5 Common Sales Mistakes Coaches Make (and What To Do Instead) - International Coaching Federation
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5 Common Sales Mistakes Coaches Make (and What To Do Instead)

Posted by Krista Martin, MBA, CPCC, PCC | November 11, 2019 | Comments (0)

If you’re like many coaches, the word “sales” makes you break into hives. Instantly.

But, without sales, there aren’t clients to coach. There isn’t a business to run. Your ability to make an impact on your clients’ lives—and the world—disappears.


My invitation to you today is to consider sales through another lens.

What does sales look like when it’s done with love?

With authenticity?

What if sales is actually service?

As you dance with these different perspectives, consider how your sales mindset is affecting your coaching business and your ability to make an impact.

We can dig into the sales mindset in another post and in the meantime, I’ll share with you five common mistakes that coaches make and exactly what to do instead.

Mistake #1:  Bringing Your Biases and Limiting Beliefs to the Conversation

Based on the conversation up to this point, you’re more aware of the mindset that you’re carrying into the sales conversation with you. Yes, it comes with you. And yes, it impacts the results of your conversations.

Take a few minutes before each conversation to clear your mind of stories, biases and limiting beliefs that are clouding your mind. Focus solely on the other person and embrace the energy of inspiring that person to say yes to taking action towards something that’s important to them.

Mistake #2:  Not Inviting Enough People to a Sales Conversation

With some reverse engineering skills, I support my clients by helping them to see how many conversations they need to have to reach their income and client goals.

Without sales conversations, your future income and client roster isn’t very promising.

Whether you call it a Strategy Session, a Discovery Session, a Clarity Call, or something else, offer and invite often. Invite more people and more frequently than what you’re comfortable with right now.  Don’t assume that your referral partners or ideal clients know that you offer a no-cost Strategy Session.

Offer, invite, remind and ask often.

Mistake #3: Features Tell, Benefits Sell

When you create programs and offers that you’re excited about, it’s easy to fall into the trap of talking only about the specific number of calls they’ll receive, the additional resources that you include, etc.

Emotions influence the purchasing decision, so it’s important that you help the person connect, emotionally, to what you’re offering.

Instead of simply stating that you include 12 coaching calls, go a step further and explain why this is so valuable. For example, “In this program, you receive 12 coaching calls which means you’ll have regular support and accountability to stay on track and make consistent strides towards your goals.”  See how that works?

Mistake #4: Positioning Your Sales Conversation as a Free Coaching Session

Oh, this is a biggie.

I offer a coaching-style framework for my clients to follow during their sales conversations, but it’s definitely not a coaching call.

Setting up the call as a free coaching session not only puts tremendous pressure on you, but it also sets the other person up for failure.

Yes, change can happen quickly, but it usually doesn’t happen in one call.

So, if you coach the person, they’ll feel “fixed” and not see the need for ongoing support to help them actually integrate the learnings and take new action. The potential client will leave the conversation feeling great and uninspired to work with a coach on an ongoing basis because they feel like their problem was solved.

Then, in two weeks, they’ll be stuck again.

Mistake #5:  Not Supporting a Client Through Their Objections

When a coach is afraid of being “pushy” or “salesy,” an objection is usually taken as a Universal Truth and the coach doesn’t ask the important questions to dig deeper and support the person to find their real truth, underneath the objection.

I remind my clients that the person on the other end of the conversation is actually hoping that the coach they’re speaking with will help them move forward. They are seeking a solution and support to something that they’ve tried to accomplish on their own, many times, but haven’t been able to.

An objection is simply a request for more information. It’s an opportunity for you, as the coach, to ask questions that help the person discover what limiting beliefs are preventing them from taking action.

If you’re not comfortable with objections, you can start by writing down the ones that you hear most frequently. Then, come up with questions you can ask, to dig deeper, when that objection comes up. Then, practice, practice, practice.  

Track your sales conversations and note what works, what inspires the client, and what stretches you as you lean into your role as Chief Sales Officer.  You don’t have to overhaul your current sales conversation process, but instead, choose one or two steps you can take today.

krista martin headshot nov. 2019

Krista Martin, MBA, CPCC, PCC

Krista Martin, MBA, CPCC, PCC, is the president and founder of Make Your Mark and the Six Figure Impact Academy. As a sought after speaker and business coach, she teaches coaches how to attract more clients, make more money, and create a bigger impact. Learn more at kristamartin.com.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Additionally, for the purpose of full disclosure and as a disclaimer of liability, this content was possibly generated using the assistance of an AI program. Its contents, either in whole or in part, have been reviewed and revised by a human. Nevertheless, the reader/user is responsible for verifying the information presented and should not rely upon this article or post as providing any specific professional advice or counsel. Its contents are provided “as is,” and ICF makes no representations or warranties as to its accuracy or completeness and to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law specifically disclaims any and all liability for any damages or injuries resulting from use of or reliance thereupon.

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