Adding a high-ticket coaching offer to your business can be one of the fastest ways to grow your sales and business online AND give your customers a service they NEED and WANT. In this interview Chuck Anderson reveals how he’s sold millions of dollars in coaching over his career without actually having to sell.
To learn more about how to sell coaching: www.coachmarketinglab.com
Transcription: Episode 69 – How To Easily Increase Your Revenue By Selling Coaching… Without Actually Having To “Sell”
Welcome to the Project Ignite Podcast, a podcast designed to skip the hype, skip the BS and bring you real, actionable tips and strategies to help you grow your business and income on the internet.
This is your host Derek Gehl and today we’re going to be discussing a really powerful way to just about instantly increase your revenue, increase your sales by adding a high ticket, high value coaching services that your tribe, your people, probably already want to your current product line-up.
To help us with learn how to sell coaching online, we have a serial internet entrepreneur, someone that I’ve known for well over a decade and worked with in various capacities over the years. Including today, he’s one of the faculty members on my Ignited Academy where we’re working with regular people helping them build extraordinary businesses online.
He’s also the founder of Coach Marketing Lab where he works with coaches on how to sell coaching services, to develop and scale their businesses. He also works with existing businesses to add coaching services to those businesses, dramatically increasing sales and revenue and that’s what we’re really going to be focusing on on this call today.
Without further ado, I’d like to introduce and welcome Chuck Anderson to the show.
Chuck, thanks for being here to discuss how to sell coaching.
Derek, thank you so much and looking forward to talking with you today.
Fantastic. Before we get started on how to sell coaching though, just take a second, expand on my introduction and give us an overview of your journey as a digital entrepreneur, how you got started and how you ended up today doing what you’re doing with the coaching side and working with these entrepreneurs and coaching coaches and businesses and such.
Sure. Well, my coaching journey started in 1999 and I actually got into coaching completely by accident and it was … we were very early on in our internet marketing experience and back then, there wasn’t really anywhere we could go to learn internet marketing. It was the wild west.
Everyone was figuring out what worked and what didn’t. What happened was people were starting to approach me to find out, “How do we set up our website? How do we market this?” and “How do we sell our product online?”
I fell into it and before I knew it, I was in the business of coaching people how to set up online businesses. Through that, we had to learn how to sell the services, we had to learn how to deliver them, we had to learn how to manage clients, we had to learn how to do all these things.
One thing led to another and I found myself managing a team of internet marketing coaches back in 2007 where we took this and we were able to scale it.
I think at our peak we had about 30 different coaches working simultaneously and there’s just a huge demand for people who wanted that one-on-one help. They wanted that personal touch. It wasn’t enough for them to just learn from reading a book or learn from reading a … watching or reading a course.
They wanted that personal touch. They wanted someone to just lead them by the hand, getting them through building their businesses. There’s huge demand for this
Then one thing led to another again and then I was approached by the company to completely revamp how coaching was sold. We would traditionally have a sales team that would sell coaching and then would have a coaching team that delivered coaching.
The company decided, “No more sales team.” We needed to figure out a way to get coaches to sell coaching services themselves at higher and higher fees.
We’re talking about price points of as low as $2,000 but as high as at the time, $8,000 and now, even now I would sell as high as $25,000 usually.
We had to completely revamp that so we had to rewrite the book on how to sell coaching services and particularly high ticket coaching offers to where the coach was comfortable, they could be successful at it and to also to be able to deliver very valuable coaching to people.
Since then I’ve been coaching companies and individuals on how to grow and scale coaching services so how to take a company that’s already selling a product or a service and then to add this high ticket component to it.
In a nutshell, that’s the journey right? The highlights anyways, there are lots of ups and downs along the way of course. That’s the high level overview of how I got to how to sell coaching.
Yeah, you’ve been online for forever. I know we could probably talk to that.
You make me sound old. 🙂
You’ve been online for a while but I get it and I’m excited about this conversation about how to sell coaching because for all the listeners here, this is something that I’ve done in my business. I’ve worked closely with Chuck on this and it’s been just a really powerful way, not only to add revenue but to add a service that people really want and value.
In many different types of businesses, what you don’t realize is there’s always going to be a certain percentage of your clients that they want this personal touch, they want somebody to just take them by the hand and walk them through this process of whatever it may be and they’re willing to invest to get that personal touch, to get that fast track, to get that guy, that expert to help them along the way.
By not figuring out how to sell coaching, not only are you leaving sales and money on the table but you’re actually doing a disservice to those clients that want that extra level.
Now, let’s dig into how to sell coaching and I guess the first question that I have is really around what kind of businesses can add coaching because I know there’s people listening to this call and they’re probably like, “Wow, can I really do it? Is coaching going to work for my business?”
You’re working with all sorts of businesses including mine, where do you see coaching fitting in what kind of businesses?
Well, the best kind of businesses I would say are any type of business where their clients or their customers have a particular goal or a result that they are trying to achieve whether it’s they’re just starting out or they’ve been at it for a while and they’ve been struggling with it, but there’s some sort of a result that they’re trying to achieve and either they lack the motivation or the knowledge or the skills to be able to do it on their own.
A coach can help them, help bridge that gap. It can help them with the motivation. It can help them with the knowledge and the skills, also to accelerate.
Some people have a result they’re trying to achieve but they don’t want to take forever to get it done either and so they want to accelerate. They want to get it done really, really fast.
The best kind of businesses to learn how to sell coaching are ones where the clients have some sort of a goal or a result that they want to achieve, how-tos or DIYs are a really good place to look where there’s some sort of a how-to that someone is trying to implement or a result that they are trying to achieve.
The other ones are ones where they’re trying to save or repair something, something of value. There’s something there that your clients are really passionate and care about, there’s a result that they’re trying to achieve and for whatever reason it’s been alluding them and they just can’t achieve it on their own and it’s just not enough anymore to read an eBook or to take an online course.
They really want that personal touch. They need someone to just lead them by the hand and get it done really, really quickly.
That covers quite a wide range of types of businesses and some of them are really obvious, you might look and go, “Yeah, I have a how-to type of business and my clients really want to achieve this particular result.”
Others, you may have to think about a little bit but really and when I do my workshops, I always challenge people, “Give me two minutes and tell me about your business and I can explain back to you how you could apply a coaching offer to that business.”
I really see it as being unlimited opportunity.
Yeah, absolutely. One of the things I really wanted to point out there as well is I think a lot of people when they are putting say their offer together for coaching, they’re really focused in believing that the value that they’re selling is in the actual … in the training itself, in the skill to an extent it is but so much of why people invest in this personal coaching or this higher level coaching is something that you highlighted there which is motivation or another way to flip it would be accountability as well.
I know I’ve seen that time and time again as people invest in these training courses that are typically self-directed or some kind of something that’s self-directed to achieve an outcome but they need somebody to hold their hand and they’re willing to pay for that level of personal touch to provide the motivation and accountability that a coach actually will.
It’s interesting how many business can add this kind of element to it but next step … I guess my next question is assuming that you have a business model that can add coaching and again creatively there’s lots of businesses that can, what does coaching actually look like though? How does it scale? What is it? What are you offering? These are important questions when working out how to sell coaching.
Let’s dig in now and come up with, I guess maybe one of the best ways to do this would be come up with a coaching offer right? When you’re sitting down with a business and they’re saying, “Hey, yeah I’d like to know how to sell coaching. How do I package this? What does it look like? What’s the offer?”
Sure. I think the first thing that really has to happen is you have to understand what your client needs and wants and they’re not likely going out there looking for coaching.
Some people are, there’s a small percentage of the market that is specifically looking for a coach where they’ve already made that decision in their mind but it’s not like … for example, if you’re shopping for a soup, you go to the supermarket and you go to the aisle where soup is and you buy a soup and it’s easily solved.
With coaching, people are not specifically looking to buy coaching, What they want to do is that they want to achieve a result, and where a lot of companies go wrong when they look at this or even deciding whether or not coaching is a good fit for their product mix is they think that coaching has to be some sort of separate offer.
There’s going to be some sort of major component to it but really it’s just really an extension of what you already do really well.
Whether you’re selling an eBook or an online course or some other product or service, there’s a problem that that product solves. There’s some result that the people using that product are trying to achieve.
Now, if they can … Let’s say, it’s a software product, if they can log in and use that software product and solve their problem, great but if they get in there and they’re not sure what to do or if they’re confused or if it’s just taking too long then there’s really good positioning there for that next level of service.
Rather than figuring it out on your own or DIY which a lot of people are doing, how about if we just work together? How about if we just get that done really, really fast together?
A one-on-one situation is a really great place to start when you’re deciding how to sell coaching because you can take a single client and you can solve that problem. Maybe they paid $200 for the software service, maybe now they’ll pay $2,000 or in some cases $20,000 for you to help them to achieve that result personally.
That’s the critical first step in how to sell coaching online is to really understand what is the result because they’re not buying coaching. What they buy is a result.
What you’re looking for is that segment of your client-base, of your customer-base that is struggling. They’ve been using the product, they have not been able to be successful so far and they need and they want more.
Coaching is not a separate product, it’s really just an extension of what you already do except it’s really about how it’s delivered. Online course is delivered automatically online through video tutorials and downloadable content, whereas a coaching service is delivered by you or one of your employees or one of your team members where it’s got that personal touch.
Okay, let’s pick something and do some role playing on how to sell coaching. I was reading a book actually the other day on Forex. Let’s say that I have a business and in this business I’ve created an online course on how to trade Forex. I sell this course for $97 and for $97, you have access to a membership website. In that membership website, we have Forex 101, we have Advanced Forex Trading, stuff like that.
We have all of this stuff for $97 and I’m a client, I’ve come into that. Now, what would be in … If you were coaching me, what would be the coaching package? What would that look like?
Right. The very first step is who is your customer, who is buying your online course and …
They’re just average regular people that are looking to make some extra money in their spare time. They have seen Forex as one of their methods for using money they’ve already made to leveraging that money to trade and make more money in their spare time. Really, it’s wealth creation.
Right. Okay, great. That’s who they are. Now, the second thing to think about is what is the … and as specific as possible, what is the end result that they ultimately want to achieve through your course? They’ve signed up to the course. There’s something that they want to achieve. What is their ultimate goal?
I want to make money trading Forex and I mean, why do I want to make money? Well, there’s probably a bigger reason to that. I want to make money without having to go to work. I want to be able to replace my income, I want to quit my job and have ways to make additional money or maybe just make some extra money in my spare time to buy that house and put my kids to university.
Right. How important would it be to you to achieve that result?
Massively important, hugely important. I’m out there looking. I’m searching for the solution. It’s a life changing decision, really when you break it down.
If you are not going to achieve that result and or if it somehow became impossible, how would that feel?
It would suck. Life would go on the way it was and I wouldn’t have solved the problem. Yeah.
Taking that one step further, what is it costing you in your life in terms of happiness, lost opportunity, lost income, that sort of thing, every day that goes by that you have not achieved this goal, what is it costing you?
Yeah. That’s a thought provoking question. Really you’re just putting the knife in and then turning it some more. Agitating the problem.
Exactly, but when people are buying the course, there’s a goal that they want to achieve and they really, really want it and then the case of a money making thing, it’s always beyond the money. It’s not the money but it’s what they think that the money can buy. For some people it might be just to make a few hundred extra dollars of passive income.
For others it might be total income replacement, total lifestyle change whatever. There’s two sides of it, there’s pain and gain. Gain is what is the goal or the ultimate end result that they want to achieve. Pain is what is it costing you everyday that goes by that you have not achieve that result. Okay? There’s some frustration there.
They’re trying to go through the online course and figure it all out and every day that goes by that they can’t figure it out and that for whatever reason the result is starting to elude them, that frustration builds and builds and builds and builds and builds and it’s a frustration that is not being satisfied by your current product offer.
That creates a need and a desire. If you have now a client who is in that place, how can you then extend your service? Rather than just the online course for $97, what process could you take them through? How many weeks would you need to work with them?
Let’s say you worked with them for an hour a week to take them through the steps, how many weeks would it take you to get them through that process to where now they’re not struggling anymore, now they can actually achieve a result.
Right. One of the things, I just want to pause here and just point something out to the listeners is have you noticed that we have not once, as we’ve role played this is not once have we talked about Forex, not once have we talked about the features, the things that you’re going to get out of it.
Now, obviously as we walk through the sales process we’re probably going to need to get to that but I guess here’s one of the things I’d like just point out and tell me if you agree or disagree, but if I have this Forex course that I’m selling online and it teaches Forex and it does a really good job, the reality is is in this personal coaching, I’m not necessarily going to be revealing anything different than what’s already in the course.
I think that’s one of the things for people to get their heads wrapped around with how to sell coaching services, is it’s not about new information.
It’s about as Chuck said accelerated delivery, accountability and I think people learn in different ways. Some people just don’t have the self-discipline or the ability to watch a video online and learn and they need that teacher or that coach.
I just wanted to take a step back and highlight some of the points that we went through there about how to sell coaching because it’s fascinating to anybody who knows how to sell really well especially this high ticket has nothing to do per say with the content of the course.
Now, we’ve walked through, role played the sales process of how to sell coaching and now let’s fast forward a little bit though and talk about what does this package look like? What actually are you selling me? How long is it? What are price points? What does this look like? What should be people be aiming for?
Sure. Well, the first thing to understand in coaching is that coaching is a … it’s a service, it’s a time based service and the product is not so much the information but it’s the time and the result. You got to price that accordingly, otherwise if you undercharge, you’re going to find yourself with a lot of clients and very, very little time to deliver to them. There’s going to be that balance.
The other thing is how valuable is this end result to the end user. I guess we could talk pricing a little bit later but in terms of structuring, where we always start is say, “Okay. If I was going to take someone from my online course and they’re struggling, they’re obviously not going to get that result with the online course but now I’m going to coach them through it.”
If I was going to take them through that process personally, let’s say one hour a week on the phone, how many weeks would I need with them and I usually start with the assumptions that it’s going to be somewhere around eight to twelve weeks.
12 weeks, it’s three months, it’s 90 days. There’s so much marketing juice in that and also it’s a length of time that seems valuable but is also not too long where it’s hard to commit too.
Most people can get their heads around a three month commitment. A great place to start, if you’re going figuring out how to sell coaching and you want to map out a coaching program or what a coaching program would look like for your business is get out a piece of paper, yes I still write on paper.
For those of you who want to type it out, you may do this in excel or whatever program, Evernote, whatever you want to use and just go numbers one through twelve and if you’re going to meet with your client once a week for twelve weeks, what are the key points or the key deliverables that you would want to be delivering on each one of those weeks which is a great starting point.
You want to know, have an outline of what are those things and where you’re going to look through your online course, you already have it in there. There’s already the steps that you’ve outlined in your course and your process in coaching doesn’t have to be any different.
What’s different is how it’s delivered. Instead of watching videos, you’re just going to be coaching them through it personally.
The content can be exactly the same. This does not have to be a long process to outline your program. Just simply look at your online course, follow that outline and then start with the assumption that it is one hour a week for twelve weeks, such a great and easy place to start. There’s lot of different ways to structure a program but that once a week program is a really great way to start.
One of the things I want to highlight there about how to sell coaching, something you said early on when you’re talking about this was you don’t want to make it too long and I think this is a trap people following to is I think longer equals more value.
I’ve seen this where people like, “Yeah, I’ve got a monthly coaching program. It goes for twelve full months.” When in reality, that’s actually a turn off for the people that are buying coaching because coaching is in many cases, one of your key selling points here is it’s an acceleration process.
By dragging it out for this massively extended period of time, that’s not what people want. People want condensed acceleration and that’s really what you’re selling. Now, one other thing I wanted to point out there which I love is how you said, “Okay, let’s say it’s an eight week or a twelve week program. Each week, write down what are you going to deliver.”
I wanted to drill into that because what those twelve points over the twelve weeks become are your selling points. Now, you’re not selling necessarily what they’re going to learn but rather the outcome of each week.
With what Chuck’s talking about here is you can say, “Okay, in week one, here’s what you’re going to have completed. Week two, here’s the outcome, here’s where you’ll be and now they actually on wow, this is my outcome, this is my outcome. That’s fantastic.
That’s where the value is. Now, let’s dig a little bit deeper into scale though because I think scale is one of those things that a lot of people kind of screw up. If you’re purely coaching one to one, Well I mean I guess you can probably answer this, let’s say your coaching clients are an hour, your coaching sessions are an hour long … how and you’re doing one a week? Each client has one a week. If you’re doing an hour a week, how many clients could you handle in a week if each session was an hour?
I think we have to assume here that there’s other activities going on throughout your week so you’re not just coaching, you’re not just doing coaching sessions. You have to leave yourself availability to do all of the other tasks in your business.
The assumption that we usually start with is that the average coach could handle 12 to 15 simultaneous clients depending on what their other workload is, for some, it’s less, sometimes it’s six to eight but we usually start with the assumption that it’s somewhere around 12 to 15.
Now, if you had 12 or 15 one hour appointments every week with clients, you could fit that into your schedule. There’s also going to be some emailing back and forth and then there’s also the other things you need to do to run your business. For most solo coaches, that would be a full time gig.
You hit your maximum capacity really quick. Couple things with learning how to sell coaching, number one, you don’t want to undercharge because that time has to add up to something significant.
The second thing in learning how to sell coaching is that this is what turns a lot of people off and where they look at coaching and they say, “You know what? That doesn’t really fit our product mix because I don’t have the time to do this. It doesn’t really fit in what I’ve got to do. If it was bigger yet then maybe.”
That’s where scalability comes in and a couple things is you can either look at how to scale so that you as the expert can handle more clients. You might be going to a one to many type of situations such as group coaching.
You might also look at accelerated … super accelerated delivery such as a VIP day where it’s instead of coaching them over a 12 week period, you give them one day. You give them one day and it’s super accelerated. It’s a full day.
A lot of VIP days are anywhere from I would say six to 10 hours and you just super accelerate through the whole thing and it’s rapid delivery on a solopreneur basis that those kinds of things work, but what if you could find people out there who could also come on to your team and be a coach?
There are so many coaches out there that are well, well trained in coaching proficiencies and even knowledgeable in your market that are starving for clients. Plus, they know how to sell coaching.
You have the business, you have the clients, they need the clients and that’s the other thing you could do if you’re figuring out how to sell coaching is you can start to look at recruiting and working with other coaches.
It doesn’t have to be your time. The key point that you want to think about here is am I scaling my time? Am I scaling my ability so it’s just going to be me? How many clients could I reasonably work with? There’s different tiers.
You could have certain amount of one-on-one, you could have a certain amount of group, you can have a certain amount of VIP days or do you want to build a team? To what point does this scale where you could potentially build a team of people and manage that coaching team?
Yeah. Shifting from scale, let’s talk about pricing and one of the challenges that I see in learning how to sell coaching is not in the prices people are selling for but the own mental barriers people have when they’re valuing their coaching. People have real issue with charging, I think what they’re really worth.
When you’re working with someone to determine pricing of coaching, obviously there’s market factors that are going to play a role in determining price and what the niche is but where do you start with pricing?
Yeah, it’s a good question and there’s two big factors that are going to affect ultimately what you’re going to charge.
- Number one is the market value of the result that you are promising to your clients. What are they going to achieve as a result of going through your coaching?
- The other thing is your confidence level in order to ask for that value and one big mistake that people always make here is they think how much per hour could I base my coaching on.
I’ve heard it thrown out there in how to sell coaching material, that the average coach should price their stuff based on $150 an hour and some of you just said, “Wow, that’s a lot” and others just said, “Well, that’s not very much.” Again, that’s kind of speaking to the confidence that you have but it’s the wrong way to look at it.
You want to get away completely from how much per hour could I charge for my coaching because it’s not about time.
It’s really important to understand that even though in coaching, the time that they’re spending with you is part of the deliverables but that’s not what they’re buying. I’m sure you’re a nice person but ultimately it’s not the time that they’re buying, it’s the result.
What you really want to ask yourself when deciding how to sell coaching first is what is the result worth?You look at that a couple of ways. What do they stand to gain so when they achieve that result, what is that gain worth and also the other thing is the frustration. The fact that they haven’t been able to solve it on their own and everyday that goes by there’s costs.
There’s cost in terms of the results and the opportunities, there’s cost in terms of happiness, there’s cost in terms that personal stress and frustration this result has been alluding for some time. The value is in dealing with that cost. There’s a cost to not having the result right now and there’s this gain of getting the result.
What is that worth?
For example, Let’s say that I’m a relationship coach and I’m going to help you how to save your marriage or how to avoid divorce. What is the average divorce cost a couple? If you have to go through all the legal fees and work with lawyers and maybe there’s custody involved and stuff, I know of couples that have spent well into above $30,000 in legal fees.
If I’m a coach who could proactively work with you to avoid divorce or to repair the relationship, it is not going to that direction. What was the savings in terms of financially, mentally, emotionally, physically? There’s a lot of value there and if your coaching program let’s say is $3,000, even if it was $5,000 would that be less than giving the lawyers 30,000? That’s what you’re going to look at.
I wanted to use relationship coach as an example of how to sell coaching because it’s a bit intangible. Let’s go back to your Forex example. If I teach you how to do a Forex and now instead of struggling, now you’re making this month, you made $200 and next thing, next month you made $500 and now you’re making a thousand dollars a month.
If what I show you now makes you a thousand dollars a month in passive income, take that out a year that’s $12,000 this year in passive income and take that out two, three years, what is that worth? What was it worth to finally overcome and gain that result?
It’s not about the $150 an hour and it’s not … again, it comes down to your confidence. Are you confident in your ability to deliver that result?
Some people test the water is really cheap … it’s like “$500, $1,000 from my coaching service.” But you want to get to that point where you’re charging what your result is worth and based upon the gain and the overcoming the cost to your client. Most coaching programs are going to be somewhere a starting point between $2,000 and $5,000 usually.
Okay, good. Yeah, the Forex has such a clear value proposition that’s easier to figure out how to sell coaching, but I love the fact that you used an intangible outcome or the more the relationship side and another one which is even less tangible because divorce you can still apply, you’re going to save this much money in legal fees but I mean one that’s been massive is dating or the male space, how to meet and pick up women effectively.
That’s a niche that I’ve watched flourish to the point that there are coaching programs now where guys literally fly around the world and go into cities and coach people and guy spends thousands of dollars to go out with these guys and what’s called a … I guess a wingman service to learn how to do this.
It’s fascinating because one of my early clients on that started something like this and has turned into this national business and it’s all based effectively on coaching and these guys that go out and guys are paying to be there, for them to be a wingman to go out and learn how to pick up women.
Totally intangible. They’re figured out how to sell coaching based on this emotional outcome. There’s no clear value proposition but fascinating what people are willing to pay for to get that personal attention beyond just the online course.
Let’s shift gears one more time now and let’s talk about the actual sales process. There’s two ways that I see coaching sold and two ways that I’ve sold it in the past.
One is with the traditional sales team that’s out there working the leads and in many cases they’re hard closing, there’s lot of sales floors that you can contract and they’ll go out there and close leads for you like crazy. They know how to sell coaching.
Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of that because I don’t like hard selling the services because something I learned working with you is you don’t need to.
I really like the how to sell coaching approach that you have taken that we used with my programs and stuff like that which is a lot lower pressure more of a consultative approach. Let’s walk through that because I think a lot of people are thinking to themselves, “Yeah, this sounds all good and well but I don’t want to have to be on the phone hard selling my coaching.”
How do you do it? What’s the process?
The background of this is that hard selling is beyond most people’s comfort level. There are some people out there who do it extremely well and they sleep well at night doing it, I for one am not one of those people.
Although, I am trained in sales skills and I was … I would say moderately successful at it when I used that method selling.
One of the best things we ever did was we dropped all of that. There’s was an experiment that we ran. When I was running a coaching team, we got rid of the sales team. We informed to the coaches that, “Okay, from now on you’re going to be selling your own clients.” Half of them were excited about that and the other half ran for the door because they weren’t interested in learning how to sell coaching.
We had to have this how to sell coaching method that plays to people’s comfort level first of all but also is effective. What we came up with is a free consultation process that will take that relationship or that potential coaching relationship, get it started, build that relationship, build the value and ultimately get them signed up.
Now, I will give the disclaimer here. This is not about giving away free coaching and coaching people for free.
It’s what you do is you start with a single call and you call it the discovery session. Call it the strategy session, whatever.
The goal there is to learn as much as you can about your potential client.What are their goals? What are their needs? Ultimately, what is the result that they want to achieve? Why are they struggling? What are the obstacles that are preventing them from achieving this result? Where’s the struggle been? How important to them is to achieve this goal and what is it costing them everyday or every month that goes by that they are not able to achieve this goal?
By way of about a 30 to 45 minute conversation, all you’re going to do is be curious. You’re going to ask a lot of questions and the goal is just to understand all of these points that I just made about your potential client.
Here’s where a lot of coaches go wrong is they go into a sales mode after that and they try to sell them on that first call and I think that’s a tremendous mistake and I actually discovered that doing that produces four times less clients than when I don’t try to sell on that first call.
What we did instead was just focused on that discovery and then take all the answers to those questions and put them into a really comprehensive proposal that reiterates their goals and the value to them and the overcoming of the cost and the frustration and the stress.
Here’s how we’re going to get you to this goal that you ultimately wanted. We give them that proposal and then usually a single follow up call after that to discuss it.
Something that happens is by lengthening that sales process just a little bit, it solidifies the relationship. There’s trust and it opens that space to be able to charge a high ticket value.
Let’s say your coaching program is $5,000, kind of hard to close people on a $5,000 sale on a first call without really going into a high pressure mode even if you know how to sell coaching, but when you do it this way and you discover and you’re genuinely interested in their situation and then you give them this really solid proposal and this takes place maybe over a seven-day period instead of a one day period.
That trust is there and there’s this … there’s more willingness to make that investment into your coaching.
Free consultation, proposal and then follow up and it’s produced four times more clients. They’re happier. It’s the best way I’ve found for how to sell coaching.
We haven’t had to use any high pressure techniques to get them to sign up and the relationship is on a really good foundation through now the rest of your coaching and that was something that was missing when we have the sales team because the sales team would say whatever it took to get the sale and then the coach would get them and there was sometimes a disconnect but this process here really honors the relationship and get it started on a really good foundation.
When looking at how to sell a coaching program, it’s just a better way to sell. People get to know the coach. You offer real value in that discovery, in that initial strategy session. When you’re going out to your people and positioning that’s say, “Hey, I’m opening this up for a strategy session or a discovery session. Come sign up. I’ll give you 30 minutes or an hour strategy session.”
You can feel good about that because even if they don’t sign up immediately you’ve now spent some significant time with them providing some real value that I believe will pay dividends in a long term.
A question I have for you about how to sell coaching is how often do you find that somebody might do that initial strategy session, not sign up but potentially come back later on?
It happens quite a lot because of the way we do this and because of the depth of information that we went to in that strategy session, the proposal, they almost feel guilty for saying no and also it’s presented as being a no-brainer. Here’s a result that you want to really want to achieve and here’s a plan that can help you to achieve it.
For whatever reason they were not able to move forward in that time but most of them will email and be very apologetic about it and they’re thinking about it all the time because as they continue that struggle, as they continue to solve the problem on their own and they’re still unable to do it, many of them will come back and say, “Hey, that proposal you gave me a few months ago is that still on the table?”
A big takeaway from that about how to sell coaching is just because someone says no to you today, don’t write them off.
Get them into an autoresponder sequence or something and drop out an email to them every week or every couple of weeks or at least once a month just to check in and say, “Hey.” and it keeps you on top.
I’ve had people that I gave proposals to a year ago come back and say, “Hey, you know what? Remember me? We talked a year ago. I’m ready to go now.” That’s great and that wouldn’t happen if we had written them off and said we were just looking at that immediate sale.
Learning how to sell coaching involves learning that coaching is a relationship business. It’s not all about getting the sale right now. Although, it’s really, really nice when that happens and it does happen a lot. It’s about nurturing that relationship and the trust and to the point where they see you as a way to get to their result even faster than they’re already getting there.
One of the points about how to sell coaching I’d like to highlight there as well is when you’re recruiting people or when you’re doing your lead generation to that first appointment, you need to be strategic when you’re going out and shaking the trees, if you will, for leads.
Let’s take Forex for example. If you have somebody that arrives at your site, they sign up for your $97 Forex course and immediately you say, “Hey, come out of this discovery session with me or this strategy session” or this whatever it may be and they sign up.
It may be a little bit too soon because what’s going to happen is they don’t know you well yet.
They haven’t consumed any of your current stuff, your current training and sometimes a lot of people want to give it a go on their own and what if you’ve got good online training, a lot of people will succeed but there’s other people that just won’t have the discipline or they’ll just say … Once they start consuming that training, they’re going to think “Hey, this training is great.” and they’re now ready for you to talk to them.
I guess my whole point is just make sure you’re not choosing the wrong point in the customer life cycle to offer this accelerated coaching. This is important when thinking about how to sell coaching.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think this is something you would offer the first day somebody ever finds out about you or comes across you.
I think this is something that can definitely vary from business to business because there are some things where there’s just an imminent need, if it doesn’t get solved this month, I’m going to have major, major, major problems.
You look at your business and the mindset of your customer.
Let’s say in the case of Forex. I’m excited about learning Forex. I just bought this course. I’m optimistic that this course is going to help me so I’m satisfied. There’s no pain there.
You want to find the people who they’ve been at it for awhile. They’ve watched some videos, they’re working on it but for whatever reason, they haven’t been able to get the results. Now, you reach out to them at that point and say “Hey, are you struggling with … fill in the blank” You’re looking for the people in your process, in your customer list who are frustrated.
They need the result and they need the result now. When their mindset is at that point, that’s a really great point to talk to them and in different businesses, sometimes that is right away, other times you’ve got to let that incubate for a while until that frustration grows.
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Now we’re running out of time here. Before we wrap up, where can people find out more about what you’re doing, get more information about how to sell a coaching program, where do they go?
Sure, my website is www.coachmarketinglab.com and whether an already existing business where you’re already selling products and you’re looking to add a high ticket or a high priced coaching offer as part of your mix or even just to explore that, it’d be a great thing to do to have a conversation about how to sell coaching.
If you’re a coach or consultant or a solopreneur who would like to add a high value service to the things that you already offer then it’s a good fit for you as well and we can help you to determine whether or not coaching service is a good fit for your business and how to sell coaching.
We can discuss how to layer upon what you’re already planning to offer, what to charge, how to structure your program, how to roll it out, how to market it and ultimately how to scale it whether that scale is with you or if its scales with building a team.
Really, just whatever goal you want to achieve with that, but I will say this and that is if you don’t consider adding one of these services to your existing business, then you’re really leaving a lot of money and opportunity on the table so it’s worth having the conversation to see if it is a good fit for your business.
I totally agree. By not learning how to sell coaching, it’s not only are you leaving a lot of potential money on the table, I truly believe that you’re also doing disservice to the clients that really need this level of support and in many niches that is, it’s out there. They need that level of support.
That was fantastic. Chuck, thank you so much for just unconditionally sharing all your knowledge on how to sell coaching. You’ve got so many years of experience doing this. There’s so much success behind you, there’s just so much value there so thank you so much for participating today.
Thanks Derek. It was an honor to be here and I hope everyone found it helpful.
Good stuff. All right everyone that was coaching expert Chuck Anderson and as always any links mentioned in the interview will be included in the show notes along with an entire transcript of this episode and you can find all of that at projectignite.com/podcast.
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This is your host Derek Gehl signing off.