How to sell coaching … or not

Today I was browsing through some discussion topics in an online group I belong to, and came across a request for input on a new product that a parent coach was creating for her clients. This coach is working on a home study product designed to help parents feel more confident about their parenting.


My radar always goes off when I see a coach who is trying to sell coaching.
What I mean by “selling coaching” is that you’re trying to sell the things we coaches are best able to help our clients achieve, like “balance, happiness, fulfillment,” etc. In the words of my own coach and mentor, Rhonda Hess, “Coaching doesn’t sell.” This is very scary news to hear when you’re a life coach who has just spent a ton of money to get yourself certified and is out there looking for some clients to work with. But it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful as a coach. It’s all in how you position what you offer to your target audience.

Below is my response to the parent coach who was asking our group for our ideas and suggestions about her product. Read on to see my coaching to her for how to create a product her clients will want to buy.

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So I’m glad you’re doing some “market research” by asking for some feedback here. Often times we create a product or service offering that we think is a good idea, but we don’t check it out with our audience before investing a lot of time, effort and energy into it.

I know that you see a lot of parents out there who are not confident in themselves as parents, and I’m sure that as a parent yourself and a coach, you know the unbelievable value of getting to the other side of that, and know how that confidence makes a huge positive impact on your child.

That said, it’s hard to sell “being more confident.” I’ve been a coach for five years now, and I spent the first two of them trying to sell “life coaching” and all of the things we help our clients achieve like “balance, happiness, fulfillment, etc.” While these are clearly important and valuable, I found it very hard to get people to put a price tag on them and pull out their wallets to pay me for them.

How connected are you with your target audience? Are you engaged with them, talking with them in person and online, coaching them already? What are their top problems and challenges? What are they telling you they need help with? And what are they willing to pay for? I.e. Are they willing to pay in order to be more confident in their lives?

My experience is that although they want this really badly, they can’t justify spending money on it.

Now, that said, you may still have a great product to create. My coaching to you would be to check in with your target audience. Ask them if they “need this” and what they would be willing to pay for it. By having some great conversations with your target audience about their problems, challenges and concerns, you will learn what they are most willing to pay for. As a mom and a coach, you have a wealth of resources you could provide to solve their problems. Make your offerings be solutions to your clients “pains” and they’ll sell.

It’s not a question whether you or your services are valuable–it’s all about how you market what you offer so that your target audience realizes they NEED it.

Let’s help her out: Are you a parent who needs help building your confidence about your parenting? What sort of things would help you with this? And would you be willing to pay for a home study guide to support you? Please leave your feedback below.

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