Transition Excellence

Four Stages Coaches go Through to Create High-Performing Clients

I know this sounds familiar to a lot of coaches, consultants, and others out there. A client looks at you and says, “I’d LOVE to work with you!” … and then you never hear from them again. 

A lot of coaches have asked me over the years, “What do you do if someone says ‘Yes’ and then they go home, speak with their partner and then they change their mind?” 

You know that exact feeling I’m talking about, don’t you? We’ve all been there in one way or another. 

I mean… they were exactly the type of client all coaches are on the lookout for: a ‘HELL YES’ client. You knew it. They knew it. Them sending their payment over to you was nothing more than a formality. Your first call together was already on both of your calendars. 

And then everything went quiet. 

Nothing. 

Silence. 

They said ‘HELL YES’ and now they aren’t answering your phone calls, your texts, your emails…

If this were a scene out of an old Western movie, you would have seen a tumbleweed blow across the set.

So, what happened?

Well, let’s take a look at some context first:

Coaches and the Fourth Sale

Did you know that 90% of coaches never earn more than $20,000 a year? This means that creating high-performing clients for high-powered coaching is typically unfamiliar territory to most coaches. 

Most “coaches” (and yes, I say that in quotes) who are writing online about how to ‘get’ clients might be experts in marketing or some other field. They’ll talk to you about the “power of urgency” or the “importance of amplifying your client’s pain” or the “need to offer 30-minute taster sessions but no more.” 

However, they end up missing the tiny but essential distinctions that make up the world of ‘Creating Clients’ as opposed to ‘getting’ clients. (I’d encourage you to click the link above to learn more about creating clients, by the way).

There is something truly unique about ‘selling the invisible’. And, in fact, there are four stages that I teach coaches to use when it comes to creating high-performing clients. These are extremely easy to miss if you don’t know where you’re looking.

Let’s begin.

Sale #1 –  The First Sale Begins with YOU

Let me ask you a few questions: 

  • Are YOU sold on you? 
  • Do YOU really believe in the power of coaching?
  • Have YOU experienced powerful coaching before?
  • When have YOU invested in a powerful coach/coaches yourself?
  • Have YOU invested more money than you feel comfortable to spend?
  • Have YOU seen and felt others EXPERIENCE the impact of your coaching?

If you, yourself, don’t believe in the power of coaching enough to invest in your own coach, then why should a client ever invest in working with you? 

Invest in your own coach and begin to build up a track record of coaching. 

This is a stage I like to call, “Coach Your Ass Off”. 

Sale #2 – This Begins BEFORE your First Conversation

Creating Clients Wheel for Coaches

The second sale for coaches is helping a potential client to decide to say yes to even having a powerful conversation with you.

Truthfully, time is precious. 

In the hyper-connected, ‘always on’ world that we’re currently living in, people have CONSTANT demands on their time, their energy, and their attention. 

WHY should they say yes to even having a conversation with you? 

How do YOU stand out from all of the other coaches, from the ‘noise’? Especially with everything online? 

You might be considering the idea of offering a ‘free session’… but a free session can cheapen what you do and lead to people likely saying no. 

I also don’t like to offer a ‘30-minute taster session’ either and this is never going to allow a client to really experience the full power of your coaching. 

A lot of coaches try to go this route in an attempt to ‘get’ clients. But think about it: when was the last time you heard a heart surgeon offer a free session? Or a 30-minute taster heart surgery session later in the month? “Email me for details!” 

Don’t be like these other coaches. Be like a heart surgeon. 

Offer the person who is in front of you the opportunity for something EXTRAORDINARY. 

Offer the person a life-changing conversation. 

Create a reason that is so personal to the person in front of you that they simply can’t say no. 

Sale #3  – This Occurs when you make a Powerful Proposal

You know this feeling I’m about to describe: It’s the end of what has been an incredible coaching session. You’ve helped your potential client see things that they normally wouldn’t have seen otherwise. You’ve said things to them that no other coach would dare to say.

You can see it in the way their eyes light up. You can hear it as soon as they open their mouth. 

They’ve had a life-changing experience. Their world has been rocked. 

They. Want. More. 

And they might not even realize that they want more. But YOU can sense it. And you’re willing to get vulnerable and take a chance with them. 

So, you invite them to take a chance, too, and coach with you. 

You make them a POWERFUL proposal.

This, right here, is the moment that most coaches are terrified of. And even IF they make it to this point, they are so relieved to have even made a proposal out loud that they think their mission is over. 

They don’t even know about The Fourth Sale…

Sale #4 – This Occurs AFTER a Client has said YES

At this exact moment, most coaches are jumping in the air yelling, “YIPPEEEEEE!! I HAVE A NEW CLIENT!” 

But! A great coach knows not to do this because they understand that their client is going to walk away or leave their call and then speak to someone who they love and trust. 

And here’s how the conversation is going to go:

Client: Oh my God. I just got coached. It was absolutely amazing. I’m going to do it, I’m going to hire my own coach.

Client’s husband: Uh, huh. And what exactly is a coach?

Client: Well, a coach is a person who I’m going to speak with every week.

Client’s husband: What for? How come?

Client: He’s going to help me to make my dreams come true.

Client’s husband: …Really…

Client: Yep. [Starts getting a little defensive]

Client’s husband: So how’s this coach going to do that?

Client: Errr… By talking to me.

Client’s husband: Uh huh. How much does this coach charge for talking to you?

Client: $5,000.

Client’s husband: FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS! For ‘talking’ to you? Are you serious? Five thousand dollars? I’ll talk to you about your dreams. You don’t even have to pay me. And I’ll buy you all of Tony Robbins cds! Multiple copies, in fact! And we’ll STILL have enough money left over for a vacation AND a new television!

Client: I never thought about it like that…


Coach: [EMAIL] Hey! When we spoke the other day, you said you were ready to jump into coaching but I haven’t received your payment or heard back from you, yet. Just wanted to check in, hope everything is well.

Client: SILENCE [Sound of the waves crashing against the shore in the background]


Here’s a new, powerful approach for coaches: 

Preempt this conversation. 

SLOW DOWN. TEST THE YES.

When they tell you that they’re in, tell them to hang tight – you want to slow things down for a moment:

“Are you sure?”

“Let’s take a minute or two to really think about this…”

“I want to be certain that you aren’t rushing into things.”

“Is there anyone that you’d like to check in with first before you can really, truly call this a ‘HELL YES’?”

“How about your husband? Your business partner? Your Board of Directors? I know that YOU might be feeling like this is a ‘HELL YES’ right now, but they haven’t even been made aware of our conversation. What would THEY need to know to support your ‘Hell Yes’?”

“Do they even know what it is that coaches do? What coaching is? Have they, themselves, ever experienced a really deep, powerful coaching session?”

“The most important thing I want you to understand, however, is that you do not NEED coaching. I want you to make sure you let anybody that you talk to about this know this simple fact. You do not NEED coaching. And you do not need ME as your coach. I already believe in you and I know that you have the ability to create anything and everything that you want to create. Without me. And without coaching.”

“Now… if you WANT coaching… then that’s different. Remember that. I’m here for you. But you don’t NEED me.”

Whew. That’s a lot, isn’t it? But this final sale is important. For both them and yourself. As you’re speaking to them, if you realize that YOU don’t believe deeply in the person in front of you, then it’s important for you to move on. 

How Transition Excellence Helps Coaches Learn The Fourth Sale Process

Let’s go back to the original question that started all of this: What do you do if someone says ‘Yes’, then goes away and speaks with a loved one or partner who changes their mind?’

Well, for me, I take this personally. 

Nobody’s partner really, truly changes their mind. If the person in front of me changes their mind after speaking to someone else then I use this as a reminder to myself that I didn’t serve them powerfully enough. 

And honestly, this might not be the ‘truth’ – but it definitely helps me to up MY OWN game. 

And then I make sure that my next coaching session with a potential client is even more life changing than it was before. 

Which is exactly what I teach in Transition Excellence. 

Transition Excellence was created specifically for coaches just like you. Whether you’re already an established coach, just starting out, or looking to make a change in your life. 

Let’s face it: if you’re sitting here reading this, then I can all but guarantee you’ve been coaching almost your entire life – even if you haven’t realized it. 

So why not take that next step in your career and why not let Transition Excellence help you do so? 

Transition Excellence is an ICF-accredited, self-paced coaching program that is led by me and my leadership team with major focuses on client creation, community/networking, and more. 

Though Transition Excellence is designed to be completed in 100 days, you’ll have access to Transition Excellence for six months which means you truly can work at your own pace. 

The course is made up of 13 modules and we have LIVE weekly group calls with myself and members of my leadership team. 

You’ll also receive access to a private Facebook group full of some of the most incredible people that you’ll ever get a chance to meet. People who are just as passionate about helping others as you are. 

Also, you can read more about the ICF by clicking here.

You’re either in. Or you’re out. The decision is up to you. 

But if you’re in – I want you to be IN. 

Remember: HELL YES.

Love. Rich

PS. I’d like to invite you to take my Coaching Excellence Scorecard. This quiz challenges coaches on the 4 different pillars of coaching excellence. There are no right or wrong answers, only areas for improvement and this is where Transition Excellence comes in.

If you truly are a ‘HELL YES’ then click the link and book a call with a member of my admissions team today. They would love to speak with you and talk to you more about Transition Excellence ⏩ Book a Call

a coach speaking one-on-one with a client

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