Does selling your own coaching or consulting feel uncomfortable or just plain hard?
Yep, it is.
There are special obstacles you need to overcome when you’re selling the intangible, such as coaching, healing, and consulting services. While there are plenty of training courses on how to sell better, very few of them deal with selling coaching or consulting.
Check out these 5 1/2 tips that regular sales training doesn’t usually cover.
1) Overcome Their Biggest Objection – Themselves
It’s common to hear ‘I can’t afford it’ when you’re offering something for sale. But when you’re offering transformation – that you’ll help someone change her life, business, relationship, or health – there is another huge objection, and it’s one that is often unspoken.
“I don’t know if I can do this.”
“I don’t know if I can change.”
“I don’t know if this will work for me.”
In other words – your prospective client doesn’t doubt you, or your offering. She doubts herself, and her ability to get the transformation.
If you don’t handle this unspoken objection, none of your sales efforts will work. You overcome this objection using three steps:
- Your prospective client must feel the pain of staying where she is: she must have a powerful incentive to change.
- You have to help her identify that it is herself, not you or your offering that she doubts.
- You have to give her reasons to believe that THIS time will be different.
2) Handle the Runaway Conversation
Sometimes people just want to be heard. Whether someone has told her story a hundred times, or never told anyone before, you may get in a conversation with someone who wants to tell you her life story. Allowing her to do this sets up a bad dynamic for a future relationship. It also encourages her to believe that her story is unsolvable.
Instead, set up the conversation from the beginning by saying ‘I want to serve you during this conversation at the highest level. That means, if I see you telling me something that isn’t going to help me to help you, I’d like your permission to interrupt you, so I can keep us focused on what will support you long-term. May I have your permission to do that?’
3) Use a Proven System to Sell.
If you’re winging it through a sales conversation, hoping that someone will throw a credit card at you, you’re not going to get the results you want.
There are formats for sales conversations that make it easier for you to help your prospective client see what she needs, and make a good decision on what will serve her. If you don’t have a proven system, chances are good one of the following will happen:
- The person you’re talking to will control the conversation
- You’ll experience many moments of doubt, wondering ‘what should I say next’?
- You won’t know when to offer your services without seeming sales.
There are many systems out there, but not many are geared for transformational sales. Here’s one that might be useful.
4) Your Confidence Sells
If you lack confidence in any way – even in your sales ability – your prospective client will ‘read’ that lack of confidence as a lack of confidence in what you offer. She will doubt how good your services are, not because you’re not great, but because there is something in your energy, body language, or tone of voice, that says ‘I’m not fully confident about this.’
When you’re selling transformation, it’s much harder to see the benefits than if you’re selling a teakettle. Your prospective client will be looking to you for clues about how to think about what you’re offering.
When you’re confident in your ability to provide transformation, and yourself, and your ability to sell effectively, you present an inspiring package that feels reassuring to your prospective client. She can rest in your confidence, while she’s developing confidence in herself, and her ability to transform.
5) Don’t Offer a Bandaid
As a coach, healer, or consultant you’re probably used to helping people as soon as a need appears. However, if you step in to sooth or inspire when a prospective client indicates she has pain, you’ll ruin the sale (and not serve her, either.)
Think of it this way: if your prospective client has a long-term problem that working with you can solve, she should have pain or discomfort about that issue. And while you could probably help turn around that pain in the moment, doing that won’t usually solve the long-term issue. Removing the immediate pain takes away her incentive to start working with you, but since it doesn’t handle the long-term issue, she will walk away from the conversation with you, only to have the pain return later than day, or the next day. And you won’t be there at that time with a solution.
It’s like giving someone a bandaid when what she really needs is surgery. It doesn’t serve her best interests.
5.5) Sell a System, not a Session.
One of the best ways to offer transformation that is NOT a bandaid is to offer a system, not a session. Create an organized offering of your transformational gifts that provides a specific outcome. This is usually easier to sell, and easier for your client to grasp and work through.
For example, if you’re stranded with a flat tire, you want a towing service to change your tire. You don’t care what kind of wrench the towing service uses. If the service said ‘let me tell you about our wrenches! They’re so powerful, made of a special steel, etc…’ you wouldn’t care. The question that you want to have answered is ‘can you get me driving again, quickly?’
Don’t sell the wrench to people, which is your modality or methodology (like EFT tapping, coaching, consulting, or healing). Sell the outcome.
If you’d like more great tips on sales that are authentic, heart-centered, and in service of your clients, you might enjoy this.