I know that many of you are thinking, ‘but I’m a coach, I don’t want to sell’. Here’s the thing: It’s just not enough to be a coach. To have a successful coaching business, you have to have clients. To get clients, you have to sell. Here’s the other thing: No one, especially coaches, likes selling.
I Don’t Like Selling!
I can hear you thinking that selling isn’t your forte – you’re a coach.
Honestly, I’d love to be able to tell you that this is ok and that you don’t have to do it. In reality, you’re going to have to suck it up. If you want to be a coach that actually has clients, you have to sell. If you are happy to be someone who calls themselves a coach, but actually never makes any money and has to go back to working for someone else, you don’t have to sell.
If you have a problem with the word ‘selling’, change the word. Think of other ways of describing it. A great way to think of selling is ‘business development’.
If you do want to be a coach who actually makes money, you’re simply going to have to change your mindset from ‘I’m a coach, I don’t like selling’ to ‘how can I learn how to LOVE developing my business?’.
Interestingly we are all very comfortable about being on the consumer end of selling. We are very happy indeed to do that. In the west, nothing we do or have comes for free – there’s a financial transaction involved in it. We understand the buying process completely and are very relaxed about buying.
Selling however is a completely different proposition.
Coaching And Selling, Two Different Skill Sets
The skill set required for coaching and the skill set required for selling are different. Note however that I use the phrase ‘skill set’ and not ‘innate talent’. Neither coaching, nor selling are innate talents. Yes, some people are naturally better at some things than others, but both coaching and selling are skills and therefore can be learned and perfected. Just like playing the piano, if you practice, you will get better. Also like playing the piano, you have to practice most often the bits you like the least.
In my experience, the closest to selling that gets taught on any coaching course is the idea that you give a coaching session away for free. Then, that session is so profoundly motivating for your coachee, that they immediately whip their cheque book out of their pocket (probably their mobile phone app these days, but you know what I mean) and write you a cheque for whatever you want. Finally, you both ride happily off into the sunset, all dreams fulfilled.
Great! Question; so how do you get the conversation in the first place? Answer; you sell. Whichever way you cut it you have to have ‘selling’ as one of the items in your quiver of skills.
I understand that this whole selling thing is bad news. Happily, there is good news!
The good news is that selling isn’t what it used to be. Selling doesn’t have to be some slimey, Del-Boy Trotter style con where you squeeze money from some poor unsuspecting sod who doesn’t want to buy.Selling, in this 21st century is simply great customer service.
Words Are Containers For Power
We as coaches know that words are containers for power. What you power you choose to give them is up to you. You can use words like ‘I hate selling’ or ‘I feel pushy’ or even ‘I’ve never been great at selling, it’s just not my cup of tea’ and those words contain the power to stop you succeeding.
Alternatively, you could use words like ‘I am honing my sales skills every day’ or ‘Selling is a skill I improve at all the time’, those words contain the power to help you succeed.