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With Kathy Mallary
Monday, April 03 2017
When A Client Says They Can't Afford It

If you want to be successful in business, you have to understand what your client wants. They probably want more than just one thing, but the thing at the top of the list is the thing you need to pay attention to.

So when people say, “I can’t afford it,” what they mean is that something else is a higher priority than whatever they think you're offering them.

People are pretty good at finding a way to afford the thing at the top of their list. "I can't afford it" is almost always about priorities rather than resources.

If your client says, “I can’t afford it,” don’t argue with them.

Instead, ask yourself these three questions:

1) Am I attracting the right clients?

First of all, check to make sure you’re going after the people who are most likely to want what you do.

If you offered to set me up with a lawn mowing service this summer, I’d say I can’t afford it. I bought a new lawn mower recently and I have an able-bodied young person hanging around my house. So even though I have the money to pay for a lawn service, it feels like a waste of money. Wasting money is what I can’t afford.

Now, I might perk up if you offered me a weekend at the beach. I can afford that, even though it would probably cost more than three month's of lawn service. It doesn’t matter how well you “sell” your lawn service to me – I’m saving my money for the beach.

2) Am I sending the right message?

If you want to attract top shelf clients, you need to speak their language. Don't use low-budget language to sell high-end services.

Words like “fast,” “easy,” “affordable” and “discount” attract customers who are price sensitive.

High-value clients respond to confidence, quality and service. They also appreciate a good deal, but you shouldn’t focus only on that aspect if you want to win their business. Words like “expert,” “specializing,” “custom” and “guaranteed” convey high-value appeal.

3) Am I selling the right thing?

Are you selling inputs rather than outcomes? Time, materials and effort are all inputs. In fact, the coaching process itself is an input.

How you do what you do (i.e., input) is not the first thing to talk about; that comes later (if and when the client asks "How are you going to give me this fantastic outcome you're talking abou?") Focus on the outcome first so the client can see that it'll be worth it.

Examples of outcomes:

  • Making or saving time/money
  • Reducing/eliminating a risk
  • Gaining an advantage
  • Creating or leveraging an opportunity
  • Mastering new skills

Don’t make price a selling point.

Perhaps most importantly, when you hear “I can’t afford it,” don't assume you have to lower your price to stay competitive.

You can see where that’s going to end up, right?

Instead of trying to compete on price, find a way to differentiate based on the value you provide. What’s it worth to the client to have the results they want? What will it cost them if they get those results?

Be ready to prove how your signature solution is a better option than a more generic solutions.

Differentiation is where the true value is.

You don’t have to cringe when a prospect says “I can’t afford it” and you don’t have to try and persuade them to change their mind about it, either. Instead, focus on the value of the outcome you're promising and how your signature approach provides a unique advantage.

If you do that consistently, you’re far more likely to hear “When can we start?”


Need a fresh perspective on what's "signature" about your coaching? Book a free 30-minute brainstorming session with me. I won't try to sell you anything, I promise! Click here for more info.

Kathy Mallary Kathy AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 06 2017
10 Coachable Goals (Plus 3 That Are Not)

Being able to spot  a coachable goal is key. If you miss the goal, you'll lose your client's trust. Or you might waste time coaching when your client actually needs counseling or therapy.

A coachable goal is one that a customer is ready and motivated to do now. It just feels like it's beyond his/her current level of experience or ability.

10 Coachable Goals…

This is what most clients basically want:

  • Money
  • Time off
  • Pleasure/quality of life
  • Connection
  • Stimulation
  • Skills and abilities
  • Entertainment and fun
  • To feel better about themselves
  • Growth and health
  • To get ahead in their career, business and life

…Plus 3 that are NOT

These goals are beyond the scope of coaching:

  • Changing the behavior or thinking of a third party (other than the client).
  • Overcoming compulsive or addictive behavior.  Therapy or counseling would be more effective than coaching.
  • Healing painful memories.  Again, therapy or counseling might be more appropriate.

Tips for spotting & working with coachable goals

  • The client should be willing to do the work. You're facilitating the process, not doing it for her.
  • The goal should be challenging, but achievable..
  • The urgency level should be high. The client is thinking “I have to figure this out NOW.”
  • Look for a pattern of coachable goals in your coaching notes. See if you can pick out a theme to build your marketing materials and products around.
  • Focus on clients with similar coachable goals. It's easier to design a signature coaching program when there's a unifying theme.

Nailing a coachable goal is a win for you and your client. Spot coachable goals early and leave the non-coachable issues alone.

Kathy Mallary AT 10:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 06 2017
3 Ways To Get Clients When You Don't Have a Signature Coaching Method (Yet)

Signature coaching programs and products are terrific revenue generators. But what if you're a new coach just getting started, or an established coach who's still figuring out your signature method?

Are there any other ways to get clients?

Here are three ways to work with more clients even if you haven't developed a signature method yet:

1) Focus on gaining visibility in a narrow market. Build a targeted mailing list and be sure to keep in close touch with them. As you build trust and credibility with your list, leave a trail of 'breadcrumbs' back to your coaching services.

2) Have lots of enrollment conversations and get really good at closing the sale. Without signature products and materials, your prospects are faced with a huge gap between your free stuff (public speaking, blogging or whatever you do to keep in touch) and high-end premium coaching. You’re going to need to become a master at facilitating the sales process so you can help them close that gap.

3) Find a position as an ‘in-house’ coach. You could also look for a coaching organization that uses subcontractors or approach a successful competitor (someone working in your niche) and become an associate coach for them.


Not sure what's getting in the way of coaching more clients? Let's chat it out over (virtual) coffee. I won't try to sell you anything, I promise! Click here for more info.

Kathy Mallary Kathy AT 09:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 09 2017
10 Reasons to Develop a Coaching Signature

A coaching signature is a distinct process or method that a coach uses to help clients get better results. It includes intellectual property, content and structure, as well as clearly defined outcomes.

Ten Reasons to Develop a Coaching Signature

  • To get more clients – People prefer products and services that they can get their arms around, both literally and figuratively. Because a signature system can be packaged as a step-by-step system or a variety of tangible products, it’s easier for the customer to understand and buy.
  • To differentiate from other coaches – With a signature approach, you don’t look like all the other coaches; people are more likely to notice and remember you. And you’ve made it easier for people to refer business to you, too.
  • To show that you're a credible expert – Credibility is almost as good as cash to a solo-professional; without it, you have little chance of gaining a foothold in the market. A signature system is one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert.
  • To shorten your sales cycle – How long does it take the average prospect to make their first purchase from you? Most coaches measure this cycle in months or even years if the only thing they have to offer is an expensive, intangible, hard-to-describe service. You’ll shorten the sales cycle significantly when you have a unique system with tangible materials. And you can accelerate it even more by offering a selection of price points and formats (e-books, audio programs, workbooks, etc.).
  • To improve client results – Your clients deserve the best possible results, right? A proven, structured process enhances their success and helps them overcome obstacles faster and more easily, because the right tools and guidelines are at their fingertips.
  • To grow the lifetime value of clients – Happy clients tend to stick around longer; they also spend more and refer more business to you over time.
  • To save time & effort – Having a systematic approach means you don’t have to create a custom-designed package for each new client. Create your system once and then use the materials and structures over and over again.
  • To create more revenue streams – Repackage and repurpose the content of your signature system in different formats:  e-books, audio programs, special reports, workbooks, teleclasses, etc. Even the folks who aren’t ready or able to buy the full package can become customers.
  • To make a bigger difference – A coaching system helps you break out of the ‘one-to-one’ coaching model, either through do-it-yourself formats like workbooks and audio programs, or by creating group coaching, teleclasses and workshops based on your signature process. You can help even more people (and increase your profits exponentially!) by having an affiliate program and/or licensing other facilitators to use your coaching system with their own clients.
  • To make your business more profitable – Instead of selling your time by the hour (or the month), now you can offer your expertise in the form of a complete system. This raises the perceived value of your services, which opens up your pricing options. And because the same structure and materials can be used with each client, a signature coaching system costs less to produce and deliver, which means a higher return on your investment of time and energy.

Do you want to develop a signature coaching method, but don't know where to start? Download your free guide.

Kathy Mallary Kathy Mallary AT 02:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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Who is Kathy Mallary?

Kathy Mallary is a signature coaching strategist in the Seattle, Washington area.

She loves partnering with clients on signature projects and helping forward-thinking coaches get more business.

When she's not developing knock out signature coaching programs and products with her clients, she enjoys cooking, hanging with her labradoodle, Maxine, and collecting infographics like other women collect shoes.

See what Kathy's clients say about her »


About SpiritSpring.com

SpiritSpring.com is Kathy's business site. It's full of articles, tools and resources on how self-employed coaches can work better with more clients with a signature coaching approach.

Typical topics covered on the site include:

- How to design and develop your signature coaching process

- How to expand your reach and fill your pipeline with qualified prospects

- How to convert potential clients into paying clients

Start by reading Kathy's featured articles »

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