Coaching, and similar professions like consulting, training, and healing can be one of the most valuable, transformational services, you could possibly sell.
However, these types of services can also become challenging to sell if your prospects are not clear about the value you can bring them.
After all, coaching is not like a table, chair or some other tangible product. Coaching is not something people will naturally have automatic, accurate associations about.
Coaching is a somewhat “intangible” product that becomes valuable because of how you use it. So, describing your work in a way that allows your prospects to understand the full value that you offer is the key to more sales.
Describing your work effectively takes strategic communication skills, creativity, and more. It's both an art and a science.
The art part = There is no one way to describe what you do. You can have fun and make it your own.
The science part = No matter what words you use, you need to speak your audience's language and keep it simple. If you sound too technical or stack on too many concepts at once, your audience will not “get” you, and therefore they won't buy.
But even knowing this, there are many pitfalls that coaches fall into that make it inherently difficult for them to describe their work.
Here are the top three tricky truths behind effectively describing "what you do":
Tricky Truth #1: People Don't Buy Coaching, Consulting or Training, They Buy Solutions
If your coaching was an airplane, the destination would be the solution/result that you provide. The destination, not the plane, is why people invest their time and money. Think about that for a moment.
The number one reason people buy an airline flight is not because they love hanging out on airplanes, but because they want to get somewhere. That's the same reason people buy coaching, consulting and training services - they want to get somewhere in their life and/or business.
Your mentorship, coaching, time, guidance, and anything else you use under the umbrella of “coaching” is all leading them towards something important. You're leading them toward their ideal health, their ideal relationship, their ideal business, mastering their money, their ideal workforce, and so on and so on.
So, knowing the problem people are paying you to solve through coaching is essential for you to be able to share this with others. Most often, the problem you solve is what will “hook” your audience's attention, not coaching.
Does that mean coaching isn't awesome? Absolutely not. Does it mean that no one will come to you seeking a coach or coaching? Not necessarily. But you want to be effective in describing the value of your coaching to sign-up more ideal clients.
Common Pitfall #1: Not Focusing Your Coaching, or Standing Behind a Result
A common challenge that makes it difficult to describe the solution your coaching provides is if you are not focusing your coaching at all.
Perhaps every time you coach, you are working with someone different on a completely different topic. If you love all of these clients, working on different topics every time, and you are being paid what you want, then go ahead and coach whoever wants to be coached by you.
But, if you love some clients and not others; if you don't like to coach on just “anything,” and would love to carve out a name for yourself as a specialist, your opportunity is to claim who you work with and the result you help them achieve.
When you do this, you will instantly begin to stand out and attract your ideal customers.
Just consider two fitness coaches doing this exercise. Two different people. Two different sensibilities. That means two different audiences and ways of describing themselves.
Fitness coach A: "I help unconventional women become stronger, and more confident, than ever before."
Fitness coach B: "I help busy professionals shed extra pounds and get back to their ideal weight, in just minutes a day."
Both of these descriptions describe the value of the coaching, while being result oriented, and honoring the unique style and audience's of the individual.
Do you see how fun this can be? That brings us to our second Tricky Truth.
Tricky Truth #2: Your Audience is as Unique as You, but You Have to Claim It
Your audience is as unique as you! You can see from the examples above that you can have two people in the same coaching niche with very different audiences.
It's my belief that you have an ideal audience that is as unique as you. These people are like your business soul mates and they were perfectly designed to love your unique voice and style, in addition to the solution you provide.
But the trick is, the easiest way to discover them is when you put yourself out there and listen to who responds the most to your work, and who you love working with best.
And, that's not all. When you find them, it's up to you to call out who they are. No one else will do this for you!
If you are willing to focus your business and say who your ideal clients really are, you can have even more fun marketing and promoting yourself. When you are speaking to your most ideal clients you are coming from a place of strength and personal power.
Plus, when you focus your business to a specific audience, each targeted piece of content you create will be that much more of a magnet for your perfect customers.
Common Pitfall #2: Fear You Will Lose People By Getting Specific!
This is a huge one I've seen with new and veteran coaches alike. Often they feat that they will lose clients by being more targeted about who they serve.
But the opposite is true!
When you focus and get specific on the people you want to serve most, those people feel truly spoken to and served.
No matter how counter-intuitive it may seem, if you want to attract your perfect customers with the greatest ease, the answer is niching and specificity.
And, if you are wanting to stand out on line, getting specific is a total must.
Tricky Truth #3: Being Clear is Better than Being Clever
This is a simple memorable way to remember that clear communication beats clever messaging or branding, every time.
It can be tempting to want to craft the perfect way to answer, “What do you do?”. You may be tempted to create something that sounds different and unlike anything anyone has ever heard. But in your quest to be clever, be careful!
Your number one goal should be to make your message clear. Even if it is something as simple as “I help people find their ideal job” or “I help entrepreneurs get clients” you could find yourself with the perfect lead, if the person you are talking to wants that solution.
Sure it may sound a little dry, but it is better to be simple, than sparkly if sparkly means you are not being clear. Make sense?
Common Pitfall #3: Using Way too Many Words to Describe “What You Do”
Simplicity is key.
In my ebook, The Networking Superstar Blueprint, I talk about how to speak in sound bites so you can answer “What you do” and follow-up questions effortlessly.
Having structure and strategy around this is important, because it can be easy to be complicated, wordy, or run on too long, but this is not where your client-attracting power lies. It is all about simplicity, baby!
So remember these tricky truths:
#1 People Don’t Buy Coaching, Consulting or Training, They Buy Solutions
#2: Your Audience is as Unique as You, but You Have to Claim It
#3: Being Clear is Better than Being Clever
...and you can put words to your work, that will allow your ideal clients to spot you, and sign up (so you can do the work you were born to do).
Now, I want to know...
Which Tricky Truth resonated with you most?
Have you ever struggled to describe "what you do?"