How to Become a Business Coach

Overcome Objections to Business Coaching: “I Don’t Have the Energy!”

By on September 4, 2016

Recently, I debriefed a Complimentary Coaching Session with a coach who had an experience I’m sure you’ve never dealt with before in your time as a business coach: a prospect who says she’s too “busy” or “tired” for coaching.

(I’m teasing, of course. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that objection to business coaching, I could buy the Taj Majal…)

Is there a good way to handle it?

Of course!

Use my 3-step process for overcoming objections to business coaching: Agree, Answer, Ask.

First, agree. This diffuses pressure and sets up a complementary, as opposed to confrontational, exchange: “Wow, I can definitely understand that.  I’m sure you are very tired, given everything you’ve just described in your business! It takes a lot of courage to keep going like you are each day. Well done!” (NOTE: it’s critical that you mean this sincerely when you say it, otherwise you will come across as patronizing and condescending. Remember, these aren’t manipulation techniques; they’re communication skills that will help you coach more people, more effectively.)

Next, answer. Say something productive that will help her shift her focus away from the objection and back to her objectives. “You know I’ve noticed that lots of business owners become so busy and exhausted that they have no energy to actually change the very things that are wearing them out. ”

Finally, ask. Put the conversation back on her.  This is especially effective because she’ll feel like you’ve just given her control of the conversation…when in reality you’re the one guiding it. Say, “So, tell me–what kind of plan do have in place to get control of all these things so that your business doesn’t keep running you ragged?” This refocuses her back on her pain points and keeps the conversation moving toward the truth of what she’s really struggling with (and what you need to do to really help her).

How to Train Yourself to Overcome Objections to Business Coaching

Now, this is what my business coach client should have done in the moment. But unfortunately, he let the conversation end there, with the prospect promising to call back on Monday or Tuesday of the following week with her answer.

Is the sale salvageable? Of course. But it’s certainly less likely to close than if he’d dealt with it this way in the heat of the moment. But we’ve all been there–botched the objection handling opportunity and left the meeting kicking ourselves.

So, here’s what to do if it happens to you…

Call the prospect back and say, “You know, I was thinking about how tired you are and I’ve been thinking about a couple ideas to help you get control of your business and get you out of this grind.” Then set up another session. Coach her through the concern. Provide real, quality value. Show her very practically how you will help her if she engages you as her coach.

It’s critical that you set up this follow up meeting before she comes back with her decision because the instant she says “no,” you’re done.

So–what have you done to work around this particular objection? Share your feedback in the comments area below!

For more great training and advice on handling objections, request a 30-day trial of our comprehensive business coaching system!

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Eric Dombach

About Eric Dombach

Eric Dombach is the Founder of Coaches’ Coach. In 2001, he founded a business coaching firm that, by 2005, was generating more than $1 million USD in revenue, 23% operating profit, and average annual growth rate of 140% per year. In 2005, he sold the firm to 4 of his employees for $1 million U.S. dollars, generating a return on capital of more than 800%. Since then he has trained more than 1,300 independent and franchise business coaches in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australasian markets.

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