As a professional coach, you know that a conversation with you is valuable. Maybe life-changing. You’ve trained and studied and done years of work on yourself. Your clients rave about how much their life has changed. You’ve received and invested in powerful coaching yourself.
So why is everyone ignoring you?
You offer some free sessions to your community online, and maybe a few friends take you up on it. You’re offering transformational gold… and you hear crickets.
You tell people about your own amazing transformational experience, and that if you want a similar transformation you would be happy to offer them a conversation. They congratulate you on your growth, and ignore the invitation.
You attempt to ‘educate’ everyone you can about how powerful coaching is, how powerful/clever/inspired/authentic your particular methodology is, and all the areas of someone’s life that can be improved through coaching. And… “good for you, but no thank you.”
I’ve been there. It can be frustrating, disorienting, and lonely.
The Wrong Conversation
This is often one of the first issues I work on when I am coaching coaches, and within the Coaching with Integrity school. The problem isn’t that you need better marketing. The problem is that you are trying to sell people coaching, and NO ONE WANTS COACHING.
You’re not looking for ‘clients’ who are searching for ‘coaching’. There are very few of these in the world (and those few will probably find you through referrals, not marketing.)
You are looking for PEOPLE. People who have a problem. People who have an opportunity. People who are excited, or stuck, or scared, or confused. People who are in a place where you could probably help them.
But they aren’t looking for you, and they aren’t looking for coaching, so stop hanging out a ‘Coach’ banner and expect them to come find you. They’ve diagnosed themselves with a ‘lack of purpose’ problem, a ’difficult business partner’ problem, a ‘procrastination’ problem, a ‘fear of making the leap’ problem, etc. not a ’lack of coaching’ problem.
No one wants ‘coaching’. ‘Coaching’ is abstract. Even someone who’s had coaching before hasn’t experienced your coaching. And they don’t relate ‘coaching’ with their current situation, so when you talk about coaching you’re talking about your world, not their world.
Stop Selling and Listen
So how do you cross the gap? How does someone who doesn’t want coaching somehow end up in a coaching conversation with you?
Talk to people. (Radical, I know.)
Have a lot of conversations. Listen. Ask questions. Care. Be relentlessly helpful.
Talk about them, not about coaching. Don’t assume that they need help, but the better you get at connecting and listening, the more easily you’ll discover areas where they could use some support, or someone they know could use some support.
And at some point you might ask, “Would you like help with that?”
Coaching is not a commodity. It’s not something that people shop around for. But when they have a conversation with someone whom they trust, and who knows about their specific situation, and might be able to help, then they’re happy to have that conversation, because that conversation is about them, not about you.
Michael McDonald, Transformational Coach
P.S. Want to bring your business to the next level through intimacy and impact instead of marketing and sales? Through loving service instead of people-pleasing or manipulating? My Coaching with Integrity 6-month coaching business school is currently enrolling. 5 spots are open as of this morning
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