What It Takes to Be a Complete Expert Coach (The Balance of Value, Marketing and Sales)
The concept of coaching has changed over the years. Coaching is now a viable and thriving business. This has elevated value, marketing, and sales in the coaching vocabulary. Finding the balance between the three is crucial to be a complete expert coach.
Here’s a little bit of my story.
I used to have a stereotypical look at coaching. I have a justifiable reason for this. I’m sure you would understand. But, if you don’t, it’s fine.
When I was younger, I used to see coaches as people who helped others succeed. This hasn’t changed though. I watched a lot of soccer and so that gave me a one-sided definition of coaching. I saw the way they inspired, and led their teams to success. I admired the coaching profession.
Growing up, I noticed that coaching went beyond soccer. I began to know about other aspects of coaching. My perception of coaching began to change. I realized that there was a business side to coaching. I knew about the part of getting results. But, the marketing and sales part was a different story.
What business does a coach have with marketing and sales? I asked this question. I guess you did too.
Now, let’s be realistic.
The days when coaching was only about helping people are gone. The demand for coaching services is increasing. People are ready to pay any amount to solve pressing challenges. This has made coaching a viable industry.
Again, there is a geometric rise in the number of coaches.
Let’s look at the ICF numbers.
In 2006, there were 11,000 registered coaches. The number rose to 19,000 in 2011. From the last survey done in 2016, the number stood at 53,300. This is a 180% increase from the 2011 figure.
Note that there are also coaches who are not ICF members. Though there are no specific figures, but I guess they are in huge numbers.
You can’t afford to focus on helping people only. That will make you famous, but broke. You will have to incorporate marketing and sales strategies.
On the flip side, focusing on marketing and sales alone is a no-brainer. Prospects will see the regular marketer or salesman who only wants to grub them. Again, it directs your prospects away from the value you can give.
Ryan Deiss, a digital marketing expert, said something very profound. He said.
“Businesses that focus on value alone will go broke if they don’t figure out how to make sales. Businesses that focus only on sales will go broke because everyone hates them”.
So, finding the balance between adding great value, marketing and going for sales is important.
Let’s look at them and how they make you a successful coach in business.
This is a buzz word in the business world. In fact, it has been so used that we even get confused about its intended meaning. There’s no content on best business practices that doesn’t talk about value. You see things like “Create value”, “give out value”, “deliver so much value”, and all that. It takes many variations, but still points to one thing – value.
Some have even misunderstood it as “free stuff”. You see this pervading the internet marketing world. When they ask you to provide value, they explain it to mean “give away free stuff”.
Truth is, not all free things are valuable. It doesn’t mean you can’t get valuable stuff for free. But, value is not always about free stuff. It isn’t a bribe you give your prospect in the hopes that they become clients.
Well, there is no one-size-fit-all definition of value. Value means different things to different people. What I see as valuable, might not be valuable to you. So no one has a perfect definition of value.
But, value can take any form – especially, in the business to client (B2C) setting. Here are certain ways we can look at the value you provide your prospects.
- Giving them stuff that makes their lives easier.
- Giving out information that will educate and empower your prospects.
- Dishing out helpful tips that solve particular problems.
Value could be all, some, or even none of these.
To give out value, you must be conversant with what your ideal client needs. You must also know what appeals to them and triggers their interest. In the end, value is about giving your prospects what they want. So you need to know what they want, before you can give it to them. If you are able to identify the pain points of your ideal clients, then you can give them something they will value.
This is a broad topic and every business person should be conversant with it. But, I have come to realize that most coaches still don’t understand how it works. This is why a coach will develop a program and no one buys.
People spend years in college or university studying marketing. In the end, it boils down to the process of making a product or service visible to the ideal customer. Putting it in another way, it is the process of getting customers interested in a product or service.
The focus keyword here is process. Everything you do to get clients, is marketing. It also involves the relationship you build with your clients. Marketing is a non-stop continuous process. Marketing is important if you want to have a consistent flow of clients.
The thing is; most coaches are so concerned about delivering value. They pay less attention to the marketing aspects. They spend a lot of time mastering their stuff. They are very good at what they do. But, they can’t reach the people who need the services. This is because they don’t have a good marketing system in place.
Don’t get me wrong, you need to be on top of your coaching game. I talked about that earlier. It is important and I get it. But, if your valuable program does not get to the right people, it benefits no one.
For a coach, there are three basic things you must work on. These form the basic connecting dots of your marketing.
Your Coaching Program
This is the service you are selling. It is the solution that clients pay for. Without the service, there is nothing to market.
This is where you do 50% of the marketing job. The service must be able to solve a particular problem.
I must be honest; many of the coaches I’ve seen excel at this. Most coaches that come to us already have life-changing programs – programs that have the potential to help people. There are only about a few that get to need a review of their services.
The Price of Your Program
This is the place I’ve seen most coaches under-perform. They set up their prices for the wrong reasons. They undervalue their programs with their prices. Their prices are so wrong that it affects their marketing.
Setting the right price is critical if your marketing is going to be effective. The price you set determines the kind of leads you target. You have to know the value your program delivers. That way, you can set the adequate price for it. It’s okay to charge $10K for a service, if it will deliver much more than that in terms of returns to your clients.
The Marketing Platform
It is important that you use the right marketing platform. The platform should help you reach your ideal client. Truth is, not all platforms can serve your marketing purposes. You need to find out the one that is ideal for your business.
This is important because it costs lots of money to advertise. You can’t afford to waste thousands of dollars on platforms that will not get you results.
So, you have to do a deep study of your ideal clients and where they hang out. When you discover where they are, target your ads to them.
You can’t build a successful coaching business without marketing. It is the bridge between your business and your ideal clients.
It is great to create a life-changing program. It is important to get it in front of your ideal clients. But to sustain your coaching business, you need to sell your program.
Some coaches shiver at the sound of the word, “sales”. They’ll be like; “I don’t want to be the salesman everyone hates”.
Well, you don’t need to be “that salesman” to sell your program. You also don’t need to shiver at the thought of it.
Let me tell you why.
Your program can change someone’s life. It can transform someone’s business. It can solve someone’s life or business challenge. So you should get excited about selling it.
Again, your clients won’t be doing you a favor by enrolling. You are the one doing them a favor. They have the problem, you have the solution. Yes you need their money to sustain your business. But, you are giving them value that is worth more than the money. So, you should be upbeat about selling your program.
That is why you need to add “sales-ability” to your coaching potentials. You are the one that understands exactly the challenge your program solves. You know the nitty-gritty of the program. Who else can convince a prospect to buy if not you?
As a matter of fact, selling should not be so hard for you. If your marketing is effective, then you have warm leads coming through the funnel. They are prospects who have interest in what you offer. They have seen your ads and consumed your contents. They are hot! So selling them should be a breeze.
But, most coaches have this challenge. They find it difficult convincing prospects to buy. They get afraid of sounding “salesy” or getting rejected.
If you find yourself struggling with sales, there are two things you should learn.
State Your Price with Confidence
Confidence is an important attribute if you want to be effective with sales. Prospects are very smart – and crafty. They have all their sensitivities up when you begin to talk about money. They want to justify the amount they pay for your services.
This is not exclusive to high end services. It’s same for a $2,000 service as it is for a $10,000 service. There would always be frictions at that point.
To help your confidence, always keep the prospect focused on what they will benefit. Make them see that the price they pay is worth the service they get. Avoid hyping or undermining gestures. Be firm and uncompromising. This will help you sell your services to the right clients.
Prepare to Address Objections
There are prospects who are not bothered about the price. They are more interested in your ability to deliver. They want to be sure they hired the right coach to help them. So, you see them reeling out tons of questions. These questions help them get clarity about what they are signing up for.
You should always envisage this scenario. So, you have to put yourself in the prospect’s position. Imagine you are the one paying for a coaching program. What are the objections you would raise? What questions are you likely going to ask?
Trust me, the questions you ask yourself are not always far from what the prospect asks. Asking and providing answers to your own objections gets you ready for the prospect.
Are you ready to be a successful coach?
It is possible to be a knowledgeable coach and yet you’re broke. I have seen coaches who felt they were comfortable with only helping people. They manage to get a few clients from time to time. The clients come from supposed referral from previous clients. There’s no predictability or consistency. They continue this way till reality hits them.
You don’t want to be that kind of coach any more. Or do you? I reckon not.
This is why I have given you the tripods that a successful coach stands on.
Take note of these attributes and build on them. You will be a top-notch coach in your market.
If you need help implementing these strategies in your business, then we’ll be glad to help. We have a business strategist on our team waiting to help you.
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