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How I Sell Business Coaching

"When we have clarity about our customers and they have the ability to pay us, selling business coaching becomes easier."

There are coaching statistics from studies by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and others that show:

  • 82% of coaching businesses fail within the first 2 years.

  • That the average coach in the USA makes $62,000 per year.

  • That coaching has been commoditized and that coaching revenues are expected to decline by 57% in 2022.

  • Other studies show that many business coaches spend more time planning to coach than actually coaching.

In the PBCA business coach training you learn that the number one reason why business coaches fail is because they don’t have enough customers. They don’t make money. Unfortunately for people who don’t like the word selling, we have to sell business coaching in order to have clients. While selling business coaching seems difficult for some people, it shouldn’t be.

Here are 5 things I do to sell business coaching.

1. Have Clarity About Who You Want To Work With.

As coaches we need to be clear about who we want to work with. Unfortunately, we often fish for clients in the wrong ponds and as a result end up with small fries. Unless you like working with startups, don’t try to coach in this market. Working with startups can be rewarding but these clients don’t have the money that more established businesses have. Many times, coaches try to coach in areas outside of their scope of understanding. This can not only be a challenge once you land a client but when a prospect feels you don’t understand the industry, have the lingo or walk the talk, you are going to face an uphill battle. When we have clarity about our customers and they have the ability to pay us, selling business coaching becomes easier.

2. Get Out of Your Office

It is easy to become isolated in your coaching practice and find distractions to avoid selling your services. We might be led to believe that we can sell business coaching through marketing social media. However, the reality is that you need to get out of your office and start connecting with people who are in your community that might be clients. There are business owners and leaders who are desperate for the help you have to offer as a business coach. Your skills in helping these people get clarity about their biggest challenges or opportunities are what they need in this time of economic change. Working with a client is gratifying work and the results are phenomenal. Yet when we aren’t rubbing shoulders with the right people, we fail to place ourselves in situations where we have the opportunity to make a difference. Getting in front of people might mean putting on a seminar, visiting past clients, or picking up the phone and having a conversation. When I feel I need more business, I book a road trip and figure out who I can talk to and when that is going to happen and then prepare for meeting some great people and potential clients. Two weeks ago, I dropped in on a business owner just to see how they were doing and a week later they reached out to me to tell me they would go with my proposal to help them for the $28,000 package I pitched.

3. Don’t Sell Anything. Ask Questions

The truth of the matter is that I don’t sell business coaching, I give my prospective clients a sample of business coaching by asking them deep questions that sometimes shake their foundations. I am profoundly curious about them and their business and ask them why they are doing things a certain way, what their challenges are, and how they might overcome them. When we show a sincere interest in other people, they become interested in what we can do to help them.

4. Don’t Undervalue What You Do!

I was surprised when I sold my first $10,000 client, which was within 3 days of finishing my training. However, I realized that I needed lots of $10k clients to live the lifestyle I wanted. I changed my focus to finding $20k clients, then $30k engagements which now make up most of my work. What we do is valuable and I have had several clients pay much more than $100k for our services. The value of what we do is often not limited by our clients but by our own understanding of the value of what we do. Don’t let yourself be limited by your own limitations.

5. Don’t Be Limited by Your Business Card!

So often as coaches we feel that if we aren’t purely coaching, we are not living the dream. As business coaches we are often asked to help out our clients in ways that go beyond traditional business coaching. This might be helping out with defining roles and responsibilities, training staff or supporting HR, managing crisis or team dysfunction, helping with planning or preparing a business for sale.

There is lots of money to be made in the coaching profession. How much is limited only by you and your ability to be creative in serving your potential clients.


Dave Fuller is a 6-figure business coach who is a member of the Professional Business Coaches Association of Canada. Dave is also a partner at the Business Coaching and Consulting firm Pivot Leader. At PivotLeader, their purpose is to make a difference in the lives of leaders, their employees, and their communities and instill a legacy of leadership for generations to come!

Connect with Dave:

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Are you thinking of becoming a business coach? Do you want to be part of a larger community of highly experienced and trained professional business coaches? If you want more info on becoming a PBCA Certified Professional Business Coach, contact us here and get started!


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