If you’re a coach, at some point in your sales process you will have a “strategy session” or an “enrollment call” where you talk to a prospect about what working together would look like and how much it would cost. 

This can be an awkward conversation for a new coach. They may need to work with someone or read a book or take a training to learn how to do it well. It is an important (and necessary) part of running a coaching business, because if you don’t have enrollment calls, you won’t have paying clients. 

When you have these conversations, some people will say they are ready to move forward and some will start waffling. They may say that they need to think about it or talk to their partner. This is understandable if it is a substantial investment. 

Not everyone you talk to will be ready and financially able to move forward. Many people will say they can’t afford it, and that may or may not be true.

The first thing to do when you hear a money objection is to go back to the value of the work you do and reiterate the problem it solves for the prospect. Get the prospect to talk about the pain their problem is currently causing them. This might coax them to move forward.

Or, you may find that the investment is more than they have ever made in the past. You can then talk about some clients you worked with who were similar to that person and the results they got from working with you. That extra reassurance might be enough to get them to commit. 

If the prospect agrees they need and want what you are selling but can’t afford it, you then need to ask some questions about their current financial state and why they are hesitating to move forward. You can say something like, “Is it a ‘no way no how’ situation or a ‘you might be able to make it work’ situation?”

You may find your prospect sees your value, knows you could help them, but truly can’t invest at this moment.

Unfortunately, there is a sales strategy that is frequently taught where the coach is supposed to say, “I totally understand. I have been in your situation where I didn’t have the money to invest in coaching, but I found it, and it was the best decision of my life.” And then the coach is supposed to dive into more details about their coaching experience and the ROI they got from it.

At this point, that sentence is a giant red flag for me and here’s why.

I have a story where I invested $3K when I really didn’t have it and later tracked what I learned with that coach to $40K of revenue over the next year. Any good business person would do that! It was a fantastic investment and I am thrilled that I scrambled to find the money.

And then there was the other time…

After that fantastic experience, I had the opportunity to work with a thought leader I had been following for years. I had bought their online training and attended one of their two-day live events. I had hungrily devoured all their YouTube content. I was dying to work with them. 

At one point, they offered something that was at a price point I could maybe possibly afford. And there was a payment plan. But there was also a person doing the enrollment calls for the thought leader who misrepresented what I was going to get and pushed me hard to sign up for something that I had said I didn’t need, positioning it as what I told them I wanted. 

This ended badly. I bailed midway through and asked for a partial refund. 

Over time, I patched up the relationship with the thought leader because their content is excellent. This was just a mistake on both sides. 

So, fellow coaches, I ask you to dig a little deeper into the price objection that you are guaranteed to get from some prospects. If someone is experiencing major cash flow problems, don’t push them to move forward.

Instead, respect their situation and say you’d love to work with them when things get better, or offer them sliding-scale pricing, or maybe even offer them a scholarship. 

Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash