Advice for Highly Empathetic Coaches Who Struggle with Sales Conversations

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Being a highly empathetic person comes with it’s own set of unique challenges. People may think that you’re too sensitive.

If you’re not careful, you can easily take on the emotional energy of everyone you meet. This emotional shapeshifting isn’t healthy for you. It’s exhausting and can bring you to the brink of a breakdown.

And yet, the emotional world of an empathetic person is vast and rich. You’re able to connect with people on the unseen level that most people don’t even know exists. You provide a safe place for people to just be themselves. You make people feel seen and heard.

You have a very powerful skill.

Your empathetic superpower is one reason why you wanted to be a coach. Your ability to connect means that you can be a catalyst for positive change in your clients’ lives.

Unfortunately, the same empathetic superpower is why you have been struggling with sales.

I have met some fantastic people who are brilliant coaches, but they haven’t been able to make a living because they struggle with “making the sale.”

One of my best friends is among these ranks.

She is one of the most skilled, educated, and caring coaches I have ever met. And yet, she had to close the doors to her practice because she couldn’t make enough income for it to support her and her growing family. (Personally, I’m holding out hope that she’ll came back to her coaching some day.)

Image: Sorry We're Closed

Leaving a business is an agonizing decision that an entrepreneur must face when your revenue doesn’t match your needs. Do you keep trying to make this work or is it time that you find something more stable instead? It’s terribly difficult and it requires one of the most honest conversations with yourself to find the answer that is right for you.

But what if you didn’t have to ask these questions? What if you got over some of the common sales blockades that empaths like you normally face? What if you could use what is now a sales weakness and turn it into a sales strength?


Empaths are all about connection. Finding emotional touch-points with another person invigorates an empath.

And nothing breaks a connection faster to an empath than the discussion of money.

To an empath, emotional connection and money do not exist in the same time/space continuum. They are polar opposites that repel each other. The moment money is brought into the equation, an emotional nuclear bomb disintegrates all connection between two people…or so an empath believes.

That’s why empaths say things like, “I just don’t want to feel like I’m selling them.”

Or “I want to help people. I don’t want them to feel like I’m just trying to get their money.”

Or “I just don’t know how to switch between helping and selling.”

Hmmm…what if there is no switch to be made? (But more on that in just a bit.)

Empathetic coaches have created the ultimate Kobayashi Maru for their business. (Or Catch 22 for you non-trekkies.) It is a no-win situation..for both you AND your potential client!

If you help them without making any money, you won’t be helping them for long because the electric company will turn off the power when you couldn’t pay your bills. Now your client has to miss out on your continued help, insight, and magic because you have created a system in which you cannot sustainably be a coach. So, at some point, you will have to drop them. Then they are left all alone. All because you couldn’t get over your internal battle between money and helping.

Getting over your internal battle between helping and selling will pave the way to your coaching success.

And this is how thousands of people miss out on exceptional coaching. Because you (and others like you) couldn’t get over your limiting beliefs about selling.


So, let’s talk about what’s really going on here and what’s really holding you back.

You’re an empathetic person. You love connecting to people.  But if you are a coach who is struggling with “making the sale,” then chances are that you are emotionally connecting to the wrong person.

Let me explain.

When you are in a conversation with a prospect, you are listening to their struggles and their desires. You create a safe atmosphere for them to share thoughts and feelings that they haven’t shared with anyone else before. Sometimes you might even provide such a compassionate zone that they start to verbalize things that they never realized or admitted to themselves. It is a beautiful moment when you hear someone say, “I never thought about it this way before.” Or “I don’t think I ever allowed myself to think about it this way, but…” Or, my personal favorite, “I’ve never told anyone this.”

All of these are fantastic phrases that let you know that you’ve made a strong, meaningful connection. You have made them feel safe enough to unlock parts of themselves that they’ve been too afraid to open. Now change can happen.

This also means that now the sales conversation happens.

Is your sphincter tensing up at the mere thought of it? Did you cringe a little inside when you read that?

This isn’t even real. This is a hypothetical and you already are having visceral resistance. Do you now see how powerful and chronic this dilemma is?

Your resistance – no matter how small or seemingly undetectable – is noticed by your prospect. That negative reaction is like a tiny pebble tossed into a pond. The emotional ripples are felt by the person you are talking to. That emotional vibration makes your prospects doubt, pull back, and second guess any connection they were feeling before. (So, all that connection work that you pride yourself on has now been sabotaged. Yikes!)

What if you didn’t have that reaction? What if when the sales conversation starts, instead of feeling tension, you felt excited and invigorated just like you did at the beginning of the conversation with your new prospect?

Here is how…

Connecting with the person in front of you is a fantastic quality that not everyone posses. However, as a coach who wants to build a successful and thriving business, you must connect with the person you prospect WANT TO BE in your sales conversations.

During your sales conversation, you need to be an advocate for THAT person. You must be a champion for the person they want to become – the person they hope they can become. You must stand up for the person that you know you can draw out with your coaching and not allow your prospect to keep that higher self hidden, never to see the light of day.

The prospect is who you are selling to; their higher self is who you are selling for.

When you are discussing your program or your service, you are demonstrating how you will help them become…

  • The leader they want to be
  • The mother/father they hope they can be
  • The healthy, vibrant person they see within themselves
  • The business owner they dream of being
  • The teacher they always wanted to have and can now become
  • The spiritually connected soul they desire to be

No matter what area you are helping them with, you and your services are the catalyst for them to transform into the person they see within themselves (insert painfully obvious, but poignantly true butterfly/cocoon metaphor).

Image: Butterfly

So, now your sales conversation isn’t breaking a connection; it’s about deepening it.

As an empathetic person, you should feel super-charged at the idea of being an advocate for the prospect’s higher self. Now, if they hem and haw, side-step, or try to rationalize their way out of making an empowering decision (i.e. working with you to get results), you won’t let them get away with it because each of those dodging moves means that they are choosing to stay stuck. They would be choosing the status quo. They would be choosing longer suffering. They would be choosing a diminished life.

All of a sudden, now selling isn’t about money. Now selling is about mission.


With this shift in perspective, you can now turn your back on the uncomfortable, awkward salesy conversations. Allow yourself to turn toward this empowering paradigm of sales. Be the catalyst for powerful change.

Sales isn’t about transaction. Sales (especially for coaches) is about transformation.

Be the coach their higher self desires you to be and sell the prospect into your program.

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