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Why the sales funnel doesn’t work in coaching business?

by | Jan 29, 2021

If you are a coach, you know that about 80% of people who you helped got a boost of their self-confidence, over 70% feels better with improvement of their work performance, communication, relationships. How to make sure the never ending stream of clients will allow you do what you love?

In early marketing the idea of funnel was (for some part of business still is) the key. All marketing was built around the idea of leading people through the sales funnel.

Typical sales funnel example

Let’s imagine the funnel in coaching business. Anne, a life coach got the funnel elements in order. She created awareness by dropping leaflets in the city where she had her office and posted ads on social media. She gained interest by offering free consultation once a month. Then, through HR departments she was giving a short tips to the staff and people started consider her as an expert. After each session she was gaining details of potential customers and shared business cards and leaflets. People were able to see her in action and evaluate if she would be a good fit for them to start their coaching journey. Finally – those convinced by all above called Anne to meet for one-to-one session.

This model contained predictable stages and was correct for predicting the short term revenue. It was clear how many meeting needs to happen to get new clients, where the leaflets have to be dropped and so on.

‘People no longer purchase in predictable stages’ (M. Neumeier)

The problem with funnel is, that people no longer purchase in predictable stages, and the short-term revenue goal was not good enough to build a long-term success. Thinking of websites – people can see the service, read about it, compare it with many others and purchase straight away.

Additionally, the pandemic in 2020 reduced the possibilities of face to face contact. The staff meetings in person are not a part of the funnel anymore.

The marketing alternative for coaching business

The ladder model focuses on customer experience and reinforces the role of delivered value to empower customers. In the reality of online coaching we instinctively know that people are making decisions based on the look and feel of the web, on smoothness of the booking process and – highly on the social media activities and opinions of others.

In order to grow coaching business nowadays, the ladder model is the preferable one. It redirects the focus from the short-term goal to the long-term one, allows clients to be the best ambassadors for the coach. You can read more about the ladder model in the article here.

Source: THE PERSONAL MBA – MASTER THE ART OF BUSINESS by Josh Kaufman; https://www.amazon.com/dp/0525543023/

Photo by Rod Long at Unsplash

By Magda Pear

Magda is a Brands Strategist with over 15 years of experience working with businesses worldwide