How to Tell Who Will Buy Coaching and Who Won’t

How to identify those who won’t buy and avoid. And how to tell who are likely to buy and spend all of your time there.

My coaching business LEAPED when I moved away from those I had gone after but would never buy, and moved toward those would were not only very likely to, but were actively out there looking to hire people that could take them to new levels.

Do We Coach Those We Believe Need Us the Most, or More Successful People Who We Believe Don’t Need Us as Much?

The first question to ask yourself is: Who would you rather coach,

  • Unsuccessful people who need you desparately
  • Those who are at about average, middle of the road, success.
  • Very highly successful people.

Every Level of Success Has It’s Own Belief About What It Takes to Succeed

What we need to understand is “How each level thinks. What do they believe? And does what they believe either contribute to getting help or avoiding help?”

Unsuccessful, desparate people usually are where they are due to what they believe, and how they think. If they were regularly asking for help from more successful people, or coaches, would they still be unsuccessful? Not likely.

Ever hear that you can’t keep doing what you’ve been doing and expect different results? Well, those failing at getting out of their level of success, fail because they believe that what they are doing is the best way, the most successful way, and this is the way that everyone else does it.

They are right about that last one. If they are doing what everyone else in this level of success does, then they all have earned that level of success, and have put the pad lock on the path upward.

That goes for coaches to.

Coaches can make a big mistake with their own ways of thinking about this situation. Most coaches believe that those that need them the most are more likely to hire them. It’s just the opposite. One of the beliefs of unsuccessful people is that they manage their money by cutting expenses, and even if you could convince them they really do need you, most of the time their internal belief is they just can’t afford you, that it is a luxury to hire a coach, and they have no money for luxury.

Of course, coaches believe that, as a coach they should be good at convincing them. But, let’s put another guideline rule into this. Marketing, where you reach out into that cold cruel world to get attention of those who need what you have, takes only 3 seconds to get their attention, or to lose them for ever. To take one with a deeply embedded belief and change that takes many days, or weeks of coaching. You won’t get the chance to coach them unless they buy your coaching which isn’t going to happen in 3 seconds.

Now, let’s go to the other end of that spectrum, to the very successful. These people, having already succeeded, have discovered what it takes to succeed, and are wanting more. They have the money. They are used to hiring people to help them (NOTE: for someone to succeed to this level they have hired others regularly to carry the extra load or to bring other skills to them.) These people are already out there looking for someone to help them with exactly what you do, or at least are ready for another breakthrough if you suggest it.

Let me share with you what happened to my business as I discovered this.

As a business coach, I had targeted small business, in the $100K or less range. When I learned that getting the right marketing message could get me lots of clients, I tried it out on this group. I also believed that these people REALLY needed me, which was true. But the real question was: Do they want me?

In any case, after sharing my marketing message, which was offering to grow their business $100K in months. They would respond this way: “Wow, I really wish I could afford you.”

Which meant, Yes, my marketing message convinced them they should hire me. But their internal belief about staying within a budget at any expense, and that they couldn’t afford me even if hiring me would add another $100K to their bottom line for $1K to $2K of my fee. They just weren’t going to hire me.

Yes, I spent quite a while trying to convince them.

But here’s what I discovered when talking to each of these levels of business:

  • $100K or less business — Almost every time I’d get ‘Wow, I wish I could afford you.” But they wouldn’t. Near zero conversion.
  • $500K business — My sales close was in the neighborhood of 30 to 35%. These people were just starting to understand that it isn’t cutting expenses that move you ahead, it’s finding the greatest ROI. But they were struggling with that concept so it took a little more effort to convince them.
  • $1M and up business — My sales close ratio was anywhere from 50% to 75%. About the only thing I had to do was lay a great new target result with a high value and they were ready to buy.

I’d suggest that any kind of a coach divide their market place into unsuccessful, average success, and very highly successful and either go after only highly successful, or maybe average to highly successful.

If you spend days and days acquiring clients, and you have already developed that compelling marketing message, but no one is buying, ask yourself if you are working with those who you believe need you the most, the unsuccessful, and what would happen if you moved up the ladder.

I spent weeks and weeks without getting new clients while working in the low end of the market thinking there were a lot of people in that area who needed me, far more than moving up to higher levels of success. I also thought they’d be easier to reach.

Let me give you a definition of a coach. A coach is someone who helps his clients achieve results they either couldn’t achieve at all if you weren’t there, or maybe they’ll achieve those results faster.

So, when you move up to very successful people they are the ones who need to break out through that ceiling of their performance but can’t do it alone, or can’t do it fast alone. They need you just as bad as those at the very bottom, but the successful have the money to pay for it, and have a history of hiring people to help them do it.

It’s a much easier market to land than going for those who desparately need you from their self imposed barrier.

If you’ve been running into far to many people saying they can’t afford you, then you have one of two problems. Either what you offer them isn’t valuable enough (Your marketing message: what you say, how you say it, and who you say it to), or you are dabbling in what I call the kiddie pool, the small thinker, the bottom of the success pile where no one would buy even if you did give them the killer marketing message.

If you would like to talk that over, I’ll be glad to help you work out both ends. Email me at

I need your input. As I’m about to finish my next book, “Secrets to a $100K+ Coaching/Consulting Business”, I would like to get input from coaches on what they are currently doing to get clients, and I’ll share with you the ways that have catapulted myself and other coaches to new levels of acquiring clients and income. Although I have worked with many types of coaches, now I’d like to get even more data in each coaching category to use in the book. I’ll mention you specifically in the book.

Email me if you’d like to get more clients and be a part of this.

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 Business”



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