How to Make People Eager to Invest in Coaching
This week, we’re doing marketing Q&A with members of the ICF community. Here’s a question from Marsha Boyle in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Q: How do you get people to see the value of investing in themselves?
Listen here and/or read below:
We’ve all been there. You’re talking with someone who would be the perfect client for you. They’re stuck in their life. They’re tired of the way things are. They’re ready for real change.
Everything is going great during your conversation. You’re asking the right questions, the person is beginning to see the light, and you’re certain you could help this person achieve their goal if you coached them.
At the end of the conversation, you tell the person about what you do as a coach and suggest that you work together.
Uh-oh. The person starts shifting in their seat. Looking confused. Asking lots of questions. Then, the conversation gets shut down by these six dreaded words: “I have to think about it,” and you walk away without a new client.
OK, so what happened? Why didn’t you land the client? Did you do something wrong? Or, was the person simply not ready to commit?
It’s easy to conclude that the person just isn’t ready to invest in themselves. But most of the time, that’s not the case at all.
From working with hundreds of coaches, I would say that 9 times out of 10, people are 100 percent ready to invest in themselves—they’re ready to solve their problem, reach their goal or make real change in their lives. But the problem is that they’re not ready to invest in coaching (big difference!). Therefore, your job is to make them see the value of investing in coaching by showing them that coaching will enable them to achieve the goal or outcome they desire for themselves.
In most cases, when prospects come to you, they’re looking for a tangible outcome—for example, to find a better career, improve their marriage, lose weight, make more money, de-stress, etc. They want to see some measurable change take place in their lives.
The breakdown happens during the sales conversation when coaches don’t properly connect the dots between the tangible outcome the prospect wants and what they do as a coach. This leaves the prospect confused about how coaching will help them and not willing to invest in the process.
Think of it this way: Imagine that you go to the grocery store because you want to buy a frozen pizza for dinner. When you get to the store, all the food has been packed away into unmarked paper bags. Would you buy one of the mystery bags and just hope that it had a pizza in it? Absolutely not. Instead, you’d immediately go to another store that was selling exactly what you wanted—pizza—and spend your money there.
No one wants to pay for a mystery bag. It’s too risky. The likelihood you’ll get what you want is so slim that you’re not willing to invest your money.
In the world of coaching, because most people are still not familiar with what a coach does, this makes coaching the equivalent of a “mystery bag.” People don’t know what they’re going to get, so they’re hesitant to invest. Except now the stakes are higher. You’re asking someone to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a mystery bag when they have no idea what’s inside. This is the real reason they’re telling you “I have to think about it” or “I can’t afford it.”
The key to solving this problem is to tell your prospects exactly what’s inside your “coaching mystery bag”—that is, the tangible results that they’ll get by working with you.
How do you do this?
You create a Signature Program. Offering a Signature Program takes the mystery out of coaching and allows you to easily convey the value of your services to your prospects. Therefore, enabling you to land more clients and make more money.
A Signature Program is your unique step-by-step coaching process for helping clients get from Point A (where they are in their life right now) to Point B (the goal/outcome/result they desire).
Creating a Signature Program turns your intangible coaching services into something concrete that prospects are happy to pay for. It connects the dots between the tangible outcome that the prospect wants and what you do as a coach.
If you haven’t designed your Signature Program yet, here are six steps to take to get started:
- Choose a specific niche for your coaching business. Honestly, this is the first step before you do any marketing for your business, but it’s especially important to do before you create your Signature Program.
- Decide on Point B. What is the #1 measurable outcome or goal that your ideal clients are wanting (e.g., finding the perfect career, finding their soulmate, etc.)?
- Map out the major steps required to get your ideal clients from Point A (where they are in their lives now) to Point B (the #1 outcome).
- Choose a length and frequency for your program. (For example, a three-month program where you meet with the client every other week.)
- Name your program. For your program to be effective, you need to choose a great name that indicates the results that a client will get. Stick with a clear and compelling name over a cutesy or clever name.
- Price your program. Set one price for the entire program. Keep in mind you can charge more than you were before because you’ve taken the mystery out of it.
Once you’ve created your Signature Program, start offering it to all your prospects during your sales conversations instead of offering a mystery bag of “coaching” or “sessions” or “hours of your time.” Take your time to highlight the benefits of your Signature Program—that is, how it will positively impact the prospect’s life physically, mentally and emotionally.
Now, you’ll be giving your prospects exactly what they want by providing them with a step-by-step process to reach their specific goal. Which means they’ll be more likely to invest in themselves by hiring a coach.