Once you’ve identified your niche market and the problem your coaching is going to solve for your clients, your next step is to put together coaching packages that a) your clients will want to buy and b) will ensure your business is able to profit.
But how exactly do you do this?
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen coaches commit, and have done so numerous times myself, is to lock themselves away and start working on the perfect package. Spending hours locked away in isolation formatting brochures, working on coaching modules and trying to get the perfect wording is NOT going to make your business profitable. (Read Business Principle 1 in my book ‘Grass Roots to Green Shoots’ for more on this).
There are several reasons why doing this is so tempting to coaches:
1. The coach is afraid of the sales conversation and wants to avoid it
2. They want to feel confident in what they are offering and spending the time designing it helps their confidence
3. They enjoy creating things and thus have a preference for sitting behind the computer working on these things
But let me throw up a few challenges here.
If you spend all your time behind the computer and not interacting with your market – how are you going to get clients? and how are you going to know that what they want?
In my experience, I’ve found that once I am on the phone with a prospect they will tell me what they want. Its great to have an ideal structure for my packages but at the end of the day, the client will know how they want to work. If my manufactured solution isn’t right for them I will lose the business. Clients need to feel comfortable with what they purchase won’t appreciate being told to fit in with your answer. In time, when you’ve done enough research into how your clients want to solve their problem, you can create standard packages but again these will have been created based on your knowledge and experience of what they WANT to buy.
Here’s a great thing to say to help you:
Coach: So if we were going to work together, what kind of support package would you be looking for?
Client: I just feel I need a few sessions to get clear on the issues and find a plan. I am sure with a bit more clarity and a plan I can do this myself, and if I can’t I’d like the option of being able to come back for some more support.
Coach: OK, well normally I work with clients on a 3 month basis because [list your advantages and reasons] but if you would like to go ahead with [repeat what they just said], that’s absolutely fine. I can do this for you at [insert quote]? Is that something you’d like to go ahead with?
So why does this approach work so well:
- You’ve listened to the client and honoured what they are telling you
- You are able to communicate what you normal do and why, giving them the opportunity to consider all these possibilities and be fully informed
- You’re making them feel special that you’ll give them what they want
- You’re doing REAL LIFE research and having clients actually TELL you what they want
At the end of the day the last thing you want is an objection to your package, after you’ve done such a great job selling yourself. In these early days you need to be flexible. You’ll want to work with as many paying clients as possible to gain success stories, referrals, and the much needed cash flow. Being active working with clients boosts your confidence and your entire approach to business.
I see a great number of coaches hiding behind their computers working away on things and not getting out there talking to prospects. As I’ve said, I’ve done this myself. I’ve battled with the question ‘is not having clear packages an excuse or a genuine reason not to be making sales calls?’ I eventually came to the point where I knew that unless I made sales calls things were not going to work out. That the only way to develop my business was to get out there an talk to people. What I found was, that in order to get the business I had to drop my pre-conceived ideas and be flexible.
Admittedly there is a bit of a ‘chicken and egg’ situation with developing your business and gaining clients, but there is nothing like letting the market guide you. Once you have enough volume into your business, you’ll be able to structure your packages in a way that best suits you and tell your clients how you work, but until the day you can afford to lose a few prospects because they don’t fit in with you, I’d recommend getting on the phone and get selling ASAP.
Study our Master Class How to Creating Packages by Hannah McNamara to learn how to approach creating profitable coaching package. Once you have the fundamental knowledge you’ll have some guidelines to work with in these early days and understand how to develop things further when you’re ready.
If you need help with the sales conversation, please be in touch. We have a full comprehensive online sales training program ready and waiting for you. It also comes complete with sales scripts. Contact Us.