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The Number One Problem Most Business Coaches Face

by | In the Magazine, Mike McMahon

The number one problem most business coaches face is getting clients. Take a look at any study out there and it’s the top problem across the board.

It’s one of those subjects that doesn’t get a lot of conversation. Let’s face it if you struggle to fill your practice you’re not going to go public with the issue.

The last thing a struggling coach wants is for a prospect to know they struggle to get clients of their own.

I get it. It’s not hard to imagine a business owner would think a coach who struggles to get their own clients can’t help them.

The truth is many business coaches struggle to get clients. And with that constant struggle comes big swings in income. For most some months are amazing but other months make them wish they had a regular job.

Do you feel that way from time to time?

The funny thing is you might be amazing at how you help clients and still struggle to get new clients. Even though the skills are similar it’s different.

When you put systems in place for your clients they are doing the selling. Even if you do some of the sales for them you are selling their services or products and if you have employees the use of a paystub generator can help handling this. There is a big difference.

When you represent yourself all kinds of personal and emotional baggage come up for you to deal with. The problem is most coaches aren’t aware of this and they have no idea what to do about it.

From the time you were a child, you were probably told not to talk about yourself as if it was wrong or something. You know don’t brag. Add to that being told not to talk about money because it’s not polite. Or don’t be rude or pushy which is fine but most people have the misguided notion that selling is being rude or pushy. It’s not. At least when it’s done right anyway.

It’s a wonder you can even tell someone how you can help them and expect to get paid.

Of course not every coach struggles with this. Successful coaches don’t struggle with this or they’ve learned how to deal with it.

Most of them are comfortable talking about themselves and the services they offer. They also have no problem asking for money. In fact, they love it. They know they are the best solution for their prospect and they believe it’s their duty to help them.

Can you see where the conflict is?

We are wired to avoid things that make us uncomfortable. It’s our brain’s way of trying to protect us. It doesn’t know it’s not helping you.

Because we avoid the things we don’t want to do we end up suffering from the income roller coaster knows as the feast or famine cycle. When things are going “good enough” we stop prospecting. Then when we lose a client or two we know we don’t have a choice so we get back out there. Sometimes we wait so long to get started things really get bad.

When the pain of not having enough clients becomes greater than the pain of prospecting we prospect.

The challenge with this process is that since you only do it when you don’t have a choice you never get great at it. So, it’s always uncomfortable.

Because it’s uncomfortable you stop as soon as you can even if that means your practice isn’t full. You settle for getting by instead of thriving.

Unfortunately, this becomes a pattern that our brains accept as normal so we end up in a rut. As Mark Twain said, “A rut is just a grave with the ends kicked out.”

If you’re like most business coaches you depend on referrals. The problem is they don’t happen often enough or predictably enough.

So the cycle continues.

At the root of this is how you see yourself and the solution you provide. If you struggle with your own self worth or if you have some of the issues I already mentioned it’s going to hold you back.

Another thing that will always hold you back is any lack of confidence you have in yourself or the solution you provide. Before you can expect anyone to buy what you have to offer you have to be sold on it yourself.

Prospects can smell the tiniest lack of confidence from a mile away.

The good news is being made aware of a problem is the first step in the solution.

Some of your lack of confidence comes from failing to niche down and pick a specific industry. I work with business coaches all the time that skip this critical step. They are afraid they can’t afford to niche down. That they might miss out on clients.

As a business coach if your client wanted to do generic advertising would you let them? You know as well as I do that trying to be all things to all people means you’re nothing to no one.

Why would you do something you won’t let your clients do?

Take these four steps in your practice and it won’t be long before your feast or famine days are over.

  1. Position yourself as an expert at what you do. Part of doing that is to pick a niche and get crystal clear on what problem or problems you solve.
  2. Package up your solution into a high-ticket irresistible offer.
  3. Price your solution based on the value of the transformation. You must know exactly what the solution is worth and what steps your client must take to get the results you offer. Stop trading time for dollars.
  4. Promote your solution to your ideal clients. Research your ideal clients so you know where they hang out and what they read. Then get in front of them with your solution.

When you follow these four steps you will become known as the expert at what you do. And experts get paid a whole lot better than the general practitioner.

As a business coach, you have the opportunity to make a huge impact in the lives of so many people. You owe it to yourself and to your clients to become a master at enrolling clients.

You are a champion and you are made for great things.

Work on your limiting self-beliefs, nothing can stop you. Get help with your sales and presentation skills so you master it. Niche down to serve a specific client with a specific set of problems you know you can solve.

You’ve got this!

If you’d like help with how to Position, Package, Price, and Promote yourself go to You will find a short questionnaire to fill out. After looking it over if I believe we can help we’ll reach out and schedule a free strategy session with you.

 About the Contributor

Mike McMahon has personally closed more than 12,000 sales. But, after mastering, teaching and using every closing trick in the book, he’s taken high-performance selling to a new level in perfect pitch for the unique challenges of selling in the digital age.

In Sales Mastery for Coaches, Mike blasts what was once his bread and butter as “Battlefield Selling” a brutal high-stress (for both coach and client) and primitive system, and prescribes a new, fun, and civilized way forward that gets big results!

Insightful author, high-content speaker, and can-do coach, Mike McMahon has a stellar track record of helping coaches breakthrough their sales roadblocks so they can have a blast enrolling more clients while making a bigger impact.

He is the creator of Sales Mastery For Coaches, the cure for what coaches hate about sales.

You can learn more at

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