School of Coaching Mastery

Coaching Blog

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

What's Really Behind the Huge Success of Professional Coaching?

Posted by Julia Stewart

love_is_more_powerful_than_greed.jpgToday I turned down a potential client whose business would have brought me thousands of dollars. She seemed a like a good client, with clearly defined goals to build her coaching business, which is a coaching specialty of mine.

But there was one big problem: Her goals were simply to make more money.

And her requirements were that her mentor coach must  have made a certain amount of money, which I've made, but I still turned her down.

Why did I turn her down, when helping coaches succeed is one of my specialties? Because I went into coaching and coach training to help people succeed at creating a better future for themselves and others, a better world, if you will.

Money matters. Helping others matters more to me. That's because one of my highest values is: Love.

The funny thing is that coaches who love what they do and love helping others to have better lives and careers, are the coaches who most succeed at professional coaching.

And they often make the most money.

Because the professional coaches, who are most likely to succeed, want to thrive by helping others thrive.

They're not martyrs. And they're also not greedy. They're more complex than that.

Probably only 5-10% of people, worldwide, who are interested in becoming coaches, have achieved this level of complexity.

Have you achieved this level of complexity?

If you're interested in coaching only because you've heard it's one of the highest paid professions in the world, don't train at School of Coaching Mastery.

And if you're only interested in helping others, instead of also helping yourself and the people you most care about, then coach for a hobby and make a living doing something else.

I wrote a blog post about this, The Top Ten Worst Reasons to Become a Coach, nine years ago, and it is as true today as it ever was.

If you want to thrive and help thrive doing what you love, let's talk.

School of Coaching Mastery's training programs may be perfect for you. And my mentor coaching often includes training, as needed, at no extra charge. It's expensive and well worth it.

 

I'm in the thrive and help thrive business.

 

By the way, if you love someone or something so much that you'd change the world for them, World Clan Mothers on Facebook may also be right for you. It's about turning back the tide of Climate Change so our grandchildren, and Nature, have a chance to thrive like we do. I invite you to join and get involved.

 

Visit World Clan Mothers on Facebook

Topics: professional coach, Coaching, professional coaching, coaching success, successful business

Coaching Businesses Benefit from 2013 U.S. Business Trends

Posted by Julia Stewart

Written by Julia Stewart

MyCorporation just shared an excellent infographic based on research they did, along with Pepperdine University, that shows wonderful trends for coaching businesses. This was not a study of coaching businesses specifically, but of business, in general. 

Here are some highlights:

  1. 54% of businesses that grew in 2013, were "micro-sized". In other words, tiny businesses, such as coaching businesses, grew the most.
  2. One of the fastest growing sectors included "professional services". In other words, businesses such as coaching businesses.
  3. The "Khan Academy Effect" is driving a revolution in education, with tutoring expected to grow into a $100Billion business in 2014. As you may know, many tutors use coaching skills and many coaches do tutoring. In fact, Khan Academy doesn't call it tutoring; it calls it coaching.
  4. One of the few dark spots in this infographic is that apparently it was harder for businesses to get loans in 2013 than it was in 2012. Since coaching is one of the least expensive businesses to launch, that's not a problem for coaching businesses. Scroll to the bottom to learn more about becoming a successful coach.

MyCorporation - U.S.-Business-Trends Infographic

Want to learn more about becoming a coach and launching your own successful coaching business?

Save 10% on Coach Training Through Jan. 1, 2014

Topics: coaching business, coach training, become a coach, successful business, coaching businesses

The Future of Coaching: 2013 Trends in Business and Life Coaching

Posted by Julia Stewart

If you think you understand trends in business andfuture of life coaching life coaching, you're probably dead wrong.

Why? Because the future of humanity is about to change at even more breathtaking rates. That means the future of coaching is not what you think. Not even close.

How's that? We're about to reach a technological 'tipping point' across several technologies and this runaway world we live in is about get a million times faster. 

You've heard of Moore's Law? It's the well-established prediction that computing power will double every 18 months, while prices plummit. In other words, exponential growth. Moore's Law has held true for decades. The current result is an iPhone processor that's more powerful than the 1970's Apollo rockets that travelled to the Moon. (which makes Apple's recent map app blunder seem especially silly)

If you were to graph exponential growth, you'd get what's known as a 'hockey stick' curve. At first you get a relatively long period of slow growth, with a slight incline, but at some point the numbers that are doubling become so huge that the curve goes virtually vertical. That's the tipping point or 'escape velocity' that we've just about reached with computing power.

Moore's Law is what futurists call a hard trend. It's a prediction that you can count on. Some futurists say that Moore's Law can be applied to other technologies as well, such as nanotech and artificial intelligence, and that when you combine these technologies, as they are doing at Singularity University, you get even more explosive growth and more escape velocity.

What does all this tech mean to coaches, other than the possibility that someday, Skype will stop bumping us off our free international video calls? Well if you consider Adizes' Change Constant (Change leads to problems, which lead to solutions, which lead to more change, etc.), our potential clients are about to have a lot more problems. They're mostly the kind of problems you want to have, as we say, but they still will feel like big problems to them. And that's when they hire coaches. But wait, before you cheer...

What kinds or problems are caused by explosive growth in the tech fields? Well first there are new jobs created, like IT professionals, website designers and virtual assistants; jobs most people couldn't conceive of 50 years ago. And then there is the elimination of jobs that are replaced by technology, like librarians, sign painters and secretaries. Painful! Except, every time technology replaces some jobs, it creates new ones, such as international tech support, robot repair, and home-based manufacturing. That's a cycle you can count on. New high-paid jobs are always on the horizon, only most people can't even conceive of them, much less get ready. That's scary.

Let's face it, our ancestors evolved back when exponential change equaled the invention of the wheel, the bow and arrow and roasted mastadon instead of raw. Those changes occured at the slow-sloping left side of the hockey stick curve and that's what your nervous system today is wired for, not change at the rate of a new job every year. Jeez.

People are going to need assistance in making constant life-changing transitions, the kinds our grandparents only made once or twice in a lifetime. Maybe we'll need more psychotherapists to talk us down off the ledge, but in this month's Wired magazine, Founding Editor, Kevin Kelly says robots will soon replace therapists. I don't know about that, but he also says nurses, teachers, personal trainers, waiters and surgeons will soon be robotic. The jobs will go to the people who manage the bots.

The best-paying jobs will go to those who can leverage the added value that technology is constantly creating. Beyond that, we can spend our time doing what we want.

So what's the one job Kevin Kelly says robots can't replace? The job of deciding what people really want to do. 

Coaches help people decide what they really want to do.

Coaching is not a tech job, but technology creates the need for coaches. And it's creating more of that need all the time for coaches who are ready.

Can coaches be replaced by artificial intelligence? We're a long way from that, because coaching relies at least as much on 'right brain' intuitive skills, which have been a challenge to the computing field so far, as it does on linear processing skills. But they'll probably crack intuition, eventually.

However, no amount of AI will ever make robots human. You could program 3CPO to say, 'I believe in you', but those words ring hollow unless you hear them from someone whose opinion matters to you.

Coaching will likely be with us for several more decades, or at least until Siri gets programed to ask more than she tells.

What else is about to change? Everything from the demise of our current too-slow, too-expensive, too-ineffective system of higher education (watch this video of new Google University for what might be next); to the rise of the 'bottom billion' as a result of cheap smart phones that now connect impoverished people to unlimited information, to vertical farming that can scale up to feed 10 billion of us. To get a more complete picture, I highly recommend you read Abundance by venture capitalist and X Prize founder Peter Diamandis.

How can you get ready to coach in the coming decades? 

Surprisingly, you don't need to chase every trend. And you don't need to coach huge numbers of people for less. Because the rise of technologies means there is also a trend at the other side of the spectrum. It's the one that leverages Kevin Kelly's 1000 True Fans concept and focuses on hyper-customization and hyper-personalization.

Chris Brogan calls this the 'bespoke business'. This is the type of business most successful coaches have. It includes just a few clients who each pay a hefty fee. It usually also includes some lower-priced options and free content in order to build relationships and true fans. This type of business is on the rise and looks like it's here to stay.

More people will need and want coaching in the coming future. Less expensive goods and services provided by automation will free up money. And with the coming need to prepare for new professions every year, the savvy will use that money to hire tutors, mentors and coaches to help them get where they need to go faster.

What's a good strategy for a coach moving forward into the super-high-tech world of the future? Become the best - perhaps the only - in your specialty. Get just the training you need, be nimble and ready to pivot when things change dramatically, have your own coach and take super great care of yourself - you'll need it.

And have fun. Technology is designed to free us from drudgery. Coaching is the perfect profession for enjoying that freedom.

Need some coach training?

Get Business and Life Coach Training

Topics: business coach, Coaching, coach training, iPhone, future of coaching, successful business, Life Coaching, life coach training, Kevin Kelly

The Great Coaching Pyramid and Your Success

Posted by Julia Stewart

Folks say I'm brilliant for coming up with this, but really I'm just observant: The old Marketing Funnel (AKA Product Funnel) doesn't work that well for most coaches unless they flip it over.

marketing funnel The Marketing Funnel sounds so logical that I tried it out as soon as I heard of it, several years ago.

Result? Hardly anybody bought my lower priced products, but because I focused on products instead of one-to-one coaching, I got FEWER clients! Not only that, but the lower-priced products were a lot of work to create and I needed to invest in a virtual assistant and a shopping cart, which weren't cheap. 

Most real coaches that I know have the same experience. I say 'real' because some folks do quite well with this business model, such as successful internet marketers, authors and speakers, who can afford to hire teams of consultants and assistants. They can make this work. Sometimes those people also call themselves coaches.

If you're primarily a coach, without a team or a big budget and especially if you're new to sales and marketing, it's actually much easier to go straight to high-paying coaching clients and skip all the work it takes to fill your funnel.

PYRAMID Because the funnel approach takes so much time, work and money to create, it felt kind of like building the Great Pyramids. Instead of a funnel, which sounds like it will just pull clients to you via gravity or suction or whatever, it's more like pushing bolders up a steep incline for slave wages.

So I flipped the funnel over and turned it into the Great Coaching Pyramid. It's so much more effective for real coaches like me. If you're a real coach and what you want to do is coach, then go straight to the top of the Great Coaching Pyramid and you'll experience success faster.

 

The Great Coaching Pyramid

If you love to coach, fill your coaching practice with one-to-one clients first, add products later, if you want. This way, you're doing what you love and that's really attractive. You don't need a huge investment or team to make it happen. Each client pays you well, so you make a living with 10-20 clients instead of 10,000 to 20,000.

I kept my shopping cart and assistant and some products. Because I found that my one-to-one coaching clients were interested in buying my other products and services, as well.

If you're a real coach, most of your income should come from coaching, right? And you can make a much better income by focusing on coaching, itself.

 

 

Great income pyramid People will hire you without sampling all your products. Why? Because you're a good coach. You get that way by doing a lot of coaching, not by creating websites and products.

Here's a secret: Marketing Funnels are NOT triangular. A great company that teaches about marketing funnels and is honest and upfront about it is Hubspot. They have a team of very smart professional marketers. They're much better at it than you and I. I've seen screen shots of Hubspot's marketing funnel, based on their marketing data. It necks down to almost nothing after the very first level. That means they need to reach tens of thousands of people just to get a few clients.

Here are a few numbers about that: Fantastic marketers are happy to convert 5-10% at each level of their funnel. Not so great marketers are lucky to convert 1-2%. At a 2% conversion rate, you'd have to attract 2.5 Million free customers to get 20 high-paying coaching clients. Or you can build your business with coaching.

 

 

Coach 100 Mentor Group

 

There are a few more spots in the Coach 100 Mentor Group. Join and fill your practice with coaching clients by July.

 

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, make a living as a coach, successful business

Urban Coaching Myth: You Need to Find Your Niche

Posted by Julia Stewart

Urban Coaching MythsYou'll never find success wandering down blind alleys.

That's what Urban Coaching Myths are: blind alleys for you and your coaching business. Coaches beware!

This particular coaching myth is so insidious and so routinely embraced, that it has probably hamstrung dozens (if not thousands) of coaching businesses. What a crime!

It's sourced in half-understood truths about marketing, a failure to make important distinctions, hearsay and just plain bad coaching. I may get hate mail for saying this, but somebody needs to tell the truth!

The myth, "You need to know your coaching niche before you can market your coaching business", is a lie!

How do I know this? I've experienced it myself and I've coaching zillions of coaches who have been stumped by this bad advice.

For example, Chris Barrow, "The Million Dollar Coach" built his million-dollar grossing coaching business by specializing in coaching dentists in the UK. He didn't know that dentists were his niche until he had coached a lot of them, realized that he had become an expert on building a thriving dental practice in the UK (previously he knew nothing about dentistry), and noticed that dentists were referring a lot of friends to him. Then he started making a million dollars a year. That's a real niche. Anything else is just play acting.

Trying to find your niche before you've coached a lot of people is really just putting the cart ahead of the horse. It's a waste of time and energy because the truth is...

  1. You need to coach a lot of people, first, in order to find your niche.
  2. You can build a successful coaching business even without knowing your niche. 

Which do you really want, a coaching niche or a successful coaching business?

Where does this myth come from? Here's an assortment of possibilities:
  • Internet marketing "gurus"
  • Marketing courses
  • Inexperienced mentor coaches
  • Buddy coaches
  • Coaching listserves
  • Coaching chapters

It's the old "they say" circuit that's been a source of misinformation of all kinds since the dawning of human communication. None of the above is bad in and of itself. Used well, all are very good. However, ineffective advice never helped anybody.

And those distinctions I mentioned? I've placed a few them in a quick quiz to help you distinguish whether you really need a niche in order to coach, or whether you need to coach before you'll ever find your real niche.

Quick Quiz

1. Are you:

a) A professional coach

b) An internet marketer

2. Do you want to sell:

a) Your coaching services

b) "Widgets" and digital products

3. Do you want to focus on:

a) Building a long-term profitable coaching business

b) Making a quick killing selling a product

4. Are you:

a) Someone who is smart and sensible

b) Someone who believes everything you hear

 

If you answered mostly "b", you need a niche to succeed. If you answered mostly "a", you need to coach in order to succeed. (Okay, maybe question #4 was unfair.)

If I sound a bit cranky, it's because this myth is very costly to coaches and their potential clients. Don't be blinded by it. If you're going to wander down dark alleys, at least carry a flashlight.

AsteriskGet a flashlight: Take Coach 100 courses to learn a lot more about what it really takes to build a successful coaching business.

Topics: coaching business, become a coach, Coach 100, Coaching 100, coaching success, successful business, Million Dollar Coach, coaching niche

Under-Capitalized

Posted by Julia Stewart

This is a problem that can be so painful, that coaches don't like to talk about it.

Under-capitalization.

Fancy term for, "You don't have enough money to make it."

What it looks like is a slow-motion train wreck, at least if you have enough experience to recognize it. That is, if you don't have a big blind spot in the area of money.

I see this all the time in new coaches. I even see it in big coaching organizations. I've gotten good at recognizing it.

Sometimes our dreams are so big, that we shoot for the moon when we don't have enough money to make it across town. 

Of course, a big dream can move you forward, right? Right and wrong. Right, if you're open to how it's going to show up. Wrong if you're so attached to it that you make poor choices.

Poor choices happen to coaches who are short on operating funds, often because they are struggling to make money this month just to cover expenses. When you're scrambling to make ends meet, that's when you make dumb choices. 

To have a successful business, you need to make long-range plans. Not just a fantasy or even a vision, but step by step plans. The plan will change, of course, because the horizon will change and hopefully you're keeping an eye on that, but if your plan is just to raise enough money to get you through until success miraculously finds you, then it'll never find you, because what you're really focused on is just getting by. Know any coaches like that?

We create what we focus on. Make sure you have enough money that you don't need to worry about it, while you're building your business. Keep the focus on the abundance that you're creating, not the scarcity of living hand to mouth. This requires a certain comfort with risk, by the way. If you don't have that, then building your own business may not be the right game for you.

If you don't have a couple hundred thousand dollars to fall back on during the first few years of building your coaching business, then don't quit your day job. Or else, get a part-time job that will help you. Or borrow the money. Don't try to make it on a shoe string. That's just asking for stuckness.

The first year of my coaching business, I spent about $10,000 on coach training, conferences, mentoring, and upgrading my office. Some of it was out-of-pocket. Some went on credit cards. I earned less than $2,000 by coaching that year. I supported myself with another business that didn't require all my time. My first financial goal was to be earning as much per month by coaching as I was spending on coaching. It took over a year to get there.

Then my goal became earning enough to "pay back" everything I had spent on coaching, up to that point. It took a couple of years to do that.

Now my goal is to easily pay all my expenses while saving and investing at least 25% of what I make each year from coaching.

If I hadn't had a good income and available credit, I couldn't have become a coach. It's that simple. Miracles do happen, but as my pastor says, "We are the answer to our own prayers." If you're not willing to make a substantial financial investment in your own coaching success, then maybe you don't really believe in it.

When you have true faith, you don't try to control. You can afford to let success show up how it wants to. Having enough money, as well as other resources, like time, is why you can afford to have faith. That's when miracles find you.

When I hear coaches complain about how expensive coach training and mentoring is, I know they're trying to control. I also know that they probably won't make it, unless they learn to allow the world to just show up as it is and find a way to fit with that. That's when you're ready to "leverage everything" and that's when miracles happen.

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2005 http://www.yourlifepart2.com

Topics: coaching business, Coaching, money, coach training, successful business, new coaches, mentoring

    Subscribe for FREE: Learn About Coaching

    Follow Us

    The Coaching Blog

    If you're a professional Business or Life Coach or you're interested in becoming one, the SCM Coaching Blog covers topics you may want to know about: How to Become a Business or Life Coach, Grow a Successful Coaching Business, Get Coach Training and/or Business and Life Coach Certification, Become a Coaching Master and Evolve Your Life and Business. 

    Subscribe above and/or explore by tag, month or article popularity, below.

    Latest Posts

    Most Popular Posts

    Browse by Tag

    Top Career-Jobs Sites Living-Well blog