How to Stop Bumbling Your Way Through the Business of Coaching

by Jason Westlake

Starting your coaching business, earning an income through coaching and getting clients are all part of the business skills you need to master to be successful. And that’s a different skill set from the coaching itself. Getting clients is not something you can expect to master in a day. Clients don’t magically line up for you while you sit at your desk building your website.

There are at least 18 disciplines to master in the art of getting clients. Not tips. Not pointers. Not things to think about. But disciplines. A discipline is something you take on as a practice, just as you would master a skill like kung fu. It takes time, practice and discipline. It takes failure, making mistakes and incremental improvement.

Getting clients takes commitment. Getting clients takes being professional about approaching your business. Getting clients means you treat your practice like a business. Getting clients means you get better, step by step, learning from other coaches, knowing that the art of getting clients is something you master, just like your coaching skills.

If you are committed to getting clients and building your life coaching practice, then you are ready for the first of the 18 disciplines. The first discipline is to sell experiences, not concepts.

You have probably tried to talk to clients about coaching. You told your prospects about the benefits of coaching. You listed off why their lives would be better. You told them about the concepts of coaching. And they didn’t become your clients.

Why? Because you tried to sell the concept, not the experience. For example, if you are selling lasagna, you can say that the lasagna tastes great. You can list the benefits of lasagna. You can tell them the features of lasagna. You can say that the lasagna was made with homemade beef, fresh mozzarella cheese and the finest ingredients. You can tell your prospect how much better their lives would be if they ate lasagna.

Or you can just give them some lasagna to eat. Which method do you think sells better? Which is easier? It takes a lot of work to try to sell concepts, and it feels like you have to twist their arms to get them to coach with you. Sell the experience instead.

That means you coach them. You ask them questions and really get with them in their world. You don’t even need to bring up the fact that you are a life coach. That’s self-serving. Coaches help people. So coach your prospect. Find out what his problems are. Make a difference for him. Create some breakthroughs for him. Make sure he experiences your coaching.

And then people will feel helped. They’ll want to coach with you quite naturally. You won’t have to convince them. It will be much easier, and you’ll begin to attract clients. Selling experiences, not concepts, is just the first discipline to master. There are many more.

Remember that getting life coaching clients takes commitment, and a coach to help you master those business and sales skills. If you are willing to dedicate yourself to learn the art of getting clients, you will have a successful coaching practice. If you can embrace the business skills and embody them, you will come to see that getting clients doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be a mystery. And you can learn to attract clients just as well as you can coach.

Jason Westlake works with successful professionals who feel empty and are committed to building a more purpose driven career or business. Jason helps them stair step their way into a truly fulfilling profession. To learn about upcoming resources about the 18 disciplines, subscribe at

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