How to Get Your Coaching Prospects Off the Fence

You’ve probably had experience with this prospective coaching client:

You invest time with them. You do a great job of asking questions, identifying their specific needs, and you give them a couple of options for working with you.

They agree they need your services. They want your services. They can afford your services.


… they just can’t pull the trigger.

Their behind is planted firmly on the fence.

Frustrating, right?

I was actually that guy recently when looking at a purchase.

After a couple of conversations with a sales rep who sold a software package I was looking at, and needed, I made a feeble attempt at delaying. Not objecting, just delaying, for no good reason other than procrastination.

He then said, “Well, if you don’t do this, what are you going to do?

“I don’t know. Good point.”

Then he added, “And you’ll still have the issue that you wanted this to fix, right?”

I realized I needed to move forward.

Now, I teach this stuff, right? But it didn’t seem like he was selling me, or that it was a technique. He just helped me realize the problem was not going to go away on its own.

How You Can Use It

I’ve often recommended the exact same process. A question I like to use to get someone off the fence is,

“What will happen if you do nothing?”

Variations of that are,

“How will you feel in a month if you do nothing?”

“How will your lack of energy and its effects change over the next few months if you don’t do anything to correct it?”

“What do you think will happen if you don’t do anything for a couple of months?”

You want them thinking about the pain/problem/need that got them interested in the first place, then help them see the further pain of not fixing it.


Handling Delays

We also often hear things like, “Give me a call back in a couple of months.” There are even more specific ways to deal with this.

That statement could be a blow off, or an actual sign of interest. You need to find out.

“What changes do you anticipate that would make another time right for you?”

Or, “What will make (date) a better time for you?

Or, “What’s going to happen between now and then that will make it a better time?”

And finally, keep in mind that a decision is better than a brush off. If someone has no intention of doing anything about their health, or working with you, fine. Sad, and it’s to their detriment, but better to find that out today than having to waste time calling and emailing, only to be put off or ignored.

Will you please share with other coaches? Thanks!
Art Sobczak

For over 30 years Art has helped sales pros say the right things to get more appointments, clients, and sales in virtually all industries. He's speaker, trainer, coach, and best-selling author, and now working to help health, wellness, and fitness coaches and trainers help more people. Contact him at Art@HealthCoach.Training or (480)699-0958.

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