Kim Avery Coaching

Don’t Market Like This…

by | 44 comments

She steps up to greet you with a friendly handshake and a smile. It’s your first Sunday in this new church, and Nancy makes you feel right at home.  She gives you a brief tour, sits next to you in the service and offers to buy you lunch mid-week.

You feel warm and welcome.  This church may be just the place for you.

Wednesday comes quickly and you and Nancy settle into a nice long chat over burgers and fries.  Nancy asks about your history, your family and shares a bit of her own. You feel as if you’ve made a friend.

Then when you least suspected it, over a shared piece of lemon meringue pie, it comes.

The hook.

The hidden agenda.

The real reason behind the plastic smile.

Inwardly, you groan.

Nancy is the brand new area rep for Vitalizer Make-Up, the latest home party craze sweeping the country.

Gushingly, Nancy extols the wonder of their latest product line, pulls out a few samples and rubs some pungent Magic Youth Energizing Cream on your hand.

Swallowing the last bite of pie, Nancy pulls out her Daytimer and insists on booking you a free home party demo before “all the good times are gone.”

You feel trapped. Used. The lemon meringue sours. Nancy never wanted to be your friend – she was simply looking for her next sale.

You make a mental note: next Sunday avoid Nancy like the plague.

It’s sad, isn’t it?

What if Nancy really did want to be your friend? What if the Magic Youth Energizing Cream did take ten years off your skin? What if their product line really could improve your life?

You’ll probably never know because Nancy’s presentation was all wrong. Her priorities were off. She treated you like a potential sale not a person made in the image of God.

Nancy thought she was supposed to sell instead of serve. Promote her agenda instead of pursuing yours. Pressure you into a commitment instead of trusting God to bring the right opportunity in His perfect time.

Another note-to-self: never market like Nancy.

All too quickly it’s Sunday again, your second week at the new church. Successfully dodging Nancy by going to the early service, you take a seat in the sanctuary right next to Barbara.

Barbara seems warm, friendly and genuinely kind. She invites you to lunch on Thursday. Burgers and fries topped off with some yummy lemon meringue pie.

You hesitantly ask Barbara if she sells make-up.

Confused, Barbara replies “No, of course not.”

Relieved, you eagerly accept her invitation not knowing, not suspecting, never even thinking that there’s one important thing you have yet to discover about Barbara.

Barbara is a new life coach trying to build her business.

Hmmmm…  what do you think Barbara should do differently from Nancy?

Let me know in the comment section.  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

44 Comments

  1. Mary Lou Caskey

    Kim, this is so true in so many areas of life. I find it especially “challenging” in my niche, which is helping Christians to find peace with food. So many times, well-meaning people don’t realize how they can come across to anyone when it comes to solutions for weight loss.

    We can really want to help someone and offer a solution that we feel could be their “answer”, not realizing how many times someone has already tried a “red-pill” and when it doesn’t produce lasting results, the person feels worse about themselves rather than seeing that solution wasn’t the right fit personally.

    My mission is to help people find ways to be real with each other when it comes to talking about “dieting”, so that more people can live a life free of ever having to think about weight loss. There’s nothing like it! I find that simply telling stories can be a way to not come across as “sales”.

    Reply
  2. Mary Lou Caskey

    Kim, this is so true in so many areas of life. I find it especially “challenging” in my niche, which is helping Christians to find peace with food. So many times, well-meaning people don’t realize how they can come across to anyone when it comes to solutions for weight loss.

    We can really want to help someone and offer a solution that we feel could be their “answer”, not realizing how many times someone has already tried a “red-pill” and when it doesn’t produce lasting results, the person feels worse about themselves rather than seeing that solution wasn’t the right fit personally.

    My mission is to help people find ways to be real with each other when it comes to talking about “dieting”, so that more people can live a life free of ever having to think about weight loss. There’s nothing like it! I find that simply telling stories can be a way to not come across as “sales”.

    Reply
  3. Michael Pfau

    Great post and reminder Kim. Barbara should pray first (as you said, trusting God for clients) and inquire about what is important to the visitor. What are they dealing with; what brought them to look for a new church, etc. Just be a good listener without the agenda. Allow the relationship to grow naturally.

    Reply
  4. Michael Pfau

    Great post and reminder Kim. Barbara should pray first (as you said, trusting God for clients) and inquire about what is important to the visitor. What are they dealing with; what brought them to look for a new church, etc. Just be a good listener without the agenda. Allow the relationship to grow naturally.

    Reply
  5. Lucinda

    Unless Barbara is genuinely interested in getting to know me – she ought not to invite me to lunch in the first place. After that, just be my friend. If she wants to pitch her business – be up front about it.

    Reply
  6. Lucinda

    Unless Barbara is genuinely interested in getting to know me – she ought not to invite me to lunch in the first place. After that, just be my friend. If she wants to pitch her business – be up front about it.

    Reply
  7. Barbara Solsaa

    This challenge demands my response as my name is Barbara…I would spend time getting to know this new member. I would ask questions trying to get to know her better because I want to get to know her better (not because I want a client). At this first meeting IF and only IF she asks about me and what I do, then I would gush a little about the joy of my coaching business, walking alongside people, helping them to discover their God-given goals and achieving them. I would not invite her at this time to be a client but my passion will at the very least intrigue her and most likely lead to her asking more questions. I would answer the questions and IF and only IF she seems to be interested, I would let her know that I would be happy to talk with her more about it at a later date (which we would schedule before we left the restaurant) but today I just really want to get to know her better. Much as the Compass is part of my logo, I also really like the image of the turtle – slow and steady wins the race. If she is truly interested, then I would certainly not say no to signing her up at the next meeting but the intent of that meeting would be clear from the start and she will be in the driver seat.
    And my activity for today…I ordered “coins/tokens” with the image of a compass on them which I plan to give to new clients along with a laminated card with my logo and a Bible verse…I am still contemplating the Bible verse. Any ideas?

    Reply
  8. Barbara Solsaa

    This challenge demands my response as my name is Barbara…I would spend time getting to know this new member. I would ask questions trying to get to know her better because I want to get to know her better (not because I want a client). At this first meeting IF and only IF she asks about me and what I do, then I would gush a little about the joy of my coaching business, walking alongside people, helping them to discover their God-given goals and achieving them. I would not invite her at this time to be a client but my passion will at the very least intrigue her and most likely lead to her asking more questions. I would answer the questions and IF and only IF she seems to be interested, I would let her know that I would be happy to talk with her more about it at a later date (which we would schedule before we left the restaurant) but today I just really want to get to know her better. Much as the Compass is part of my logo, I also really like the image of the turtle – slow and steady wins the race. If she is truly interested, then I would certainly not say no to signing her up at the next meeting but the intent of that meeting would be clear from the start and she will be in the driver seat.
    And my activity for today…I ordered “coins/tokens” with the image of a compass on them which I plan to give to new clients along with a laminated card with my logo and a Bible verse…I am still contemplating the Bible verse. Any ideas?

    Reply
  9. Karen VanDerLey

    acronym GROW seems helpful to me – Genuine, Respectful, Open and Warmth.
    These go so far to build relationships and develop future opportunities as God leads.

    Reply
  10. Karen VanDerLey

    acronym GROW seems helpful to me – Genuine, Respectful, Open and Warmth.
    These go so far to build relationships and develop future opportunities as God leads.

    Reply
  11. Mark Thomas

    Do I have a dream that I would like to be made into reality? If Barbara is listening she will find out and build a relationship from there possibly into a client.

    Reply
  12. Mark Thomas

    Do I have a dream that I would like to be made into reality? If Barbara is listening she will find out and build a relationship from there possibly into a client.

    Reply
  13. Kathy Cordell

    Great, GREAT blog Kim. When I first started coaching I wanted to try out all my new skills on my friends and without realizing it I was turning off even my established friendships. I learned some lessons in those first few years and since then coaching is not something I do, it is someone I am. Listening and being there without judgment are the greatest gifts we can give. Not everybody needs or wants coaching. Sometimes they just need a friend.

    Reply
  14. Kathy Cordell

    Great, GREAT blog Kim. When I first started coaching I wanted to try out all my new skills on my friends and without realizing it I was turning off even my established friendships. I learned some lessons in those first few years and since then coaching is not something I do, it is someone I am. Listening and being there without judgment are the greatest gifts we can give. Not everybody needs or wants coaching. Sometimes they just need a friend.

    Reply
  15. Kinsey

    Great post. I’ve hated selling things since I was child pushing candy bars and flower seeds for school. What on earth possessed me to get into Amway some 25 years ago?! I didn’t last long because I hated looking at people as if they were a “prospect.” Ugh, it seemed so disingenuous.

    I think the real key is to trust God to turn people into clients – and don’t think that I “need” any particular person. This frees me to just be myself and to love others right where they are – without a hidden agenda. Naturally that will be in the back of my mind but I choose to ignore it because in truth God really does build the business. Please understand that I’m not advocating a hands off marketing strategy, but when it comes to relating to people we have to love and be genuinely interested in others, seeking God’s best for them.

    Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matt. 6:33

    Reply
  16. Kinsey

    Great post. I’ve hated selling things since I was child pushing candy bars and flower seeds for school. What on earth possessed me to get into Amway some 25 years ago?! I didn’t last long because I hated looking at people as if they were a “prospect.” Ugh, it seemed so disingenuous.

    I think the real key is to trust God to turn people into clients – and don’t think that I “need” any particular person. This frees me to just be myself and to love others right where they are – without a hidden agenda. Naturally that will be in the back of my mind but I choose to ignore it because in truth God really does build the business. Please understand that I’m not advocating a hands off marketing strategy, but when it comes to relating to people we have to love and be genuinely interested in others, seeking God’s best for them.

    Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matt. 6:33

    Reply
  17. Pam Taylor

    Oh, Kim, that was such a REAL post you wrote. Who among us has not been treated that way…like a piece of meat…a means to an end. It is so good of you to bring that emotion up in each of us as a reminder to NEVER EVER treat ANYONE that way. No hidden agendas. We are Christ-followers. Here on earth to serve, encourage, listen, and BE with people. To truly care about them. To be kind hearted. To give the gift of time and listening…making it possible for them to know, like and trust us. It is not possible to trust someone with a hidden agenda. Lord, give us wisdom as business owners. As coaches. As Christians on assignment from You!

    Reply
  18. Pam Taylor

    Oh, Kim, that was such a REAL post you wrote. Who among us has not been treated that way…like a piece of meat…a means to an end. It is so good of you to bring that emotion up in each of us as a reminder to NEVER EVER treat ANYONE that way. No hidden agendas. We are Christ-followers. Here on earth to serve, encourage, listen, and BE with people. To truly care about them. To be kind hearted. To give the gift of time and listening…making it possible for them to know, like and trust us. It is not possible to trust someone with a hidden agenda. Lord, give us wisdom as business owners. As coaches. As Christians on assignment from You!

    Reply
  19. Frank Mason

    Great post! My action for today was to try facebook ads for the first time. The jury is out, but I think those will be the most expensive “likes” ever! The message, like that of your post, is you need a real conversation that leads to a real relationship, before any meaningful business can take place.

    Reply
  20. Frank Mason

    Great post! My action for today was to try facebook ads for the first time. The jury is out, but I think those will be the most expensive “likes” ever! The message, like that of your post, is you need a real conversation that leads to a real relationship, before any meaningful business can take place.

    Reply
  21. Oge

    If i were Barbara i would spend time getting to know this person and finding out how I can help them and trust God that if they do need a coach sometime in the future they will come to me.
    I spoke at an evangelistic meeting tonight but during the per-talk stage I had a conversation with someone and got the chance to tell them a bit about the coaching that I do! Great practice.

    Reply
  22. Oge

    If i were Barbara i would spend time getting to know this person and finding out how I can help them and trust God that if they do need a coach sometime in the future they will come to me.
    I spoke at an evangelistic meeting tonight but during the per-talk stage I had a conversation with someone and got the chance to tell them a bit about the coaching that I do! Great practice.

    Reply
  23. Cate

    Kim, that’s such a fun post. Meeting a new person for lunch is a great way to welcome people to your church. The conversation would really be about sharing stories back and forth, and eventually, I’m such, what I do would come up. Since I eat differently, it comes up quickly that I co-facilitate Raw Cuisine Classes, and then that I coach clients moving forward to a healthier lifestyle. I would leave it at that, and turn it back to her life very naturally. I’d hate for her to think I was meeting with an agenda, other than to really get to know her. People need to feel significant not sold to.

    Reply
  24. Cate

    Kim, that’s such a fun post. Meeting a new person for lunch is a great way to welcome people to your church. The conversation would really be about sharing stories back and forth, and eventually, I’m such, what I do would come up. Since I eat differently, it comes up quickly that I co-facilitate Raw Cuisine Classes, and then that I coach clients moving forward to a healthier lifestyle. I would leave it at that, and turn it back to her life very naturally. I’d hate for her to think I was meeting with an agenda, other than to really get to know her. People need to feel significant not sold to.

    Reply
  25. Karen Pyne

    Day 12: Such a great post and a real cautionary flag for all of us as to how we view new people who cross our paths. The purpose of this lunch was to establish a connection between 2 people who have recently met. A person doesn’t become a client until they know, like, and trust you – whether that happens quickly, over a long period of time, or not at all, that will be determined by the potential client. For now, this interaction is an opportunity to listen and learn.

    Yesterday I heard about an opportunity to take a free PowerPoint class this Friday and registered this morning. That is a skill I need to significantly develop for future presentation opportunities and because the Business League is sponsoring it, there is an opportunity to open conversations and establish a relationship with potential referral partners. I am going armed with business cards and a 1-2 minute benefits statement!

    Reply
  26. Karen Pyne

    Day 12: Such a great post and a real cautionary flag for all of us as to how we view new people who cross our paths. The purpose of this lunch was to establish a connection between 2 people who have recently met. A person doesn’t become a client until they know, like, and trust you – whether that happens quickly, over a long period of time, or not at all, that will be determined by the potential client. For now, this interaction is an opportunity to listen and learn.

    Yesterday I heard about an opportunity to take a free PowerPoint class this Friday and registered this morning. That is a skill I need to significantly develop for future presentation opportunities and because the Business League is sponsoring it, there is an opportunity to open conversations and establish a relationship with potential referral partners. I am going armed with business cards and a 1-2 minute benefits statement!

    Reply
  27. Pamela Schoettler

    So glad I’m not allowed to eat burgers, fries & lemon pie. Another great reason to avoid those unhealthy traps. Ha Ha. But God does call us to meal together and genuinely relate and serve. Then we can graciously listen for the opportunity to share Godly support and council. God will guide and help us listen to know what kind of relationship each new acquaintance is to become.

    Reply
  28. Pamela Schoettler

    So glad I’m not allowed to eat burgers, fries & lemon pie. Another great reason to avoid those unhealthy traps. Ha Ha. But God does call us to meal together and genuinely relate and serve. Then we can graciously listen for the opportunity to share Godly support and council. God will guide and help us listen to know what kind of relationship each new acquaintance is to become.

    Reply
  29. Renee

    Kim, Your examples remind me of when I was someone’s project. She was on staff with a campus ministry, visited with me about a question or comment I had written on a comment card, and then CHEWED ME OUT when she learned I was a Christain AND involved in another campus ministry. We used to duck around corners of buildings when we would see her on campus! (She scared off someone else in my residence hall, too). Reminder to self: DO NOT do this when marketing!

    Reply
  30. Renee

    Kim, Your examples remind me of when I was someone’s project. She was on staff with a campus ministry, visited with me about a question or comment I had written on a comment card, and then CHEWED ME OUT when she learned I was a Christain AND involved in another campus ministry. We used to duck around corners of buildings when we would see her on campus! (She scared off someone else in my residence hall, too). Reminder to self: DO NOT do this when marketing!

    Reply
  31. Kristin Franks

    I would take the time to get to know her first- smply because I like meeting new people! It’s natural to want to market your business, but how do you even know if someone is the right client for you unless you take the time to get to know them first?? They might not be a good fit for you anyway!…Patience, patience, more patience, and wisdom, with an extra dose of love, and authenticity. A recipie for success! Lol.

    Reply
  32. Kristin Franks

    I would take the time to get to know her first- smply because I like meeting new people! It’s natural to want to market your business, but how do you even know if someone is the right client for you unless you take the time to get to know them first?? They might not be a good fit for you anyway!…Patience, patience, more patience, and wisdom, with an extra dose of love, and authenticity. A recipie for success! Lol.

    Reply
  33. Leigh Ann Hudson, Shine Forth Life Coaching

    I think a lot of it is a motive/heart issue. Are you inviting them to really get to know them and encourage their walk with Christ and others? Or are you seeing potential dollar signs in your eyes? A Kingdom Perspective should always be at the forefront of our heads and hearts. If you are spending time with them to genuinely get to know them, your enthusiasm about your life coaching career can spill over when they ask about your career. Then let the other person dictate the conversation how they feel led. They will find out more, and even become a person who recommends you, as the relationship grows and trust is developed. On the flip side, some people may immediately shut you down when they hear what you do because they think you have ulterior motives. You cannot control others, only yourself, and God will honor your true, Scriptural intentions. On another note: I listened to two of the Bite Sized Marketing Podcasts (posted 3.7.13 and 4.4.13). Excellent information Kim! Thank you!!

    Reply
  34. Leigh Ann Hudson, Shine Forth Life Coaching

    I think a lot of it is a motive/heart issue. Are you inviting them to really get to know them and encourage their walk with Christ and others? Or are you seeing potential dollar signs in your eyes? A Kingdom Perspective should always be at the forefront of our heads and hearts. If you are spending time with them to genuinely get to know them, your enthusiasm about your life coaching career can spill over when they ask about your career. Then let the other person dictate the conversation how they feel led. They will find out more, and even become a person who recommends you, as the relationship grows and trust is developed. On the flip side, some people may immediately shut you down when they hear what you do because they think you have ulterior motives. You cannot control others, only yourself, and God will honor your true, Scriptural intentions. On another note: I listened to two of the Bite Sized Marketing Podcasts (posted 3.7.13 and 4.4.13). Excellent information Kim! Thank you!!

    Reply
  35. Betty

    I would try to build a friendship with Barbara. It is important to build a intentional relationship which involves showing interest, adding value to their live by sharing useful information. I would try to find out Barbara ‘s interest and share some thing about my life and interest. I would keep in contact with Barbara through phone calls and emails. Since she is new at Church I would invite Barbara to some social activities. At some point I would let Barbara know that I am a Life Coach and how I serve others. I would share some information related to Barbara’s interest. It has been said that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. I would pray that God would direct me to people who I can serve and be a blessing. I read your article in the Christian Coaching Today.

    Reply
  36. Betty

    I would try to build a friendship with Barbara. It is important to build a intentional relationship which involves showing interest, adding value to their live by sharing useful information. I would try to find out Barbara ‘s interest and share some thing about my life and interest. I would keep in contact with Barbara through phone calls and emails. Since she is new at Church I would invite Barbara to some social activities. At some point I would let Barbara know that I am a Life Coach and how I serve others. I would share some information related to Barbara’s interest. It has been said that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. I would pray that God would direct me to people who I can serve and be a blessing. I read your article in the Christian Coaching Today.

    Reply
  37. Leigh Ann Hudson, Shine Forth Life Coaching

    PS -I just thought of a quote, but I am forgetting who said it: People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. I think this is applicable to your post today.

    Reply
  38. Leigh Ann Hudson, Shine Forth Life Coaching

    PS -I just thought of a quote, but I am forgetting who said it: People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. I think this is applicable to your post today.

    Reply
  39. Glenna Hiett

    Barbara could get to know me by showing an interest in my hobbies and interests. She could invite me to join her for lunch or to an event with friends. She could send a card and invite me for coffee or tea at her favorite coffee house. I would most likely accept !

    I sent a link for a book recommendation to a contact today. Recommended book “Between Two Worlds: the inner lives of children of divorce “. Also did major folder organization in my documents after installing Docstogo.com. on my iPad.

    Reply
  40. Glenna Hiett

    Barbara could get to know me by showing an interest in my hobbies and interests. She could invite me to join her for lunch or to an event with friends. She could send a card and invite me for coffee or tea at her favorite coffee house. I would most likely accept !

    I sent a link for a book recommendation to a contact today. Recommended book “Between Two Worlds: the inner lives of children of divorce “. Also did major folder organization in my documents after installing Docstogo.com. on my iPad.

    Reply
  41. Holly Brand

    Coaching is all about relationships. Barbara would do well to remember this important statement. The purpose of every human being is to love and serve God and to love and serve people. That, along with building trust and rapport, should drive every interaction we have with others; never a hidden agenda. Thank you for the very valuable reminder.

    Reply
  42. Holly Brand

    Coaching is all about relationships. Barbara would do well to remember this important statement. The purpose of every human being is to love and serve God and to love and serve people. That, along with building trust and rapport, should drive every interaction we have with others; never a hidden agenda. Thank you for the very valuable reminder.

    Reply
  43. Mark Myers

    Day 12: Over the last TWO days, I’ve received coaching inquiries or referrals from FIVE individuals. The client prospects include a prior client, referral from a current client, a referral from several months ago, a referral from a coaching colleague, and an inquiry from someone who found me on the local ICF chapter coaches’ directory. Obviously, these are results of efforts in the ‘past’. So how do I acknowledge my business development efforts today? Respond appropriately and timely. Three of these five warranted immediate response, which I provided. The prior client starts back this Friday. The other two are in the process of deciding next steps with a coaching engagement. The 4th and 5th of these potential clients are now on my ‘follow-up’ ‘tickler-file’. I’m so blessed to have this much response to a mixture of passive and active marketing.

    Reply
  44. Mark Myers

    Day 12: Over the last TWO days, I’ve received coaching inquiries or referrals from FIVE individuals. The client prospects include a prior client, referral from a current client, a referral from several months ago, a referral from a coaching colleague, and an inquiry from someone who found me on the local ICF chapter coaches’ directory. Obviously, these are results of efforts in the ‘past’. So how do I acknowledge my business development efforts today? Respond appropriately and timely. Three of these five warranted immediate response, which I provided. The prior client starts back this Friday. The other two are in the process of deciding next steps with a coaching engagement. The 4th and 5th of these potential clients are now on my ‘follow-up’ ‘tickler-file’. I’m so blessed to have this much response to a mixture of passive and active marketing.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

 

 

Practice the Presence of God

 50+ Ways to Enjoy God All Day

Get yours today!

 

Success! It's on it's way.