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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

Beyond Selling Your Coaching: The Art of Asking

Posted by Julia Stewart

Sales-impaired coaches sometimes hide behind the yuck-factor and claim they don't have enough clients, because they hate to sell. That's a lie.

Not selling your coaching boils down to one thing: your refusal to own your own fear and vulnerability.

Sure, integrity and sales skills matter, but there's a risk you'll be judged when you sell something intangible like coaching and it's safer to hide.

Learn from the 8-foot bride, the art of asking. Then challenge yourself to trust that much.

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, coaching clients, TED, sales and marketing coaches, sales training for new coaches, Brene Brown

Become a Business Coach: Super Secrets of a Super-Successful Coach

Posted by Julia Stewart

Become a Business CoachRecently I interviewed Mattison Grey, MCC, about her 15 years as a super-successful coach and the three secrets to success that she wished she knew when she first became a business coach.

If you want to become a business coach yourself, love your work and be well paid, you owe it to yourself to listen to the 45-minute audio, below. Even if you're a veteran business coach, this audio will be eye-opening. In it, Mattison discusses in detail the following:

 

  1. Your fee has to reflect the value your client wants to create, not what you think they want to pay.
  2. Her mentor was right when he told her she would have to learn to sell if she wanted to succeed.
  3. Traditional selling is pushy and manipulative, so she had to learn a new way to sell with authenticity.
Listen to the whole audio to discover what Mattison really means and why it matters if you want to become a business coach and succeed like she did:
Mattison's approach to selling is a fresh breath of air, compared to what most of us think of as selling. 
I know, because I've taken her sales seminar (twice), along with a whole slew of other successful coaches, such as Coaching Telesummit Queen, Adela Rubio, who said, "Mattison shifted my resistance to selling when I took her virtual sales training." and Coach Laurie Peterson, who says simply, "It Works!!!", and TV Image Coach, Sarah Shah, who says the best part is, "I'm making more money and no one feels dirty in the end." 
I've managed to talk Mattison into teaching her signature Real Selling for Real Humans course at School of Coaching Mastery this January.
But you can get a taste of Mattison's unique approach to selling with integrity in a free teleclass on December 13th called, Stop Talking and Get More Clients.
Find out more about the free teleclass and the Real Selling for Real Humans course and learn how you can save $50 off the fee and get a free book ($20 value):

 

Register for FREE: Stop Talking & Get More Clients 

Topics: business coach, become a business coach, coaching clients, Free, Mattison Grey, Adela Rubio, sales and marketing coaches, sales training for new coaches, MCC

How to use your coaching skills to sell your coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

Seven Secrets of Coach Certification

There are many reasons why master coaches are more successful than other coaches.

It helps that they keep their clients longer and their clients rave about them to others, but there's a more subtle reason. When they show up as master coaches, they are much more attractive. The seven reasons that some coaches pass master coach certifications are all in the Seven Secrets of Mastery Certification ebook AND all seven come-froms are beautifully attractive in a sales conversation or complimentary coaching session. See below.

The Seven Secrets of SellingTM

1. Be 100% for the client.
    
Focus on serving them first, making a sale, second. It’s not about you.

2. Make no assumptions.

Be curious. Ask more than you tell. Understand them and their situation before you offer what you have.

3. Always validating.

Give them an experience of themselves and who they may be becoming. You’ll open a whole new world for them.

4. Inspire greatness.

Express your own greatness. Inspire theirs. That’s very attractive.

5. Be an evolutionary environment.

Help them grow. People love to be better.

6. Share wisely.

Tell them enough to pique their curiosity and be quiet long enough for them to choose.

7. Be an open channel.

Be open to what they really want. Notice more.

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2006 - 2011
Inspired by the Seven Secrets of Mastery Certification and the selling brilliance of Mattison Grey

Seven Secrets of Coach Certification

 

Get the Seven Secrets of Certification eBook here.

Topics: Coaching, How to Become a Certified Coach, Mattison Grey, Mastery Coach, sales training for new coaches, get certified, getting clients, seven Secrets of Certification

The Science of Attracting Coaching Clients

Posted by Julia Stewart

Double Dutch by PitsLamp resized 600

 

As a professional service provider, there are two things you must learn in order to succeed with coaching.

1. How to coach professionally: This includes polishing your coaching skills until you provide value worth approximately 10 times what your clients pay.

2. How to attract coaching clients: This includes filling your client roster for the first time (usually the toughest) and then keeping it full or even maintaining a waiting list of eager clients.

 

Obviously, #1, providing 10 times the value, will help you with #2. But did you know that #2, attracting lots of coaching clients, is the key to #1?

 

The data tell us that these two skills, delivering coaching value and attracting clients, comprise a constantly repeating feedback loop. One builds on the other and visa versa. That’s why some coaches are extraordinarily successful, while others seem to struggle forever.

 

You’ve got to step into that loop and stay there. Kind of like Double Dutch

 

If you learned Double Dutch as a kid, you know that just getting into the game is a challenge, especially for the newbie. It takes courage, lots of energy and great timing. And staying in the game requires 10 times as much of all three.

 

But that’s what makes it so darn fun.

 

You might not think that science and data are fun or even appropriate for coaching. After all, coaching done well is an art form. But when the data teach you what to do more of and what to do less in order to succeed quickly, you get more of what you want faster. And your clients get more value.

 

You’re in the loop. That’s more fun.

 

Unfortunately, most coaches, especially those who are new, do not have access to data that helps them get what they want. You need a large sampling from your own business to get actionable data that can guide you. This requires that you start experimenting early and often.

 

Think of experimentation as Play + Feedback = Rapid Growth.

 

I’ve recently collected data on 22 coaches who have participated in Coach 100 in the past year. Coach 100 is a long-term experiment that teaches coaches how to get clients by offering complimentary coaching sessions. This gives them a large enough sample to get actionable data.

Some Coach 100 coaches in my sample were brand-spanking new when they started the program. Others were long-time veterans. Collectively, they offered 464 complimentary sessions, or an average of 21 per coach. The most sessions offered was 106, by one coach, and the least, just 1 session each, by four coaches.

Between them, they got:

  • 219 testimonials (gold, especially for the new coach who needs evidence to prove their ability)
  • 75 referrals for potential clients (again, gold, especially when you’re building a new business)
  • 162 clients (gold, period).

That’s more than seven clients, each, or one client for every three complimentary sessions. That’s the average. Interestingly, the newbie coaches did almost as well as the veterans, especially the ones who coached the most people. That suggests they're learning really fast.

 

Could you use 7 new coaching clients?

 

Of course part of the treasure that the coaches receive is in the feedback they get privately from each person they coach via their Coach 100 Feedback Survey.

Their individual feedback data help them:

a. find their niche and specialty, which makes future marketing much easier

b. helps them learn to sign on clients with finesse, which brings all-important income

c. helps them become master coaches and even get certified (remember: 10 times the value).

Last but not least, Coach 100 gets coaches into that all-important feedback loop where they’re playing full out and simultaneously learn to deliver amazing value, while attracting plenty of clients. That’s where extraordinary success happens. Why?

 

See those master Double Dutch players doing back flips, above?

 

They’re performing in exhibitions and competitions. Think they practice hundreds of hours for those events? If they want to win, they do. Think they hone their craft with the feedback they get during every competition? Again, if they want to win. Lots of practice, lots of events, lots of feedback (data). That’s how you master Double Dutch. That’s how you win. 

Coaches need similar structures to get them into that feedback loop so they can master coaching sessions and master the science of getting coaching clients. The Coach 100 process does all that and gives a certification, too.

Could you coach 100 people without the program? Theoretically, yes, but I’ve never seen anyone do it. It helps to have a structure that streamlines the process and supports the coach through to the end. Coaches need structure and systems to succeed, just like their clients.

 

Want to win at master coaching sooner, rather than later?

 

You may want to join a small group of high performers who are focused on filling their client rosters in about three months. I’ll be your personal mentor coach.

runner small

 

Master the science of attracting coaching clients here.

 

Double Dutch photo by Pitslamp

Topics: coaching business, group coaching, Coach 100, coaching clients, make a living as a life coach, Coaching 100, marketing and sales, master coach, sales training for new coaches, coaching niche

Still the Best and Fastest Way to Fill a Coaching Practice

Posted by Julia Stewart

Crocky the Coach 'I don't want to market, I just want to coach.'

You too? I've heard this refrain from hundreds of coaches and I am soooo sympathetic. Building a coaching business from scratch can truly feel overwhelming. Of course, you don't know how to do it - yet.

But I'll let you in on a little secret.

THE best marketing strategy is to coach, coach and then go coach some more. Is there a problem here that I'm missing? I don't think so!  

Here are 10 ways to fill your coaching business by coaching:

1. To reach the moon, shoot for the stars. What's a way bigger goal than filling your coaching businesess? Shoot for that and fill your business in the process. One fantastic way to do this is to coach many more people than you think you need to.

2.  Get a system. All a business is, is a system for making money. Systemize your coaching and create a business out of it. Coach a lot of people in a systematic process that provides value to others and build your business abilities at the same time. Everything will get easier.

3. Experiment. Millions are made by 'gurus' who claim to have 'fool-proof' systems for making a killing. Usually it's only the gurus making the killing. To find your own best system, experiment and expect some failures. Every successful coach fails some of the time and then learns from each failure.

4. Track your progress. Set goals for yourself along the way (you can call them intentions, if you prefer). Watch how you're doing over time. You should be improving. If not, tweak your system. Make it fun by making a game out of it.

5. Remember it's not about you. Get your focus off yourself and your needs and focus on assisting your potential clents. If you need to get a side job, go for it! Most new coaches have a side income in the beginning.

6. Build relationships. You'd be surprised how many people will HELP you build your business if you give them a chance. Some of them may become your clients; some of them may just tell everyone they know about you. But remember to be assisting them, too.

7. Learn to cement relationships. Recognize when someone wants to work with you (they may be shy about showing it) and when they just need an invitation from you. In sales parlay this is known as 'closing the deal'. You do NOT need to be salesy to do it. In fact, salesy-ness can kill relationships.

8. Transform lives in minutes. Fantastic coaching practically sells itself. If you give a complimentary session to someone, solve their problem, and they don't buy your coaching package, you didn't give fantastic coaching. Get ongoing feedback on your coaching and you'll become a fantastic coach faster.

9. Collect outcomes, results, testimonials and referrals. The more great coaching you do, the more attractive your track record becomes. People need to see your track record, so don't be shy about sharing it.

10. Stop boo-hoo-ing. Crocky the Coach (above) gets to cry you-know-what-kind-of-tears, but you don't, because you're not a cartoon!

Isn't it marvelously perfect that the best way to build a successful coaching business is by doing a lot of coaching?

If you're not sure how to begin, the new free Coach 100 eBook will help you. We also have a system for filling your coaching business that makes it easy to shoot for the stars, experiment, track and tweak everything, so you can get your focus off you and onto building and cementing relationships, having transformative conversations and collecting great testimonials, referrals and clients. We even have a community of coaches who are going through the same process. They've become the experts on this and they're even sympathetic to the occasional crockodile tear. But start with the ebook.

Coach 100 eBook

 

Get the Coach 100 eBook here.

 

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, become a coach, coach, sales training for new coaches, getting clients, transformative conversations

Coach 100 at SCM

Posted by Julia Stewart

SCM Ad Hoc Advisors are asking that our Full Coach Training Program offer business, marketing & sales training for new coaches. This is a huge piece in becoming a successful coach (unless you are an in-house or affiliate coach). That's why the Coach 100 Business Success Program will be included in the FullCoach Training Program.

Coach 100 absolutely works. I just spoke to a new member who tells me that she's signed on seven new clients in the past month with it and that's not an uncommon story, BUT I plan to stick to what I know best with SCM and that's training great coaches and helping them achieve IAC Certification.

That's why I'm partnering with the top business, sales and marketing coaches to bring SCM the best training from the masters. SCM coaches have an opportunity to master the best coaching skills and develop the best business practices, because until they're making a living at it, coaching is just a hobby. Stay tuned for some exciting announcements!


Topics: Coach 100, SCM, sales and marketing coaches, sales training for new coaches, coach training program

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