Objection Handling As A Coach – The #1 Objection All Coaches Face

Here’s a great way to step up your objection handling as a coach. I want to share with you how to exactly overcome the single biggest objection that coaches all over the world receive on a daily basis when they're attempting to get brand new clients to join them on their coaching programs.

In fact, there are six common objections that anybody in any type of business that sells products, services, or anything for that matter, has to face in life. And the one I want to share with you today is the one that is most relevant to coaches.

And that is simply this...

"It won't work for me."

The reason "it won't work for me" is such a strong objection is because what it says is that coaching actually works. It means coaching does, in fact, get people results. Coaching does accelerate their relationships, their finances, their health, their career, business, everything. Coaching works.

The only thing is, it just doesn't work for them.

A way to overcome this kind of objection is to do something that we refer to as R.I.A.

Now, once we fully understand what R.I.A. is and appreciate how to use it, it will allow us to overcome this objection. This is because when you think about it, the objection, "that won't work for me", means that they believe that they are different. They are unique. There is something 'special' about them that this product or service just doesn't work on them.


R.I.A. stands for Results In Advance. So, when it comes to dealing with objections such as, "It won't work for me," then R.I.A. is the only thing you can do. Testimonials won't work. Case studies won't work. Return investment will not work. The only thing that will work is by giving the client a result in advance. How exactly do we do this?

Well, before I show you, let's first get a clear understanding of what coaching actually is. The International Coaching Federation (ICF), which is the governing body on coaching standards around the world, refers to coaching as a partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.

Now, this thought-provoking creative process is most often achieved by asking people quality questions to guide their thinking.

Therefore, if I wanted to actually give you a result in advance and let you experience some type of coaching, then how I would do that would be by asking you quality questions that bring you into a thought-provoking experience that gives you results in advance.

And the questions that I use are what I call the "Five To Qualify". Let’s look at a simple example to demonstrate.

Let's say someone asks you, "What do you do for a living?"

The very first thing you want to say is this, "Rather than I tell you, how about I show you?"

So, just train yourself to say when someone says, "What do you do for a living?" Just simply say, "Rather than I tell you, how about I show you?"

This is because straight off the bat, that is already different. All the other coaches they’ve asked about what they did for a living, every single one of them has said, "Well, I'm a coach."

And guess what? That's not really an entertaining thing to hear. In fact, it's quite boring. No one gets inspired by hearing that concept.

So, when I straight off the bat say to you, "Rather than I tell you, how about I show you?", I become curious and interesting straight away. That is what actually draws people in to find out a little bit more about what you do.

Objection Handling As A Coach – The Five To Qualify

Next, I just run through a series of questions which is what I call the "five to qualify".

1. What is a goal you're currently working on?

The first question is, "What is a goal you're currently working on?"

Now, here's the thing I want to point out. There are people out there that have absolutely no clarity around where they want to go in life. They're quite directionless, and unfortunately, these people are stuck. So, when you ask them, "What's a goal you're currently working on?" They don't actually have an answer for that.

If they reply, "Look, I don't have any goals. I don't know. I don't know what to do." Don’t worry. Take it easy and relax. Take a deep breath. When someone says they don't have a goal, don't act like it's a problem. Don't act like they're broken.

The fact is, everybody is just perfect. Some people just want a little bit more perfection in their life, a little bit more out of life. A little bit more bandwidth to get more fulfilment happening, so to speak.

I never look at anybody as if they've got a problem or they've got an issue. If someone says, "I don't have a goal that I'm working on." I just respond with a big smile on my face and I just say, "Even better. If you don't have any goals, can you tell me what's the number one priority in your life right now?"

2. Where would you like to be 12 months from now?

"Where would you like to be 12 months from now, in relation to that goal, or in relation to that priority?"

Listen to what they have to say, and just listen to them responding. Feed back the key words in their answers, and just make sure they understand, appreciate and get the feeling that you are there present with them, which is what coaching is really all about. It’s asking a large number of quality questions and helping people directionalise their thinking.

3. Why is that important to you?

The next question when doing objection handling as a coach is you simply ask them, "Why is that important to you?"

After asking them where they would like to be 12 months from now, the next thing you want to ask is, "So, the goal that you just mentioned which is your number one priority… why is that important to you?"

Once they've answered that, and you fed back the key words that they're saying, you move on to question number four.

4. What are the main reasons you haven't achieved this yet?

What this is going to do for your objection handling as a coach is to highlight what the blocks are. Maybe they've got some trapped emotions. Maybe they've got a significant traumatic event that they haven't been able to overcome.

Maybe they've got some limiting decisions or beliefs that they've worked on, but they haven't quite got a breakthrough around it, and this is what's actually holding them back.

5. What is the most help you could possibly get in achieving that goal?

This is probably my favourite question out of all them.Objection Handling As A Coach image

"So what is the most help you could possibly get in achieving that goal in your life right now?" 

Now, when they answer that question, it actually lets you know exactly who you need to be as a coach in their life right now.

It lets you know exactly what you need to do, how you need to help them navigate, and what sort of clarity and agendas you need to set to get them on the path.

Objection Handling As A Coach - Gaining Clarity

After they've answered the “five to qualify”, what they're going to have experienced is someone who's asked them quality questions, someone who's listened and been present with them, and someone who’s actually assisted them to get clarity. Because let's face it, the majority of people don't need more accountability in their life.

What they actually need is more clarity. So, just by running through these five questions, they would have experienced more clarity. And what does that truly mean? It means they've already experienced what it feels like getting a result in advance from this thing known as coaching.

Once they've answered those five questions, all you need to simply say is this, "Well, the good news is," and then you just go ahead and explain what coaching is all about.

It looks like this, "Well, the good news is, coaching will allow you to put into action this thing that's blocking you, this thing that's stopping you.

It will allow you to achieve this place you want to be in in 12 months' time, and it's going to help you with this - the thing you mentioned that was important."

As we feed back all their key words into the good news, we'll find ourselves in a much better position for having dealt with this objection of, "It won't work for me."

We hope you’ve enjoyed this video and blog post, “Objection Handling As A Coach - The #1 Objection All Coaches Face” and gained a new skill when dealing with objections like, "It won't work for me.".

If you would like to learn more methods on how to become a highly successful coach, then please come to our 1-day FREE event across Australia and New Zealand. For all the details and to reserve your FREE seat to our event, “How To Become A Highly Successful Coach”, click here.

Read more about: Coaching, Mindset

Ben is the Difference-Maker Mentor and Co-founder of Authentic Education. He is exquisite at inspiring people to share their message, make a difference in the world and live abundantly on purpose.

Ben has been featured in media such as the Today Show, Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, Huffington Post and News.com.au.