How Do You Answer You Are Too Expensive, or Coaching Doesn’t Work

Do you panic when someone says something like,

    • Can’t afford you
    • Coaching doesn’t work
    • Tried that didn’t work

Stop panicking, here’s a way to make your coaching sales much easier to actually use what they said into turning them around to becoming your clients.First, whenever anyone says something like that, they really do want something you have to offer them, they just need you to help them overcome a belief.

Here’s a step by step process, and then we’ll walk through some examples.

  • Agree with them (find something to agree with)
  • Clarify (understand what they REALLY want)
  • Understand why they thought it wouldn’t work.
  • Turn it around.

Agree with Them

Believe me, when I started out it was difficult to find something to agree with, but once you’ve done this you’ll become a master at agreeing and turning it around.

For instance, if they have said,
“You are too expensive.”

Don’t argue. Don’t say something to PROVE you are really not that expensive. Disagreeing only causes one thing. Your prospect digs in his heals, and goes into battle mode to protect his deeply held belief. Now all you’ll do is debate, and no one wins.

What can you agree with? We all know what that feels like don’t we, too expensive? Of course we do, so agree with them.

“Wow, it is tough when you want something and it’s just out of reach. Especially when it’s something so important to us to have.”

Notice how there’s no real argument here. I’m also assuming that before you got this far you may have clarified what they wanted and it was important to them. But, even if you hadn’t, leave that part out and agree with things being expensive when we want something.


Now we want to understand what it is they REALLY wanted. This is the core point that matters. For instance, if they really wanted help in making another $100K, getting more clients (business coach issues); or they wanted something they haven’t been able to do in their life, or haven’t achieved their goals by retirement (life coach), or any number of issues. Getting them to define what they really want, sidesteps the belief that there is an obstacle that will keep them from doing it on their own, or with you.

So get them to

  • Clearly describe what they want
  • The value of what they want (how much, how big, how fast do they want it)
  • How do they feel about it, how excited, passionate are they about getting it.

NOTE: these are some of the same topics we’ll cover in the “How to sell coaching” section of the “Secrets to $100K+ Coaching/Consulting Business” program, but there we’ll develop it thoroughly with the prospect, here, we don’t want to take more than a minute or so.

This is about being their friend, helping them get what they want, not arguing with them to make a sale. As soon as you argue they’ll think SALESMAN and put up the cross as a sign to ware off the vampire salesman. But if you make it clear, “I’m here to help you”, then by understanding what they really want you are connecting.

Why didn’t it work before

This is when you understand why they THINK it wouldn’t work the way they said it.

If it was something about coaching not working, then ask and listen. If it is about being too costly, then ask them why they think it is too costly, and if it is so important (from the clarify questions) what would they do to get it.

If they are saying things like “coaching doesn’t work”, then listen as they tell you either that they’ve heard stories, or maybe they tried it, or something like it.

Listen and empathize. Don’t justify coaching does work. We’ll turn them around later. This is about connecting and helping them understand that what happened before is different what from will happen next.

Turn Them Around

By now we have all of the information we need, and they need to make a decision. It is up to us to carefully turn their thoughts around, and, as we have said all through this blog post, don’t tell them, don’t argue with them. It’s tempting to jump right in and say,  “See, I’m different, and it does work” or “See you can afford me.” But it will still not work, even here.

The easiest way is to restate a few things we’ve talked about and ask them questions that they will answer and find the aha’s. It’s just coaching by the way, but with the added “process that works”, where to lead them, how to lead them.

When it comes to “too expensive”, asking them “How much more will you make by doing this?” or “What will it do for you in life, or business” and digging for a VALUE statement of how important it is.

If we are talking about “coaching doesn’t work”, by now you should have gotten what they really wanted, and why they thought it wouldn’t work. So now’s the time to ask, “I understand that there are some programs out there that don’t really deliver, if you could get ____________ (either name exactly what they said they wanted, or to list 2 or 3 things your previous clients got that was WAY more than that), would that be of interest to you?

Or for the “too expensive”, use the same approach, “I understand that wanting something when it seems to expensive is frustrating. Let’s see you wanted ____________ that would _______ (make you another $100K, or whatever), what’s the best way to make this happen for you?

Your job is always to get them what they want under any circumstance. Now that you have a commitment from them that they want ______. Your next job is to see to it that they get it, some way.

I have a series of offers. Now that I have a commitment that they want what I can deliver to them. I’ll offer to help them weekly (coaching, but didn’t call it coaching, only discussed the results and value. That’s what they want.) to get what they wanted (and restated exactly what that is and what the ROI is, dollars cost to dollars they’ll get by when).

If that is too expensive, I’ll offer them a mastermind group at 1/2 my coaching fee.

NOTE: NEVER offer the exact same thing at a lower price, negotiating down. However, you can offer the same results by switching responsibilities. As I step down from coaching, the next step is groups where I’m working with 10 or more at a time, so it takes less of my time, but more of theirs. They will have added responsibilities, and may even take them slightly longer to get the results, but they are still getting the same results and value.

The next lower value I offer is a 6 week training course, 1-2 hours a week. This time it’s more of a teaching/training, but with step by step how to’s, and again much more pressure on them to deliver, and not much on me. I still offer to be reached to help them when needed. This one is about 1/2 the mastermind course.

And finally, I offer a virtual coaching program where they read all of the instructions, and I’m available for helping them build the skills until they get the results. And this one is about $99/month.

So, my job is to help them get what they want, but lots of ways to get it. I offer them the biggest, and fastest way first, then step downward until they find a place they feel they can afford it.

In any case, the turn-it-around step is about taking what you’ve already gathered, and asking them “if they could get _____ (name a few results of some of your clients” would that be of interest. Or “If you could get exactly what you want the way you want it, what would that do for you?”

By the way, if you’d like to get a copy of my upcoming book, “Secrets to $100K+ Coaching/Consulting Business – How to Multiply Clients” email me and you’ll be among the first. Or if you’d like to participate in a group of coaches to gather more success stories that will be used in the book, email me.

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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