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The Pitfalls of Coaching Programs

Technically, I can't say that business coaching programs constitute a scam. There's no reason to believe they won't deliver as they say, but there's something about them I find a bit underhanded. I ...

Technically, I can't say that business coaching programs constitute a scam. There's no reason to believe they won't deliver as they say, but there's something about them I find a bit underhanded. I say this because I've received calls from people selling coaching programs in both EBay powerselling and government grants, and after the first one, I don't even bother to listen to any others.

The pitches I've heard follow some variation of the following formula:

  1. The guy on the other end of the phone goes through the "You want your business to succeed, right?" speech.
  2. Then they ask if you're motivated and if you'll put in the time.
  3. Then, they may tell you all about using "other people's money" (OPM) to accomplish this. This may be necessary in some of the larger ventures, but I don't readily subscribe to this point of view at the online, home-based business level.
  4. After you're hyped up and have answered all of their questions 'correctly', you're deemed worthy of their efforts and get referred to a salesman, occasionally known as a "senior manager", "expert coach", or something else to make you feel honored. That person then lays out the benefits before hitting you with a monster of a price tag.

The last statement is what I find the most sleazy. You're basically prepped by the first guy to defeat the sticker shock in advance before the second moves in for the close, and I'm fairly certain it's an act. Therefore, my recommendation is not to use coaching services, and as an example, I'll spell out the fun I had with the EBay business bunch. Please note that this is not from EBay the company. They had nothing to do with it.

The first and forever last run-in I had with someone pitching a coaching program was trying to sell me on the creation of an EBay business. The salesman and future coach was extraordinarily pushy and had a sales pitch that would cow a rabid wolverine. After listening to him tell me I had already agreed to pay him for the $5,480 program, that I could just put it on my credit card, that I was going to be a failure for life if I turned him down, and all the wonderful things they would do for me, I finally got rid of him and ruled the program out for good. Wondering if perhaps I did need their help, I did a bit of research into some of the things they offered and found the following:

  • The information about EBay powerselling was already available in an eBook I had bought previously. These types of books can also be bought off the shelf or from an online bookstore.
  • A premade website came with the program. I learned to make my own much later and far more cheaply with a book I checked out of the library. Prior to this, the only thing standing in the way of my creating one was my own fear and lack of knowledge.
  • Supposedly, they had reporting you couldn't get anywhere else. However, the seller section of EBay has reports on which categories have demand exceeding supply and at what rate. These are availble for free to any seller with the initiative to look.

Good thing I relied on my better judgement.

From what I can tell, coaching programs prey on fear and the nervousness anyone feels when trying something new. While I'm not saying these people wouldn't deliver on their packages, they weren't selling anything I couldn't get somewhere else for far less. So the primary thing a coaching program sells is handholding. They are a source of comfort for a massive expenditure. And that doesn't include anything they might want to back-end sell to you later or any future expenditures you might have to make.

You can find forums, eBooks, and web tools far less costly taken together than a single coaching program. Dreamweaver is in $350 dollar range, and it's a high-end web designer's paradise. The more basic, eCommerce specific site building program XSitePro won't run you more than $200 or so, and you can use it to build and manage multiple eCommerce sites forever. I have yet to see an eBook more costly than $70, and the only one that comes close is so thorough it could teach it's contents to a goldfish. Forums are free if you just take the time to read the threads, and the better affiliate programs will tell you what can help you succeed for nothing so you'll sell more of their stuff.

Even presuming the coaching programs delivered, you're still paying an excess to console your own nervousness. So again, I recommend against ever using a coaching program. You're not so helpless as you might thinkFree Articles, and certainly not as much as someone else might have you believe. You can learn what you need without them.

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Ryan Ambrose is the author of The Ebook Walkthrough, a special report about making real, well-edited ebooks.

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