matter anymore. The focus is off you and onto the action. Now you're ready to take action and make it all about the client.

I'm not just playing word games here; this is real.

If "you" didn't exist in a selling conversation, who would the conversation be about? The client, of course. Whose needs would matter? Whose finances, etc.? Does this person need a coach? Maybe. Do they want one for free? Probably not, because healthy, well-functioning people - the kind who make good clients - don't want handouts. They might even feel uncomfortable and say "No" if you insisted on coaching them for free. (The client, by the way, gets to show up to the session with all their ego stuff. It's you who needs to park it.)

Most clients will feel better about coaching with you if you let them pay you what coaching is worth to them. So that's the money thing.

And then there's the rejection thing. If you're worried about it, then it's your ego again. Strangely enough, clients worry about rejection, too. That's why making an invitation is so important. If you're doing a complimentary session with someone who sounds like your ideal client, park your fear of rejection and make an offer. Otherwise, you may be denying the other person a beautiful opportunity to grow and have a new life. Get yourself out of the way and find out if they're ready to take a chance. Often, all they need is an invitation from you.

Good coach marketing and selling is just clean above-board communication and relationship building.

Think about it. Part of being authentic is communicating honestly about who you are. That's integrity. If coaching is in integrity with your authentic self, then communicating about the gifts you have to offer the world as a coach, is part of your authenticity. If you're refusing to market and and unwilling to make a sale, a.k.a. communicate honestly and make invitations, then you're out of integrity. Your ego is in the way. Nobody is served.

So if you feel uncomfortable with marketing and sales, I have a tongue-in-cheek suggestion for you: Stop thinking dirty. Start taking actions that help more people experience the benefits of coaching. In other words, fill up your coaching practice!

Come on! You'll still respect yourself in the morning!

This is a theme we visit again and again in Coach 100, but especially in C100 classes #5 &6, "Successful Complimentary Sessions, Part I & II", and class #11, "I Hate to Market!"

Copyright, 2005, 2006, Julia Stewart

Photo by Skirt Girl Monica at Flickr Commons

Topics: Coach 100, marketing and sales, ego, coaching call, communication

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