Why Your Coaching Business is Stuck at Six-Figures (and what to do about it)
You’re a coach (or consultant)… And by most people’s standards, you’re pretty successful.
You’ve got the website and the high-ticket package and the client testimonials.
You’ve got the free offer and the splash page and the email nurture sequence.
You may even have a team of virtual assistants helping you with the tedious tasks.
You absolutely want to grow your business, to make more money and have a bigger impact.
There’s just one problem: You’ve run out of hours.
You want to double your business, but you can’t work twice as hard.
Heck – you’d love to 10x your business, but you just don’t see how to get from here to there.
…Do you know why?
You are the bottleneck in your own business.
What got you to six-figures will not get you to seven.
You can no longer do it all yourself, but you have no idea what to let go, or to whom, or how.
Most entrepreneurs get trapped on a feast-or-famine cash flow carousel.
They discover they’re about to run out of cash, so they scramble to generate some business
Then they shift gears and fulfill all the work that they just closed, thereby taking their foot off the marketing pedal.
Unfortunately, then their pipeline dries up, and it is just a matter of time before they run out of cash again.
But here’s the good news: This is completely normal.
Everyone you’ve ever met who is running a multiple-seven figure business, was in exactly the same spot you are now, and they figured this out.
And better yet: You don’t have to navigate this transition alone.
WHY DOES EVERYONE GET STUCK AT SIX-FIGURES?
If you have a $10,000 offer, you only need 100 sales / year to reach $1,000,000. That’s only 2 sales per week.
So what’s the problem?
Well, it’s either…
- Marketing – You just aren’t generating enough leads to close 2 deals per week
- Sales – You have mental resistance around selling, which means you would rather do ANYTHING ELSE in your business and so it drops to the bottom of your To-Do List
- Operations – Your offer requires too much “fulfillment” time so that 2 clients per week is simply not sustainable
Let’s address each of these three areas of focus.
All strategic business planning must start at the point of delivery.
Many of our clients come to us still wearing most of the hats in their business. They are the entire marketing team, the Closer, the Client Care Manager, the Chief Operating Officer and the Finance Director, all rolled into one.
And usually, what they’re selling is themselves. Their name, their intellectual property, their Signature System…. Mostly, they’re selling their Time. So they’re also the only person who can fulfill the work they just sold.
They may be charging $500 / hour for their work, but they still only have 24 hours in a day.
So when our clients come to us, we completely restructure their high-end offers in such a way that they are (A) differentiated in the marketplace, (B) sell results, not time, and (C) can charge more money by providing a lot more value, while (D) lowering their costs of fulfillment.
The easiest way to think through your offers is to ask yourself: How could I produce as good – or better – results for my clients while serving ten times as many people as I’m serving now?
In other words, don’t plan your business around 2 sales per week – plan it around 20 sales per week!
What would your operations need to look like if you were going to 10x this year?
Most people will tell you that in order to generate consistent, qualified lead flow you need to build a funnel, record a webinar, and master Facebook advertising.
The trouble is that the cost of lead acquisition is skyrocketing. We’ve had clients spend 60% of topline revenue on advertising alone, not including the capital investment to make the funnel nor the on-going costs to manage those ads (because Facebook changes their algorithms every 3 months).
Also, the coaching industry is becoming increasingly saturated. You can’t throw a stone on Facebook or LinkedIn without hitting a competitor who is flaunting all of their successes in a hyperbolic fashion.
In contrast, we teach our clients how to generate high quality conversations WITHOUT fancy marketing graphics or paid advertising.
We teach you how to identify your ideal clients online in free public forums and spark a dialogue using genuine curiosity – the way you would meet people at an in-person networking event! – and invite them into an educational conversation that provides value before asking for a sale.
Using our techniques, you can consistently generate 2 sales a week with 10 – 15 hours of online networking each week.
The trouble is that very few coaches became entrepreneurs because they LOVED sales and happened to be the best closer they knew. Even if they were good at sales in the corporate world, many coaches flounder when they try to sell their own services.
Too often, our mental hang-ups create friction in our sales activities that hold us back from our fullest income potential.
Either we don’t charge enough in the first place, or we discount our services to close the deal, or over-deliver on the back end.
Or maybe we stay so busy running our business that we don’t even make time for sales.
Whatever the case, if you want to scale into the seven-figures, the most important step is having someone in your business dedicated to business development full-time.
That’s right – you need to hire a salesperson.
WHY HAVEN’T YOU HIRED A SALESPERSON YET?
Now, most people I’ve spoken with would be THRILLED to hire a salesperson to close their deals, but they haven’t already because:
- “I’m not generating enough leads to keep a salesperson busy.”
- “I don’t know where to find a salesperson.”
- “I couldn’t trust my leads to someone else – they might not represent my brand well.”
- “I wouldn’t know what to pay a salesperson.”
- “Isn’t managing a salesperson a lot of work? Wouldn’t it be less time-consuming to just do it myself?”
So let’s go through these one by one:
NOT ENOUGH LEADS
Admittedly, this was the biggest problem that our clients used to have. It takes at least 200 inbound leads to keep a full-time Closer “fed” each month. Unless you were already at seven-figures, that kind of investment in marketing made a full-time sales hire unattainable for most coaches and consultants.
You want to look for a salesperson who’s not afraid of doing a little prospecting to build and nurture their own pipeline. There are hundreds of “high-ticket closers” on the market today, but very few of them know how to generate their own leads.
Fortunately, we train and certify our sales professionals in the same lead-generation techniques that we teach you! Not only can they close deals, they can also generate leads online and keep their own pipeline full.
CAN’T FIND A SALESPERSON
Finding a sales person is not hard.
Headhunters that will charge you an arm and a leg to place a salesperson onto your team.
Career services pages will give you access to thousands of potential reps.
In fact, you probably know a salesperson who’s out of work right now!
Finding a sales person is not hard…. But finding the RIGHT salesperson is hard.
Too many of our clients have spent thousands of dollars on-boarding a salesperson who could only sell themselves. Bad salespeople will cost you more than they’re worth in terms of wasted hours and the opportunity cost of unconverted leads.
You will want to take your prospective salespeople through a rigorous application and multi-interview process that involves at least one personality assessment (Tony Robbins offers a free DISC assessment on this website) and ideally a trial period wherein they are competing against other candidates.
Our Recruitment and Certification process includes:
- Written application with self-evaluation of sales skills
- Video application
- Screening Interview
- 3-Week Commission-Based Competition
- Personality Assessments
- Reference Checks
- Final Interviews
POOR BRAND ALIGNMENT
We get it. You have worked really hard to attract your ideal clients. Your leads are practically your children and you can’t imagine handing off the most important part of your business to a total stranger.
You should LOVE your sales professional, because, let’s face it, they are your brand ambassador – the face of your business – and they should mirror your ideal clients. If you were a spa owner catering to Millennial women, hiring a trucker in his 50s to stand behind your reception desk might be off-putting (at the very least, you would need to adjust your branding to compensate).
To that end, we personally interview every client and each of our sales professionals to find you the best possible match for your business. Each one of our sales professionals ascribes to our values and believes that selling is an act of love and service; an opportunity to find a Win-Win that benefits all involved.
A good salesperson expects to earn at least $100,000 per year. Unfortunately, sometimes six-figure business owners aren’t even paying themselves that much, so it’s important to remember that your salesperson is not an expense — they are a revenue-generator!
If your salesperson could bring in an extra $500,000 – $2,000,000 in revenue this year – how much would you be willing to pay for this person?
Keep in mind that the more you can afford to pay, the higher caliber support you can retain.
We will help you craft a compensation plan that will incentivize the right behaviors to ensure optimal results — giving them unlimited income potential and you limited risk potential.
NO MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE
We’re not gonna lie — managing a sales team can feel a lot like juggling kittens. Good salespeople have notoriously high Egos (which allows them to ask for the sale and handle rejection) and high Empathy (which allows them to connect instantaneously with total strangers). These are necessary qualities in a good salesperson, but it does make them a unique management challenge.
You need to be the best at what you do so that you can inspire high confidence and conviction. You need to provide adequate structure, support and accountability that they don’t lose momentum or focus, but without micromanaging and smothering your salesperson. You need to inspire great results without setting unrealistic expectations.
But don’t worry! We’ve been doing this long enough that we’ve got it down to a science. Only professionals who are self-motivated team players survive our Certification process. Our entire recruitment model is designed to weed out the Entitled Divas who thrive on drama and expect everything delivered on a silver platter. Our Sales Pros are eager, coachable, and committed to excellence.
Also, we are going to give you the systems and tools you need to ensure that you get fabulous results over the long-term with a customized CRM and dashboard that allows you to see results instantly without requiring odious reporting by your salesperson.
We walk you through how often to meet with your Sales Pro and how to run an effective sales meeting (we’ll even attend a couple if you need an outside perspective), and coach you to manage your salesperson so that both of you hit your income goals!
HOW MUCH IS A SALES PROFESSIONAL WORTH?
Most entrepreneurs evaluate the cost of an investment by its potential return.
What sort of return can you expect from hiring a superstar to generate leads and close deals?
Let’s run the math:
If your sales person was able to generate 5 conversations per week with a 20% close rate… and your average sale were $5,000, then one sale each week = $250,000 / year
If your sales person was able to facilitate 15 conversations per week with a 40% close rate… and your average sale were $10,000, then 6 sales per week = $3,000,000 / year
The factors that determine the value of your sales person include:
- Time invested (part- or full-time)
- Number of Leads provided or prospected (prospecting is great for the short-term but you can see how providing inbound leads is the best long-term solution)
- Quality of Leads, which affects…
- Ability to Convert
- Price of your Programs
Now compare those numbers to your current revenue: How much money are you leaving on the table by not hiring someone to handle business development full-time in your business?
THE COST OF DOING THIS WRONG
While you may realize that you’re losing a lot of money by not hiring a salesperson, let’s also talk about how expensive it can be to do this the WRONG way…
HIRING TOO EARLY
For coaches and consultants who hate to sell, trying to let go of their sales prematurely is a common mistake. They don’t like it and they assume that anyone who calls themselves a salesperson must be better at selling than they are.
Even if you’re not gifted at sales or haven’t been taught how to sell well, you will naturally have an advantage over any sales professional you hire because you are the expert in your niche. You (should) know your work better than anyone else on the planet, and you can close through conviction, if nothing else.
In order to ensure that your salesperson will succeed, we help you create:
- Irresistible Offers that differentiate you from your competition
- Customized Sales Scripts (that don’t feel robotic)
- An Educational Report to pre-qualify your prospects
- A CRM with dashboard to nurture your pipeline
We provide sales coaching to you as the business owner, because the first milestone we guarantee in our work is that you will close your own high-end offer from a lead that your Sales Pro generates for you, so that we know your offer is solid and we’ve identified the right client profile!
WAITING TOO LONG
Most small business owners don’t realize that hiring someone to support them in their sales is even an option until they’re completely overwhelmed and grasping at straws.
They’ve done the math. They know exactly how much money they’re losing each month because they don’t have the bandwidth to follow up with all the leads they’ve got, let alone generate more.
By this point, they’re desperate and end up plugging the first able-bodied person who crosses their path, without properly screening them or creating a success plan to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
Before you even start looking for a salesperson, you’ll want to set up important infrastructure, including:
- Job description with Key Performance Indicators
- Compensation pro forma
- Accountability Systems
- Tracking Tools (which we’ll discuss below)
HIRING THE WRONG PERSON
Someone could be an excellent salesperson… But NOT the right fit for your organization.
As for any hire, when hiring a salesperson, you are looking not only at competence — are they good at what they do? — and experience — do they know my industry? — you also need to consider culture — do they live your brand values?
One of our clients had a salesperson referred to her, and he negotiated himself a $60k base plus commissions. He was in the role for 6 months before she realized that he was not a good fit for her team. She had a warm, Southern culture in a business run entirely by women who loved to connect and chat with each other; he was a Closer from the North who didn’t even want to attend team meetings.
…Of course he had trouble closing! When prospective clients met her at an event and consumed her marketing materials, they got a sense for who she was and how she ran her business — and he showed up on his sales calls projecting the complete opposite feeling!
My client ended up losing $30k in out of pocket expense and hundreds of thousands in potential sales that could have been closed if she’d had the right salesperson in place.
We are the only service on the market that personal trains, certifies, matches and guarantees our placements. We will find a sales professional who aligns with your brand, can generate their own leads, and has a proven track record of closing high-ticket deals… and we guarantee that they will close a deal for you or we’ll replace them with someone who does.
Unfortunately, even if you’re lucky enough to find your perfect superstar salesperson…
If you don’t have the right systems to train and manage that person, you’ll lose them! So let’s go into what you need in order to KEEP this sales superstar you’ve found…
WHAT DO YOU NEED IN ORDER TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN A SALES SUPERSTAR?
If you are interested in hiring a sales superstar to help you grow your business, you need several things to ensure that you attract the right person and can keep them happy for the long-term.
The bigger your vision and more meaningful your mission, the easier it will be to inspire a salesperson to stay with you long-term.
Not surprisingly, this vision is also what inspires your best clients to reach out to you and stay with you long-term as well.
A clear vision will carry you through the hard times and ensure that you persevere in growing your company to the level that allows you to make the significant global impact you’re capable of achieving
This leadership quotient will also show up on a daily and weekly basis as you mentor your salesperson and help them become their best self and grow your company for you.
PROVEN TRACK RECORD
Our industry is filled with people who are happy to take people’s money without delivering results. It may work for them short-term, but these people will never be able to retain good salespeople because sales requires CONVICTION.
Your salesperson has to be convinced that you are the best in the world at what you do and that they can safely promise each client RESULTS.
If you get too many people asking for refunds or leaving bad reviews, any sales person with integrity will instinctively start sabotaging their own deals because they no longer believe in what they’re offering.
HIGH PROFIT MARGINS
Fortunately, our industry specializes in high profit margins, because there is so little overhead required for coaching.
On the other hand, if you’ve been spending a lot of money on marketing, you can appreciate how high variable costs for leads can go.
Not only do you want to sell a high-ticket package, you need high internal margins because you will be paying 10 – 30% of top-line revenue to your salesperson.
An average commission should be at least $1,000 per sale, and more if they’re doing their own prospecting.
Be prepared to be very generous with your salesperson!
SALES TRACKING SYSTEM
As a sales manager, you want the reports and information you need to make good decisions.
Unfortunately, salespeople are notoriously BAD at paperwork. Good closers hate reporting.
You need a system to quickly and accurately track their work in such a way that feels like it’s in the salespersons best interests while giving you the data you need.
Some CRMs are great at tracking marketing activities, but cumbersome for tracking sales pipelines.
We have found a CRM that works well for both and if you work with us, we will customize our platform for your company in such a way that it not only reflects sales activities, but actively guides your salesperson through the lead nurture process to ensure no leads fall through the cracks, and you can see everything you need at a glance on our dashboard.
ARE YOU READY TO HIRE?
You are ready to hire a sales superstar if…
- You have a high-ticket offer (at least $5,000 or higher)
- You have a proven track record of client success
- You have a Big Vision
- You have the capacity to bring on 20 – 100 more clients this year
Hiring a sales superstar who can generate their own leads is the key to unlimited growth. It’s like writing yourself a six-figure check! And you can bring on as many of them as you like.
Unlike other positions which are an expense, a sales superstar is a revenue-generator. We know that hiring a sales professional who can generate their own leads is not the only step you’ll need to scale through your six-figure plateau and reach seven-figures, but it should be your first step. Hiring your sales superstar first will allow you to finance your other hires.
Hiring a sales superstar will empower you to finally get off the feast-or-famine carousel, by giving you more consistent cash flow. Once you have someone fully dedicated to business development, you will have the financial predictability you need to hire other support team members, such as a business operations manager and fulfillment team.
Hiring a sales superstar will also give you your time back, so you can focus on strategically growing your business, instead of constantly putting out fires. It is the most important step to becoming the CEO of your company, rather than a solopreneur.
Having someone building and nurturing your pipeline will also give you more peace of mind, knowing that you are no longer the only rainmaker in your business. A sales superstar also gives you a lot more freedom. When you’re on vacation — you’re still making money!
HOW CAN WE HELP?
Our company has recruited, hired, trained and managed sales teams for some of the most prestigious names in the coaching industry, including Deepak Chopra, Ali Brown, Ryan Levesque, Fabienne Fredrickson, Alex Mandossian, and more.
We used to charge 30% of revenue generated plus management fees, but we have restructured so we can now offer you a flat-rate of $18,000, which includes placing a Certified Sales Pro onto your team, lead generation training and sales coaching for both of you, a CRM dashboard to track sales activities and management support for 90 Days.
We provide a 2-Part “Milestone Guarantee” to ensure you understand this process and can successfully manage it without us!
We will work with you until (1) you personally close a $5k or higher package from a lead generated by your SalesPro and (2) your SalesPro closes a $5k or higher package for you, or we will work with you (or replace your SalesPro and restart the 90 days of support).
Because we guarantee your success, we personally interview every prospective client to ensure this is the right fit for both of us.
Let’s schedule a quick 20-minute Discovery to determine if you’re ready for this step in your business growth.
If you’re not, we will give you the exact steps you need to get there!
And if it is the right time, we will schedule a longer conversation to discuss the details of the program and a timeline for getting started.