The Secret Of Explaining : A recent Linked In group discussion topic was about how to communicate the benefits of coaching to a potential client. Surely, a topic that resonates with most coaches, simply because communicating value can be a real sticking point. And if you can’t communicate the value you bring, why would anybody want to pay for your services?
The thing is it’s difficult to articulate the value of coaching in a way that is meaningful to a potential client. This is simply because all potential clients are different. You therefore find yourself regurgitating every possible benefit in the hope that they connect with something. You try to second-guess them and tell them what you think they will respond to most enthusiastically.
The Secret Of Explaining You wax lyrical on one particular benefit, before suspecting that maybe they’re not interested in that area after all. You try another tack, and perhaps another, and your conversation quickly descends into a mish-mash of half-formed ideas. Ultimately, your potential client is more confused about the benefits of coaching than when you started. And you’ve missed another opportunity to win a new client.
There’s no two-ways about it, if you want to sell your coaching you have to be clear on the value it brings. But how do you get clear on something that’s different for every potential client?
You ask your potential clients of course!
When you first meet them, perhaps at a networking event, once you’ve introduced yourself, ask them about their work situation. Ask them what their vision is, what challenges they face, what they need to get better at. Ask them how it will feel to achieve their vision, and what it will be like if they don’t. When you follow-up, ask the same questions but dig a little deeper. Offer them a formal session where you dig deeper still. And when you follow-up after this session, perhaps with a report-back meeting, go over what they said in the session and give them time and space to reflect on it.
You may feel uncomfortable, apparently doing the same thing over and over again. However, from your potential client’s point of view, it’s good to have someone who listens to them. Who helps them make sense of their busy and complex work situation. Who helps them identify the key challenges and how they can overcome them. Someone who, ultimately, enables them to raise their performance and the performance of those around them, for improved business results.
And there you have it, the value of coaching. Demonstrated, rather than told. Achieved by asking your potential client questions and listening to their answers. Hopefully, you’ve spotted the real clincher from your point of view. You’re a coach! You’re good at asking questions and listening. What could be more natural and easier for you?
Kevin Oubridge is a partner with Blue Chip Coaching and author of The Leadership Coaching Alligator Handbook. Kevin works with leadership coaches, enabling them to earn a good living doing something they enjoy.