If Marketing Your Coaching Seems Scary, Difficult, or Just Plain Doesn’t Work Here’s What to Do to Fix It

I was participating in a group of coaches and authors this past week where many said that they just couldn’t bring themselves to market their business. They had been taught NEVER to talk about themselves, nor to brag.

There’s a lot of other reasons as well, maybe their own confidence that they had something valuable to offer, or fear that they couldn’t deliver on what they promise. In any case, there are a lot of reasons coaches shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to marketing their coaching business.

There were several things I learned along the way over the last 14 years of coaching, and over 30 years of consulting that changed everything, made marketing easy, and not fearful. In fact made it fun!

The biggest was something said by Zig Ziglar

Find enough people to help them get what they want and you’ll have everything you ever wanted out of life.

Marketing Is Never About You, Your Products/services, your processes, or your company . . .

You see, when you think that talking about yourself, or what you do, the topic is YOU. And you may have been told to not talk about yourself. So everything about marketing becomes suddenly taboo.

But, when following Zig’s approach, it is no longer about you. It is about finding people to help THEM get what THEY WANT. The topic is not you, it is about them, it is about what they want.

Imagine a networking discussion that goes something like this.

Hi Jim. I’m selling coaching, I do a program about goal setting that’s change your life, want to buy?

As compared to one about them.

Hi Jim. I heard that you are an architect. Tell me about that.

What makes you the best?

You know I discovered that there are 2,000 people a month looking for architects in the Kansas City area. How many new people come to you every week?

Gee, only 1 a month??? If you could get 5% of those looking for you to call you, what would that do for you?

You know, I was working with an architect back a month or so ago who said he was really struggling to get clients, and applying the process I’ve been working on he started getting 30 calls a month. However, he was still struggling to close them, so we worked on getting him first to 30% close, and eventually close to 50%.

Would you like to explore how that might apply to what you do as an architect?

Did I say ANYTHING about me? I was interested in his business, I was concerned about whether he’s getting his share, or enough to pay the bills, or even better to constantly get more and more.

In marketing, we could talk about “Alan’s coaching business”, or even “Alan’s processes”, but that doesn’t get your ideal client’s attention. However, asking him about his business will. That’s about him. Asking him if he’s getting _________ (what, and however much) of something he wants will have him begging you to tell him more about that. It doesn’t matter if you are a life coach, business coach, career coach, health coach, or whatever type of coach, talk to your ideal client about him, and what he wants, and it’ll become fun. You are simply coaching him to find the answers he’d love to find. No sales involved.

Let me share a success story that I helped a client get.

This was a $50M business in the Chicago area. They had built their business on sales of security products for whole cities and sold 100’s to the city of Chicago, more to every city in every direction for about 100 miles. And now they wanted to either open offices in other cities around the country, or find partners in those cities. We estimated that every average sized city was worth about $4M in sales.  I had helped them develop a business plan for that expansion, and they liked it so well they wanted me to implement and manage the marketing.

We had defined that significant sized IT companies would be the ideal target to both sell for them (for a commission), to install, and to support ongoing maintenance from then on.

So, back to you and your coaching for a minute. Think how the traditional incoming call sounds, and why you typically hang up on them in the first 3 to 10 seconds. Because the call is about what you want. It’s “Hi, I’m George with ABC Services”. You see, that’s about them. They want to introduce themselves. Nothing of interest to you, at least not yet.

The Cold Call That Got Over 90% Appointments . .. and you can to with this process

Here’s how my call went.

Hi, I’m looking for Jim Jones (he was the owner), I’ve been looking for an IT company in _______ (name the city). that can support a fairly major project. Are you interested?

From there, I asked questions, such as We are looking for an IT company that can install and maintain a citywide network for my client, who is a $50M company that’s expanding in your city and would like to find the right IT company that can support our growth there.

I’d say that well over 90% of the calls resulted in an appointment for them to meet my client. These were cities that could support anywhere from $4M to $11M in sales and installation fees.

I kept the focus on THEM, and how they could benefit from partner with my client.

That’s the way you can make those “dreaded” sales calls and make them fun. They aren’t sales calls any more. They are calling to offer to help that person get something he wants, sometimes desparately wants. And it’s simply fun talking to people about what they want.

What is your target market’s biggest desire that you can help deliver?

  • You could ask them if they want ____
  • You could ask them how many ______ they get and show them there are _____ out there that you can help them find.
  • Or simply ask them to tell you about_______ (their business, their life, their kids, or whatever it is you could help them improve) This is simply showing interest, showing concern, and share something with them that would help them get that, get more of that, get it faster, etc.

Just remember Zig Ziglar’s statement, and then live your life, and run your business with that philosophy.

Find enough people to help them get what they want, and you’ll have everything you ever wanted out of your life.

You know, I take that one more step. I believe that people usually have some self limiting belief, so that means that what they want is actually toned down considerably. If they wanted another $100K out of their business, I’ll ask them why stop there, why not 2 times, 5 times, or even 100 times. They’ll tell me a reason that that is either out of reach, takes too much money, they don’t want to work that hard, or a lot of other reasons. So I turn that around and ask them, “If you could have 2 or 3 times that, and do it with less effort, less money, and less time than you spend right now what would that do for you? How would that change your life, or allow you to do something well beyond your original dreams?”

Take their belief barriers off the table and start leading them to even bigger dreams and goals, and that makes you “the extraordinary coach” since you deliver extraordinary results to ALL of your clients.

Get the idea that we don’t have to talk about ourselves, or our coaching business? Just engage an ideal prospect, and get him to talk about what he wants, and help him discover paths and results he couldn’t get without you.

Alan Boyer

Helping coach/consultants reach another $100K to $1M within months and to stop thinking small when attracting new clients

Author of the upcoming book “Secrets to $100K+ Coaching/Consulting: Getting More & Higher Paying Clients Faster & Easier”

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Charles AlvarezAfter our very first session I landed a big oil & gas services client . . . and another after our second. Alan is the best coach I've ever had.

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