Now, the quality of your sales skills is going to dictate your positive impact on the world.
Because guess what.
If you’d don’t have clients you can help, than that transformation that you are so eager to offer to the world will stay in your head as a mere fantasy.
And if you can’t sell, I’m sad to say, they are just going to go to your competitor.
So let’s talk about the inconvenient truth.
The buying decision making of coaching or therapy clients is not very much different from them buying a detergent.
They do care about different outcomes, but their decision making is pretty much the same:
- Compare you with other coaches or counselors
- Find out the cost and how you are different than others
- Use whatever information they can get to figure out if they can trust that you get them and can help them
- After all that quasi-logical research, make a completely emotional decision on who to go with
I bet they didn’t tell you that in your psychotherapy or coaching training.
And they definitely didn’t teach you sales.
If you’re lucky, you got a one-day workshop on getting clients.
And then you still have no clue on how to do it after the workshop was done.
So the system failed you, and this something that I’m actively working to change as a doctoral student in Counseling education and Supervision and an adjunct faculty at a counseling program at Naropa University.
Until that happens, whose responsibility you think it is to close that gap?
Yep, you, and only you.
So let’s start by demystifying the word sales.
It is nothing else than convincing a potential client (or an existing one) to take action and/or change their beliefs.
When you’re thinking about sales you’re probably imagining a salesperson convincing someone to take the action of paying money for a product or service.
This is an extremely narrow understanding of sales that WILL really hurt your business.
The thing is that as a coach or counselor it is crucial to understand sales because you have to sell your potential clients not once, not twice, but six times.
Getting Coaching Clients
Hint, selling your services is only a byproduct of these six sales.
- Selling your name: When your potential clients search for a coach or counselor, either by asking their friends, or cold searching online, they first need to be interested enough to add you to their narrowed research list. You’re competing for the two biggest currencies today: time and attention.
- Selling yourself: When your potential client spends time looking at your website and talking to you on the phone, you have to sell yourself as the person who can take them from where they are today to where they really want to be. Uncomfortable? Too bad. If they don’t think you’re that person, they’re just going to go to the person they think can. When they consider buying your next coaching package or booking a next session with you, they need to be sold on the fact that working with you BY FAR outweighs the money they “save” by not working with you, or the feeling of novelty they’ll experience by working with someone else.
- Selling their problem to them: If you succeed in explaining to your potential clients their problems better than they can understand it themselves, more often than not they will become your clients.
- Selling them their perfect future: If your potential clients can vividly imagine how their life COULD or even better WILL be after working with you, you’ll give them an extremely compelling reason to work with you.
- Selling them your solution: No one cares about your certifications and diplomas, except yourself and your colleagues. You are not selling to your clients your education history. You are selling to them the belief that you hold the solution to their problems. Even if at the end they are the solution
- Selling hope: If your counseling clients don’t book the second session, and if at the end of the strategy coaching call or session your clients are not ready to start working with you, it means that you missed the most important sale. Your clients have to be sold on the fact that they are more powerful than they think, and that you are the person who can help them generate that hope. One of my mentors once said that we are in the hope business. Without hope your clients will not take action and change their lives BETWEEN the sessions with you. The power of hope is by far the biggest motivator. If you can sell hope to your clients, they will be sold on the fact that they indeed can change their lives for the better, with your help at first (otherwise they would just do that on their own already). And when they do, they are the ones who will be selling you to their family members and friends.