I remember what it was like to go through coach school – all excited about what I was learning; the different models for change, how to ask the right questions, how to deal with different personalities. I was thoroughly enjoying learning the material and was excited about starting my journey as a coach.
I was in this blissful state for the first couple of days and then it was time to talk about sales and marketing which I thought would be fun. Let’s just say this module of the course wasn’t what I expected it to be. The coach school just brushed through the subject on what to do when dealing with someone in a 1:1 conversation. We were barely taught how to deal with objections – we were given scripts that were so bare. I was so uncomfortable with the process because the scripts that we got were just Not aligned with how I would speak to someone. It was so unnatural and the whole exercise felt staged and worst of all – Fake! My excitement for the process had just vanished.
Then it was time to start my pro bono sessions and I thoroughly enjoyed them (I hadn’t got to the part where I needed to think about paying clients yet). Making the leap to begin charging for what I did – I didn’t know what to do or how to start. I was told I had to charge a minimum of $150 a session or it isn’t worth my time. Here was someone who was accustomed to earning an hourly rate of $19 an hour who’s being asked to charge almost 8 times as much!! I went into panic mode and just froze. I just did nothing for weeks and weeks on end. I struggled with feeling inadequate about coaching someone if I thought I hadn’t quite got that area of life handled myself. I felt alone, I didn’t feel like anyone understood what I was going through.
I struggled with asking for money for what I did because no longer was an employer just handing me a pay cheque every week; “I” got to decide the value of my services. And then it all changed – my mentor urged me to get into a sales role so I could get the hang of selling – so I quit my safe admin job and entered the world of sales – Cold calling! In two weeks I found myself working for the ‘World’s number 1 Business Coaching Firm’ finding the perfect clients for a business coach. This experience opened my eyes to what selling really was. At times I found things just flowed and at times it didn’t! And I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. I’ve built that muscle by honing my skills over that period of time – my coaching skills were so useful in my sales role and vice versa. This experience was only part of my learning.
Whilst I worked in my sales role by day, I was coaching by night and also searching for resources that could help me with my service conversations. The commissions I earned were going straight back into my business – investing in myself at a higher level. I would wake up in the wee hours of the morning to listen to live teleclasses that spoke of sales, buying programmes and investing in myself more and more to find that magic ingredient that could help me. I followed mentors from around the world who specialised in sales and had a sales background. I even got the opportunity to travel to France this year to work for a day on my business with one of my mentors. I invested in myself at a higher level to really get myself moving and I still do. What I realised was that it wasn’t just one magic ingredient that I required..but quite a few along the way that I picked from different mentors, conversations I had along the way and my own insight as to what was really going on. All that work did pay off, because I started to notice a shift. A Big shift!
Everytime I have a service conversation with a client and I feel excited to be speaking with them about what they want, what’s blocking them and then letting them know how I can help them if I see a fit, it reminds me of how far I’ve come. I am no longer afraid of ‘selling’ because I’ve learned to sell in a way that feels so right and so natural to me. There’s an ease and a grace to the whole process that I light up every time I think about a service conversation – I no longer call it a sales conversation. And now I’m on a mission to teach these skills to as many coaches and heart centred entrepreneurs as possible so they can transform their fear of selling and get comfy selling themselves and their services so they can get out there and serve the people they were meant to serve.
In an effort to make sure I am getting your input on what you experienced in coach school especially when it came to the sales and marketing piece- I have created a survey and would love it if you could fill it out:
As a thank you – I’d like to send you the link to an audio I created to help you before you have a service conversation with a potential client. Send me an email to email@example.com and I will send you the link to the page so you can have access to the audio in your inbox : )
With Love & Service