Something many coaches feel torn between is selling a programme, which means that it’s actually not coaching as it’s directive in nature. Jo discusses the process of selling a signature coaching program and how it differs from pure coaching. She emphasise the importance of providing a clear structure and tangible offering to potential clients, while also tailoring the program to individual client needs. Jo highlights the essence of coaching and how it can be integrated into a structured program. She encourages coaches to embrace evolution in coaching and adapt to meet the changing needs of clients.

The challenge of marketing intangible services [00:01:16]

Discussing the difficulty of selling coaching programs that are not purely coaching and the need for a clear structure and tangible offering.

The market’s desire for tangibility [00:02:36]

Exploring why potential clients are drawn to tangible offerings and the importance of providing a clear roadmap for their desired transformation.

Crafting a marketable program [00:06:36]

Discussing the need for clarity and specificity in programme outcomes, as well as the importance of balancing structure with flexibility to tailor the programme to individual client needs.

The challenges of achieving goals [00:10:53]

Jo discusses the experience of a client who didn’t achieve their goals within the expected time frame and emphasises the need for understanding and support.

Selling a program with confidence [00:12:06]

Jo talks about the importance of believing in the value and transformation of a coaching programme and how it makes selling easier.

Adapting coaching to meet client needs [00:13:28]

Jo discusses the importance of tailoring coaching to individual client needs and suggests using different titles, such as mentoring, to make clients more comfortable.

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Transcript
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Hello and welcome to Women in the Coaching Arena podcast. I'm so glad you are here. I'm Jo Lott, a business mentor and ICF accredited coach

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and I help coaches to build brilliant businesses. I know that when you prepare to enter the arena, there is fear, self doubt, comparison, anxiety, uncertainty, shame. You can tend to armor up and protect yourself from vulnerability. In this podcast, I'll be sharing honest, not hype, practical and emotional tools to support you to make the difference that you are here for. Dare greatly. You belong in this arena. Welcome to the 30th episode of women in the coaching arena. I am so glad you are here. Today's episode has been inspired by some conversations and comments on my previous posts. So Rachel, thank you. And Charlie, thank you very much for mentioning this episode. I have designed this for you. So how can I sell a signature coaching program? Because that's not pure coaching and that's directive and it's against all of the rules. So I'm excited to share this with you today. As I know, it's something that holds many people back from actually being able to do that coaching. Because there is that huge difference between the skill we know and how to actually sell it. So I will be digging into that today. Let's start by unpacking the idea of pure coaching. Many of us during our coach training were introduced to this concept of coaching as purely client driven and client directed. It's about asking the right questions, guiding discovery, letting the client lead. And while this is a beautiful transformational approach it often presents as a real challenge when we try to market our services. And, most of us start out doing exactly that, trying to say. Gosh come for coaching, it's changed my life. And often this approach doesn't work. So why may that be? Because sending something intangible and abstract. Is a little bit tricky. Let's talk about the market's desire for tangibility. So think about it when a potential client is looking for a solution they're often drawn to what they can see, touch, or at least visualise. That you want to know that there is a clear roadmap or path to that desired transformation. It gives them confidence in the process and in you a coach. Where there is some sort of structure. A tangible offering. And they can see, okay. I can see if I did these things I would be more likely to reach my goal. So it's not about diluting the coaching process. But enhancing it. Because if you niche down, which as you know, I talk about a lot. You will get really good at what you do. So for a career change you will know that they need to know their values. They need to know their strengths. Like, I had never heard of values when I was employed before I became a coach. And now clearly we talk about them all day long. But, you know, people just don't know. I wouldn't have been able to direct my own career session. Because if someone wasn't asking me and exploring values with me and strengths with me, I would have probably just gone round in circles. And I know that there is different approaches, you know? Fair enough for a career change, maybe you do need a more structured approach than maybe leadership coaching, where they want to bring whatever challenges going on for them. So I do get, it's not a one size fits all approach. But if you are parting with money, we often want to know that we are likely to get the result that we want. So if a holiday company, for example, was just saying, come for a holiday. We want to know, well, like where am I going to be staying? What sort of things go on there? Is there a beach nearby? We want to know these things, so we can visualize what that holiday will look and feel like. And then maybe we will purchase that holiday. So it's the same with people and your coaching. If you are just selling coaching. They just can't see how that's going to help them feel the way they want to feel. And we buy to get a feeling. So that is what we want to promote in our marketing. So before I get too far into that, let's talk about the essence of coaching now. So at its core, coaching is about empowerment, discovery, transformation. And guess what these principles can absolutely be integrated into a structured program. It's about guiding your clients through a journey. Giving them the tools and strategies they need while also still allowing that space for personal reflection and growth. For example, when I was doing career coaching and I sold it as a program as such. I had no worksheets, no videos. literally was showing up doing a normal coaching call when they were in the front door. So if you've been in my world for a while, you know, I have what I call my Front Door Niche Navigator. We need to nail their front door. The thing that they actually want. When they're in the front door. Yes, we can show them the back door. We can go round the mindset, the confidence, all the things that we know they need to really achieve that goal. So you don't need to have all of this fancy stuff if you've got a program. Lots of people think, oh my gosh, well, I need to record some videos and have the portal. You don't need any of that. You can just show up going, looking at our plan, we're due to to cover your strengths today, but what's going on for you right now? And then they might say, do you know what? I've got an interview tomorrow and that's what I need to cover. And then you say, great. Okay. You just run a normal coaching session. So it doesn't mean that you ignore what the client wants and needs at that moment. Remembering all along, this is their goal. You have designed this with their goal in mind. So it's not like you are forcing someone to look at their strengths when they don't want the career change. They have come to you, perhaps because they do on that career change. Therefore knowing this strengths is a logical step to be able to change career. Let's move on to crafting a marketable program. So how do we craft a program that resonates. Firstly clarity is key. We need to be specific about the outcome that your clients can expect. And then we want to ensure that your program speaks directly to that needs and desires. So again, this is all with them in mind is not dictated by you. You are just helping them to achieve their goal that is where they want to go. That's why they have signed up with you. So it kind of is still self-directed because they have that goal. They are signing up because they want some support to reach that goal. It's not about a one size fits all approach. It's about providing that roadmap that can be tailored to each individual. You are not going to force somebody to discuss something if they didn't want to discuss it. You are just saying here are some logical steps that I have seen work for my clients to reach your goal, but you are going to blend your approach with that personal coaching, to whoever that client wants at the time. This is especially easy when you are doing one-to-one coaching. Fair enough when you were doing group coaching, you may need to think about a different approach. But certainly for one-to-one coaching you will be allowing them to lead the way for what's going on for them. Let's talk about balancing that structure with that flexibility a bit further. So here is the magic source. Blending structure with flexibility. So you are going to create a program that offers a clear structure. yet it remains adaptable to individual client needs. It's worth saying that when someone comes to join you, yes, they might want to change career at that time. And then as we know things change. They may not change career. I had a message from an amazing client yesterday who has finally changed jobs after our career change program, which was two years ago. So he's still super grateful. He's like my gosh, I finally got the job of my dreams. But, you know, sometimes things take longer than we think, or, you know, he had two children, so he needed the stability. He got a promotion. He changed roles within his current work. There were loads of reasons why he didn't change career within that really short time scale that he thought he wanted to when he signed up with me. So I think it's about always remembering. This is the front door. They are coming to me because they have this problem. And as we know, life is not linear and things will change. Your job is to just guide them along the journey. Reminding them, this was your goal. Where are we at with this now? Recreating that goal. And just working with them where they are. So essentially it is coaching. So the goal, isn't always the goal. For example, if someone was to join a gym, they may join the gym to get fit. But actually they were just really lonely and they needed to make friends and meet people. So maybe they'll gain friendship and meet people rather than get fit from joining that gym. And that's fine because actually the goal wasn't always the goal, the problem isn't always the problem. So all we need to do is take them along the journey, guiding them to their desired results. Using your amazing coaching skills. Don't worry if they don't get the result that they want. Because the result that they want will change. And it's still the result that they want. That person didn't know they needed the friendship more than they needed to get fit. I have never found anybody that has worked with me, despite whether they get the result I want them to get to complain. So as I say, that person has messaged me going, oh my gosh, I still think about our sessions. Thank you so much. I finally changed jobs. I've got this job, which was the absolute dream I painted in our session two years ago. He's not like furious that it's taken two years. Cause he knows that he went on a journey. And I went along with him. And met him where he was at every single week. And even some of my business coaching clients. For example, I had a card once from someone that was in my business coaching program. And she said. I'd love to read it to you. I wish I knew where it was. She said something like I know you don't think, but I got the result that you wanted me to get. Because compared to everybody else in the program, who's getting all of these clients. I know I haven't done that. But this has been a life-changing process for me. And joining your program. Has helped me discover who I am. Overcome so many limiting beliefs. I've learnt so much. I've met the most amazing people. And now, yes, 18 months after joining my program she's gained several corporate clients. But it wasn't in the timescale that I perhaps once it had to achieve it and she perhaps wanted her to achieve it when she first came in that front door. Because she didn't know that she had all of the blocks about the visibility. And the money mindset and all of the things that came up along her journey. So I think we just need to realize that we can support people where they are at. Most people are reasonable people and know that if they haven't reached their goal it's probably because something has happened in their life that is currently hindering that progress. And you will be helping them and guiding them every single step of the way. Let's talk about selling your program with confidence. So if you are feeling a twinge of guilt or resistance about moving away from pure coaching, Let's address this head on now. So it is essential to believe in the value and transformation of your program offers when you are confident in your offering that energy is palpable. And it makes selling so much easier. Remember, it's about facilitating a profound transformation. And if a structured program helps your client to see the benefit of signing up to coaching with you then it's a win-win. I talked about embracing evolution in coaching and episode 28, if you want to hear more. I discussed that the coaching industry, like any other industry is evolving. So we are seeing a rise of hybrid coaching models. Blending traditional methods with new approaches and that's okay. In fact it's more than, okay. It's super exciting. It's about adapting and innovating to meet the changing needs of our clients. If you want to bring in. Public speaking skills into your coaching. Someone that was just talking to right now used to be an actor so she knows a lot about communicating. She wants to bring that into a coaching, but she's kind of holding back thinking. I just need to do this coaching thing, because this is what I learned at coach training school. And I think just like every other school that we go to, it's not always as straightforward as coach training school. Life is messy. And sometimes people might need help with something in a different way to what you learn in coach training schools. I believe we need to be able to deliver what people need at that moment. To work with our clients to figure out what could be most helpful for them at the time. I thought it was quite interesting when I did my ILM level seven in executive coaching and mentoring. That actually there wasn't much difference in the mentoring section. It was pretty much a coaching session, allowing the person to explore at the beginning. And then at the end, you could say, would you like me to share my experience? And then you can share your experience, but you've still allowed that person to explore where they're at. Make their own decisions guide their way. So maybe it's about what we title things rather than calling it coaching if that makes you feel uncomfortable, maybe it's a mentoring program. Like my program is definitely a mentoring program. There is a knowledge gap. So there's no point me going around trying to help someone explore how they could market their coaching if they've got no idea how to market coaching. So maybe you want to create a mentorship program or maybe you want to innovate in some way to ensure that your clients get what they came for. So as we finish up today's episode, I want to leave you with a thought. Reflect on your unique strengths and how you can package them into a sellable program. The ultimate goal remains the same. Facilitating profound transformations in your client's lives. So, whether that is through pure coaching or a structured program, choose the path that allows you to do the work that you are here for. Thank you for joining me today. If this episode resonated, I would love to hear your thoughts. Took me a line on LinkedIn. Or Instagram. Please do take time to scroll down and leave me a review. It means so much to me and to the algorithm. So I will be eternally grateful. As I say, at the end of every episode, trust yourself, believe in yourself and be the wise Gardner who keeps on watering the seed. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Women in the Coaching Arena. I have a mess of free resources on my website joannalottcoaching.com. That's Joanna with an A and Lott with two T's. joannalottcoaching.com. And I'll also put links in the show notes. Let me know if you found this episode useful. Share it with a friend and leave me a review, and I will personally thank you for that. Remember to trust yourself, believe in yourself and be the wise Gardner who keeps on watering the seed. Get into the arena dare, greatly and try.

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