I lived in Mexico for almost 8 years and I found that there’s something exhilarating and eye-opening about stepping back into your country with new eyes after being away for so long. You notice things you never saw before.
In my case, it was crackers.
In Mexico, I had grown accustomed to vast local markets with aisles of fresh produce alongside tiny supermarkets with only a handful of processed options.
Then I came home to miles of aisles of colorful snacks – and, as I remember from my first trip back, dozens of varieties of crackers. So many crackers.
Cheese, Three Cheese, Swiss Cheese, Chili Cheese, Nacho Cheese, Sea Salt, Regular Salt, Unsalted, Peanut Butter, Plain Butter, Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Roasted Herbs, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Carb Free, Reduced Fat, Reduced Salt, Reduced Taste…it goes on and on and on and on…
And, while at first, I remember feeling thrilled at the cheesy, salty, carb-filled possibilities that lay before me, that excitement soon gave way to overwhelm. I must have paced that long, colorful cracker aisle at least one time for every variety on the shelves.
And then, guess what I brought home with me? Nothing.
I had so many delicious options, I kept second guessing which one would really fill the cracker-sized hole in my stomach. And, if I chose wrong, would I be full of carbs and full of regret? So, instead, I simply chose nothing at all and felt satisfied knowing that, for the remainder of my trip home, an aisle of Chili Cheese flavored flour puffs were always just a car trip away.
Good for my waistline, bad for Kellogg.
Here’s what crackers have to do with coaching websites
I’ve been back in the states for almost a year now – enough time to take the cracker aisle for granted once again like I did before I was an ex-pat. But I find myself reliving this experience again and again each time I work with a coach on their website and we walk through their offerings. All too often, I see coaches and service providers laying out their options like an all-you-can-eat buffet of self improvement. And it’s costing you clients.
Many times it looks a lot like this:
60 Hour Sessions. 90 Minute Session. 120 Minute Sessions. Half Day Intensives. Three Quarter Day Intensives. Two Day Retreats. Three Day Retreats. Group Retreats. Private Retreats. Three Month Programs. Six Month Programs. Twelve Month Programs. Eighteen Month Programs.
- You can take a course to gain back your confidence.
- Or attend a workshop to reduce your anxiety.
- Or join a group program to clarify your goals.
In my experience, this desire to list every possible way you could work with people comes from a fear of losing potential clients and losing money.
Most coaches who lay out their offerings this way think they’re expanding their possible revenue streams by ensuring they have a little something for everyone. You want people to know just how much you offer, how versatile you are, that you can meet any client exactly where they’re at – no matter the time, the budget, or the problem.
But, here’s what really happens when a prospect visits your website:
1. They’re paralyzed with indecision
They’re thinking, “Do I need a 60-minute session or a 90-minute session? A course or a workshop? A group program or a retreat? AHHHH! THERE ARE SO MANY CRACKERS!”
2. They second-guess their own needs
It’s kind of like me, wondering if Chili Cheese or Nacho Cheese or Swiss Cheese or Three Cheese will really fill the cracker-sized hole in my stomach. They all sound good! Where do I staaaart? A girl can only eat so many crackers in one day!
A prospect looks at the myriad problems a coach solves – anxiety, self-confidence, goal-setting, relationship issues, career transition, and on and on and on – and they self-identify with so many of these pain points, they don’t know which one they really need to address first.
3. They doubt your expertise
You’ve heard it before – jack of all trades, master of none. When you offer so many solutions, a prospect begins to wonder how effective any one option can be. They’re thinking, “Well, I could work with a coach who does a little bit of everything or I could find someone who specializes in exactly the problem I’m having. Maybe I need someone who’s at the top of their game.”
And, ultimately, they’re so overwhelmed they don’t choose anything at all! Kind of like me, coming home empty handed from the store, after poring over every cracker variety my carb-loving heart could wish for.
My message is clear – coaches, you’re selling too much stuff on your website.
It’s holding you back. It’s turning away clients. And your dream of meeting every prospect where they’re at is backfiring miserably. (If my cracker analogy didn’t do the trick, there’s plenty of research to back me up on this.)
Here’s another thing I know about coaches and their clients – most prospects don’t decide to work with you (not to mention, choose exactly the way that work is going to look) after one visit to your website. It takes a series of interactions with a coach for a prospect to be ready to invest in a coaching relationship.
Your website’s job is not to lay out every possible way you work with people.
Your website’s job to establish your expertise, build trust, and initiate a relationship that you will then nurture over time – through 1:1 interactions, through content, through emails, through social media.
A vast menu of options doesn’t add value, it gets in the way of accomplishing that goal.
What would happen if you simplified your website experience and instead of options, focused on the main problem you help people solve, how you make your client’s lives better, and the first step into starting a relationship with you? (Maybe that’s joining your email list, attending a free training, or hopping on an introductory call.)
My money’s on more money and less confusion. Try it and prove me right.