Ep 52 – Listeners’ Choice 2019 – How to Enroll More Coaching Clients Without Being Salesy

Last week I shared the Listeners’ Choice #1 Best Episode and again it had record plays!

A shout out to Susan who wrote:

“So much truth. It was like a choir of angels harmonized in the background as I understood. Happy Anniversary to you and Prosperous Coach Podcast. You’ve helped me get to someplace new and exciting in my business, thank you.”

I love that, Susan!

Today, is another Listeners’ Choice Best Episode in 2019 — How to Enroll More Coaching Clients Without Beings Salesy.

I’m not surprised that this episode was super popular. For one thing who wants to be salesy? But also this episode also has a content upgrade – a downloadable guide you can get for free that walks you through my step by step questions to ask coaching prospects during your Discovery Session.

The questions actually inspire people to hire you.

Here we go with Listeners Choice for 2019 …

This is the first episode in a new series that I’m doing called Smart Mindsets and Systems. There’s a ton of juicy stuff that’s going to be in this series. 

Now, in this session we’re going to dig into something that I know is critical and also difficult for a lot of people — how to actually enroll clients.

How can do enroll coaching clients in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re selling?

How can you enroll authentically while standing in your power with ease and grace?

When I shifted to this method of enrolling, it improved my enrollment success rate. I’ve taught this to every coach that I worked with. It takes a little bit of practice, but it’s not hard.

It’s much easier than giving a free sample coaching session!

We’re going to get down into it in just a minute. This session is sponsored by my own free offer to you. 

I want you to have this cheat sheet that walks you through 10 Steps to Enroll More Clients Fast!

You’ll find this cheat sheet really helpful and it also includes some of the secrets I’ll share with you in this episode.

Have you ever choked when it came time to tell a potential client your fees?

This is where discovery sessions often go astray because you’re shifting a conversation that’s more connective with your potential client to suddenly trying to tell them what you charge and why it’s worth it. 

Have you spent hours delivering your best sample sessions only to hear “Thanks, but I can’t afford you”?

Those two problems are big for new coaches. You’re not alone in that. I struggled mightily at this once upon a time. 

If you want to dramatically improve your enrollment into coaching programs, there’s a different that inspires prospects to say YES and hire you. 

3 Shifts to Enroll More Coaching Clients

There are three shifts you can make right now that will ease the money conversation and the whole enrollment process in your discovery sessions.

Shift from:          Over delivering in introductory or sample session

Shift to:               Having more effective enrollment conversations

Shift from:          Stumbling into your pitch at the end of the session 

Shift to:               Being transparent from the get go that you’re enrolling

Shift from:          Timidly asking for the sale

Shift to:               Confidently owning your worth

Something clicks internally when you believe in yourself. It seems hard to do, but it is something you can control. 

A Powerful Mindset Shift

I’m sure you’ve heard how important it is in life — in business with your clients, with your friends and family — to stand in your power. 

This is something I’ve been challenged with in my life. So I’ve made a study of it. That’s my Teacher Archetype coming in there.

Everyone fears rejection when asking for significant fees. You start wondering, “Who am I to think that I can help this client and why would they pay me well for coaching?” 

That thought form can take over your mind.

The trick is to notice your feelings and thoughts, then take a moment to notice it and turnaround your thinking. 

Those types of fears stem from two main things.You’re forgetting to own your innate gifts. It’s as if you haven’t taken ownership of all the talents and gifts you bring to the table.

If you’re a new coach who might be thinking: “Well, I’m new, so that means I’m not that good.” But that’s just not true.

Own everything you bring to the table!

Flip Your Mindset

Blow off that mindset about being a new coach.

Instead of looking for the proof of your worth in other people, know that you are inherently valuable. You wouldn’t be listening to me if a part of you didn’t already know that.

Decide right now to own your gifts!

And please know I am not talking about arrogance here. I’m not talking about strutting around thinking you’re better than everyone. It’s about being at peace with who you are and living the power of your essence, your integrity and your humanity.

It’s super magnetic.

The Power Pose

A quick tip to be able to access your personal power at any time. It’s a little physical exercise and here’s what you do:

Stand up

Feel your feet

Sense your spine

Find your center

Breathe

Try it now. Just stand up, spread your feet apart a bit and access your personal power in connection with everything else.

Let’s say you’re about to get onto a call with a prospect, why not just take a moment and do the power pose? Then have your enrollment call.

Feeling powerful in your skin goes a long way to helping you become a master at enrolling your clients.

Seeding Co-Creativity and Choice in Your Potential Coaching Clients

So now let’s talk about how to empower your potential clients and detach from outcome.

Now that you’re in connection with your personal  power, simply enjoy the human being that you’re talking to. I feel so honored that I get to meet amazing human beings in my discovery sessions.

When you put your focus on enjoying them, it’s as if the spotlight comes off of you.

The other thing that seeds co-creativity and empowers your prospects is to set fees that pay you well and then stand firm in them.

I find that a lot of my new coaching clients are charging subsistence fees that are never going to help them make a good living as a fulltime coach.

What about you? Are you charging subsistence fees?

My guess is that you are thinking that that’s all you’re worth. Or, because you haven’t done something — certified, coached a lot — you feel that you have to keep low fees.

The truth is you haven’t started enrolling clients at higher fees yet because you haven’t asked for them.

$50 to $100 US per hour (convert to your currency) may seem like a lot if you’re working for a company with benefits. But as a entrepreneurial coach, you have marketing and website expenses plus health insurance and higher taxes to pay all out of your own pocket.

All of these considerations should go into how you set your fees. And I don’t even want you to think in terms of dollars per hour for your fees. (I’ll cover fees in more depth in another episode.)

Right now, if you know you’re charging too little, double, triple or even quadruple your fees. Just do it and then stand firm. The more that you charge higher fees, the easier it’ll get for you to attract excellent clients.

Trust that your IDEAL clients will afford your fees.

An interesting thing happens when you show up this way — enjoying the human being you intend to enroll, having set fees that pay you well and trusting that your ideal clients will afford you … clients feel that power and they step into their own power.

And so, for the highest good of all, your prospects feel at choice and choose from their highest self.

If you make concessions to enroll a client, you unwittingly disempower yourself and your prospect.

Take that in.

If your prospect does hire you because you discounted a fee for them, then your professional relationship begins out of balance. It is not co-creative.

Anytime that I have done that in the past, the client ends up becoming a burden.

Have you ever felt that a client has become a burden? It’s not a good feeling, right?

They’re not showing up enough because you’re carrying them and then you will resent the relationship and how hard you have worked for so little.

So you see that your fees are not just a pragmatic choice. And it’s not a choice about how experienced a coach you are or your money issues. This is really about integrity. It’s about the health and wellbeing of your relationship with your clients.

Attachment Stunts Your Growth

Attachment stops the flow of prosperity.

Let’s say you become attached to enrolling a potential client. Your expectation builds. And then if you don’t reach that outcome, then disappointment breeds and becomes toxic.

Detachment is seeing what is as perfection and that is freeing.

Do set intentions to achieve the things that you want. While you’re enrolling a potential client, if you feel they are a good fit, think to yourself: “For the highest of all, I’d really like to work with this client.”

Then, let it go.

Literally, open your hands and let go of attachment. Let the energy dissipate. Acknowledge what went well and aim for continuous improvement in your enrollment skills.

Whether potential client says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ neither diminishes nor elevates you.

Just bless their decision and bless yourself and move on. That signals the Universe that you’re serious about your success and it pays off in the short run.

Hold Back the Goods During Discovery Sessions

Do not coach or problem solve during enrollment conversations. That muddles what the discovery session is meant to be.

Why? Primarily, because they have not paid you yet.

If you were taught to do sample coaching sessions by your coach training school, know that the reason schools have you do that as a student is to get you out there having coaching experiences.

Now that you are not a student anymore and you are the CEO of your own coaching business, enroll clients in a professional way.

Sample coaching sessions are not set up well for enrolling clients at fees that pay you well. Here’s why:

  • They don’t uncover what prospects want in the long term that would inspire deeper investment for real value.
  • They tend to focus in on one bite size issue and they leave prospects feeling complete without the desire for more. Prospects are not hooking on because they don’t perceive a longer arc in what you can help them achieve.
  • Lastly, giving free sample sessions keeps you in the newbie frame of mind and offering session by session or monthly services for low fees.

So what do you do in a Discovery Session to enroll a client? That’s where my free cheat sheet comes in …

These steps will keep you out of the coaching role with prospects. They set you up for success because you are transparent from the get go about what’s going to happen in the session.

There’s no shock when you get towards the end of the session and tell your prospect about your program and your fees. They’re ready for it. They know it’s going to happen.

This step by step enrollment process works for any coach.

How to Earn More and Work Less

This enrollment process and the mindsets that go with it work beautifully with higher ticket programs.

But you’ll need to set your business up with a strong foundation for it to work for you:

  1. Target one unique viable audience that fits your specialty or build your niche around that audience and what they want so much, they’ll pay you well to get your help to achieve it. (This is your coaching niche!)
  2. Make your brand, messaging, marketing, website and offers congruent with your niche.
  3. Stop selling coaching. (Listen to Episode called Why is Coaching a Hard Sell?)

Your business could look like mine if you take these 3 steps. And that’s what I teach my clients.

  • I only need to work with 20 – 30 clients per year to earn really well.
  • I market very little to attract all of my clients.
  • I earn a lot because I deliver high value in a longer term package
  • My overhead is very low.
  • I only work with clients 3 days each week.
  • Most months I have a whole week off

If you’d like VIP handholding to become a coach in high demand with a business model like this, let’s work together. Try me out with a Strategy Session and we’ll go from there.

In the Next Episode: Get Prosperity Thinking Working for Your Coaching Business
Did you ever think about this — what comes around goes around … even in your coaching business. In other words if you put positive energy out to others it comes back to you.

Ep 39 – How to Assess if a Potential Coaching Client Is a Good Fit for You

Hello coaches, this is my fourth mini episode for you on the topic of Client Management that started with Episode 34. It’s part of my series called Smart Mindsets & Habits.

You know, my husband and I have been getting our house ready for sale. Now we’ve got a fabulous buyer and it is time to pack. That’s why the mini episodes. And coaches have been loving them. Thank you for listening!

Today, we’re talking about how to assess whether a potential coaching client is right for you.

Primarily, fit is assessed during the Discovery call. That’s the Discovery Session, not a sample coaching session. There’s a difference.

That’s a time where you ask really powerful questions to draw out what’s going on with your potential client, what’s in their way of the thing that they want the most. And then, you establish how you can help them in your signature program to achieve that thing they want most.

Fit Starts With Your Coaching Niche

Fit partially depends on your target audience and coaching niche.

You know me, I’m always talking about having a target audience, a specific narrow target audience for your coaching business, learning from them what it is that they want so much they’ll invest in your help to get it.

And, then, develop your coaching niche around that and what you bring to the table regarding the outcome they most want that you’re going to help them get.

When you focus on your audience and niche, there’s a lot of power behind your messaging and your programs as everything is tailored to them. I believe in it as the most powerful way to become highly successful in your coaching business.

Why does assessing fit depend on your niche? Let me give you an example …

I help coaches build the foundation of their coaching business so they can launch with confidence and succeed financially.

My ideal clients are primed to develop their entrepreneurial business and to do the work of building that foundation together.

I ask coaches about the kind of support systems they have in place, what kind of time they have available to work on their business with me. If they don’t have enough time or support at home, if they’re not excited about being an entrepreneur, then they’re not a good fit work that I want to do with them.

You’ll develop your own way of assessing fit based on your niche.

Are They Coachable?

Another aspect of fit is about coach-ability. If you’re a coach and your client isn’t coachable, obviously that’s not going to be a really powerful transformational relationship.

There are a couple of things that you can do to assess coach-ability:

Their level of self awareness. Pay attention when they talk about their challenges, habits — things that are holding them back about what they want.

If someone is not self-aware, coaching may not be the best process for them.

Coaching works well for people who they essentially know that they are at choice. If you come across someone who seems to be blaming someone or something for their life challenges, that is an indication that they may not be coachable.

Also, what’s their attitude about paying for support? Some people are not seekers — the kind of people who are willing to invest time and money and energy into their own personal or professional transformation.

If you get to the point where you’re telling a potential client your fees and someone does not value what you’re offering for the fees that you’re asking, that’s a strong indication that you’re not the right fit for them.

Are they fully present for that discovery call? If they show up distracted, late or they miss it entirely, they might not be the best fit.

Detach From Outcome

Finally, if you are desperate to enroll a client, that is not going to set you up for a positive, powerful experience with this client.

Everyone has felt desperate to enroll a client at sometime. When you’re new to coaching there’s such a strong desire to prove you can do this that sometimes it speaks louder than your highest self.

Attachment will hold you back from enrolling ideal clients that pay you well.

That needy energy is like a bad smell that surrounds you turning your prospect off. Chances are they will feel it even if they don’t know what it is. It will unbalance the power differential between you and your prospect. And you’ll miss your opportunity to enroll a client.

I suggest to coaches I work with that before the Discovery call they open up their hands and surrender the need to have this client hire them.

Detaching from outcome sets you up for success. Without that desperation hanging around you, you’ll be able to hear your intuition more clearly about whether this prospective client is a good fit for you. Intuition is always the best guide.

If you’re struggling to get out of your own way with enrolling … I have a bit of room left in my August calendar for Strategy Sessions.

Consider grabbing time with me to help you to take a leap in mindset or one of these areas:

  • I want to choose a viable, narrow target audience.
  • I’d like guidance to conduct market research with my audience.
  • I want to choose a profitable niche and stand out in the crowd of coaches.
  • I’d like to create a signature program my audience will buy.
  • I’d like help to make my website client-winning.
  • I want to create an irresistible freebie and opt-in for my audience.

That’s just a sampling of bite-sized takeaways we could work on together to help you take a leap. I’d love to work with you!

In the Next Episode: Do This Before You Create Your Coaching Website

Ep 35 – 2 Powerful Shifts To Enroll More Committed Coaching Clients

This episode is an ON AIR Coaching Session with David Smith.

David Smith is a Washington DC – based career coach. He is a Fulbright scholar. After 30 years in law, as a University professor and  overseas working for a think tank, he came to realize that his collective experiences provide insight into inside DC careers.

For two years he has coaching two different audiences:

  • people 20 – 30 emerging into international or policy based careers inside the beltway
  • people 50+ looking for their encore career

Two Problems Related to Coaching Client Engagement

David said he was looking for some wisdom. Specifically he was having two challenges in his coaching business:

  1. Sometimes clients disappear without notice.
  2. Younger clientele are difficult to engage into a longer term coaching relationship.

These classic challenges are related. And both are things that David can fix with a shift in his approach to enrolling.

I asked David to describe what he tells prospects about his offer.

He offers a Discovery Session and admitted to a common problem coaches have … over-delivering in the discovery call.

Shift #1: Stop Coaching in Discovery Sessions

Some coaches offer a sample coaching session to enroll clients. I used to do this myself and found that, much of the time, prospects would walk away from that experience feeling satisfied and uninterested in taking a next step.

I was so intent on showing my value that I over-delivered. And the prospect would say: “Thanks!” But she had no interest in taking a next step.

Can you relate to that challenge?

I remember feeling sort of demoralized by the lack of interest in coaching, something I felt so passionate about.

That’s because coaching is a hard sell.

People don’t wake up knowing that they want coaching. Instead they seek out solutions to specific problems.

So, unless you’re offering a sample coaching session that focuses on a very specific coaching niche — a specific solution to a specific problem — then your sample coaching session is going to feel general and not highly relevant to people.

Even if you have a specific niche, a sample session isn’t the most effective tool for enrolling a committed long term coaching client who pays you well. Because the tendency to perform and over-deliver is strong in that type of session.

When I shifted away from offering sample coaching sessions to offering discovery calls, I immediately started enrolling more ideal clients and earning more from coaching.

Here’s the thing … a Discovery Session isn’t meant to be a coaching session.

You can absolutely use the coaching tools of asking powerful questions and listening in a Discovery Session. But you don’t want to step into the Co-Creative Relationship with a prospect because they have not paid a fee for the coaching. That’s part of the client’s responsibility.

Instead, a Discovery Session is a get-to-know-you call. Ultimately, it’s about assessing fit between the coach and prospect.

David knew this. He just had not framed the Discovery Session that way to prospects. And, because he is passionate about helping his prospects he would “give away the farm”.

In your Discovery Sessions ask powerful open-ended questions to:

  • Learn basic information about your potential client, especially as it relates to your niche — the specific problem you solve for a specific target audience.
  • Connect the prospect emotionally to what they want most and what’s in the way of that outcome.

Then, once you’ve heard all you need to hear to fully understand what motivates your prospect and what’s been holding them back, share how you work with clients.

And this is where my second recommendation to David came in.

Shift #2: Offer a Signature Program Tailor Made to Your Target Audience

David has been charging for session-by-session coaching.

No wonder he was having trouble with clients “ghosting” and not responded to his check ins!

Part of David’s background was as a lawyer where most clients would pay an hourly rate. So it’s understandable that this is the practice David applied to his coaching business.

When I started as a coach, I charged for monthly coaching and I had similar challenges where clients would suddenly disappear.

Have you ever experienced something like that?

You’re going along, thinking you’re doing good work together and then suddenly the client doesn’t show up or respond to emails.

It’s weird. And it feels awful!

But then I realized that, monthly or session-by-session coaching isn’t positioned well. It’s not oriented around big enough outcomes for clients. So they aren’t motivated to keep it up.

More on that in a minute …

For now, what is a Signature Program and how can it possibly work with coaching?

It works better than you might think.

You can still let clients bring the agenda. You still use coaching skills to serve them. The difference happens when you enroll clients.

Instead of selling coaching when you have a Discovery Session, you’ll connect the desired outcomes and challenges your client is having to a structured program.

Milestones Are the Secret to Enrolling Long Term Coaching Clients

Let’s say you’re a coach and you want to be successful but it’s not working out the way you thought it would.

And then you hear about this podcast that supplies all sorts of helpful tidbits about mindset, habits, tactics and strategies to build your business.

You realize this person putting out these episodes could help you. So you go to her website, check her out and there’s even more free valuable information there. You fill out the form on the website. And you’re invited to a Discovery Session.

In that Discovery Session, you’re asked a bunch of powerful questions that help you articulate what you really want and what’s been in the way of that.

And then, you hear that there’s a program you can enroll in that would help you accomplish all the tasks you’ve been struggling to do on your own. It’s accomplishing those milestones in a step by step fully supported way that turns you on.

So you go for it. You enroll into that Signature Program because it’s clear there’s a structure and it’s thought through.

On the other hand, if in that Discovery Session you heard that you could have session-by-session or monthly coaching and no milestones or outcomes were clearly laid out as part of the value, you might just walk away.

Because you weren’t inspired.

It’s All Related to Target Audience and Coaching Niche

The reality is, you cannot create a Signature Program as a coach until you:

  • Have narrowed to a specific target audience.
  • You know exactly what they want so much they’ll invest in help to get it.
  • And you’ve made it your niche to help that audience achieve that goal or set of goals.

I invited David to eliminate one of his two audiences, because having two was keeping him from creating a Signature Program. It was keeping him from getting specific on his website, in his marketing and Discovery Sessions.

Even people who referred clients to him would be able to send him ideal clients if he would target only one audience.

An amazing bunch of things happen when you target a specific niche and make sure that everything you do — every email, social post, your web copy, your free offer, your programs — are tailor made for that audience.

You KNOW exactly what they want and what’s challenging them.

And that intel, applied to every aspect of your coaching business, makes the difference between whether you succeed and earn well or not.

It also would solve David’s two problems.

Once a client is enrolled into a Signature Program and they invest up front for the whole thing, their mindset shifts.

No longer will they think “Okay, I’ve gotta pay for another session with David.” Instead, they are thinking:“I’m on a complicated journey and David is helping me get there, step by step with ease and grace.”

David agreed he’d drop the older audience he was working with because his passion was about helping young people emerging into international or policy based careers.

David reported feeling great after our session. His mind was buzzing with ideas for his Signature Program and he sounded determined to make the 2 shifts that would solve his 2 challenges.

If you are challenged with attracting, enrolling and keeping ideal clients, consider having a Strategy Session with me.

One session could make the difference between being paralyzed and confused and surging forward in your business with confidence.

I would love to work with you!

In the Next Episode: 10 Big Questions for Intake with Your Coaching Clients