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Sell Yourself Without Sounding Like a Salesman

Updated: May 11, 2021

In this CLCI LIVE with Lisa Finck (C.P.C., A.C.C.), Brooke Adair Walters (M.C.L.C., C.P.C), Jerome LeDuff Jr (M.C.L.C.), and special guest Joe McParland (C.L.C.), we discuss how to be clear and confident in pricing, what is a Discovery Call, and why you should be excited about what you do.

As the years go by and we at CLCI see more and more students, we've noticed something that students and graduates are universally nervous about, actually getting paid!

We all want to be paid for our services but we are afraid of sounding like a salesman, feeling awkward, that people will say no, or that we aren't "good enough" yet.

Now for an example; there is nothing inherently wrong with being a used car salesman, but we all can imagine the stereotype of a bad salesperson. Picture yourself when you were 16, you've scrimped and saved for over a year and finally, you have enough money to buy a car. You walk into a used car dealership, surrounded by beat-up cars, rust, and the smell of motor oil. Then the salesman comes out looking like the gentleman in the picture below and tries to sell you an overpriced hunk of junk, promising its good quality.

The reason why this stereotype of a salesman makes us so uncomfortable is that we intuitively know that they do not believe in their product and do not have our best interest at heart. We know immediately that we cannot trust them and therefore we do not believe anything he says.


As a coach, you aren't selling a product/commodity that is to be used and discarded. You are selling the benefits of coaching, benefits that can change lives for the better.

Coaches, you provide a valuable service! You are trained, certified, and a professional. So when speaking with a prospective client turn the tables and decide if the client is a good fit for you.

What does this mean? This means using those skills you have already been trained in as a coach. Listening, communicating, validating, and empathizing, as well as asking powerful questions.

It also means standing in your role as a coach and embodying what you do at all times. This is how you will gain your confidence, by being a coach; by being confident in yourself, sharing about what you do, and deciding whether it is in the best interest of both you and the client to work together. The clients will begin to trust that they are working with someone who will really provide immense value to their lives.

Be prepared to say "No."

As coaches, we are taught to refer out when the client needs help beyond what we as coaches do. This is us acting in the best interest of the client and also in our best interest as a coach.

The same is true when you are on a discovery call with a prospective client. Be prepared with your prices, your packages, office hours, what you coach, and how. Set your boundaries as a coach and business owner prior to getting on the phone. This is so that you know what is best for you the coach. Don't be afraid to say "No." if you and the client aren't the right fit.

If you hear "No," or "I have to think about it," or "I am still deciding what to do." It's okay. Let them know that they can contact you with any questions and that they are always welcome. Their no may have nothing to do with you and should not be taken personally. Do follow up with them shortly after and continue to reach out. Sometimes people just need time.

If you hear "Yes." Great job. But that is where the work begins. Follow up with your contract, intake form, scheduling, and payment and then go out and celebrate and tell the world about your first paying client!

We have included 7 selling without selling hacks below.

  1. Listen First. Flex your coach communication skills, empathize, validate, create a safe space and form a connection.

  2. Make it about them. Genuinely care about their lives & speak in their words

  3. Solve a problem for them, even if it directs them away from you. This builds trust and doesn't mean they won't come back later because you helped them at your expense.

  4. Give them valuable information for free. This will establish you as an expert & sells without selling.

  5. Smile when you speak, even if they can't see you. Smiles sell, and we can hear them. Smile when you are talking about what you do, even if it is on the phone.

  6. Stay humble & courteous. No matter the result stay positive, thankful, and caring. Sometimes a graceful loss is far more impactful than a triumphant win. If someone asks something you don't know, it's ok to say you don't but you will get back to them with an answer.

  7. Embody your value & be confident in what you do! Believe in yourself, confidence often sells better than credentials.

So instead of adorning your Sunday best sales suit, put a smile on your face and get out there and be excited and tell the world about what you not only do, but have also been trained and certified in.

Thank you,

Lisa Finck, Brooke Adair Walters, Jerome LeDuff Jr., and Joe McParland

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1 Comment

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