Why You Struggle to Sell Coaching


Why You Struggle to Sell Coaching

Explaining coaching doesn’t sell it. It teaches people how to become a coach. Instead, sell the thing coaching brings – the success.

But the thing coaching brings, the future success, is unknown when you meet a possible client.

Thus, you’ll need to spend time finding out ‘whoemveryourtalkingto’s’ future want in order to sell them on hiring you.

The “future want” needs to be much bigger than the cost of coaching, too. Small wants won’t get people to pay your fees.

Coaching is a tool like a hammer to a carpenter. You don’t hire a carpenter to teach you how to carpenter.

You hire a carpenter to build you a new kitchen. You want the kitchen – not the know how of kitchen building.

Are you trying to sell people great kitchens? (their dreams?) or, trying to teach them to become a great coach (how coaching works)?

If you try to find the “benefits” of “coaching” you’ll end up with things like “success”, “happiness”, and “better future”, which, just like coaching, are too vague and unknown to people. It’s a stretch for them to buy something they can’t envision in their minds.

When you coach clients on their goals, you want them to get specific. You want them to focus. You want them to define their dreams. Similarly, if your business is clear and specific, people can “get it” and are going to be attracted to you.

You, the coach, want to “coach”.

They, the clients, want what? It’s not “be coached”. It’s to be in a better place in their lives.

You need to be able to identify and speak to their better place.

Without a niche, you’ll need to garner that future place for each new prospect. You’ll need a good discussion with them to show them you know them and attract them to hiring you. With a niche, you’ll know their future place ahead of time.  As a result, you’ll know about them before they meet you.  In reverse, the prospect will become enthusiastic and ready to reach out to you.

A buyer of coaching will hire a coach who they feel a synergy with. It’s the buyer’s decision , based on what the buyer knows. What the buyer knows is whom he/she is attracted to, what pains they have and what goals they want to attain (maybe with some clarifying questions). The buyer decides to buy or not and it’s his/her job to determine the value you can bring.

You can polish your skills around finding people’s big wants one by one – that’s selling or enrollment.

You can also get really good at zeroing in on a market segment (target market) with a common challenge to be solved.  You then position yourself for that entire group, such as all the people who are unhappy in their marriage and want a stronger tighter, happier bond with their loved one.

If you have market segment that congregates in some place you can reach, (magazine article, LinkedIn group, local hangout), then you can communicate to many with one effort.

In the end, people will invest (buy) in things they find highly valuable. How can you position your coaching as very highly valuable to the one who is buying? How can you tie your coaching with the big benefits they want?

Are you selling what people want to buy?

I’d love to hear your thoughts or reactions or questions. Comment below.

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  1. Hi Kenn! We must have tapped into the same wavelength at the same time, lol. I think you made the same point I did in my article, but in a different way, which is fabulous.


    Different people hear things different ways, so as long as we get the word out, we’re helping coaches understand what works. And the extra point you added is well taken: Yes, when you choose a niche, then you know ahead of time the results that your market wants, and can create a compelling message to entice those clients into a conversation with you. When you don’t niche, it’s much harder to get your clients into a conversation so you can find out what it is they want. And of course, the conversation is where you can enroll them in signing up for your coaching 😉

  2. This is a great post. I’ve been struggling with how to title my niche. I know what it is but wording it is the issue. People with brake issues will normally take their vehicle to a brake specialist especially if it is a complex issue. Selling coaching is usually a slippery slope.