At some point in your sex coach training, you probably learned it is important to meet your clients where they are. The idea of meeting clients on their terms—using their language and speaking to their current understanding of sexuality—may have grabbed your attention and caused you to pause for reflection before moving on to the next course. This lesson may be the missing link to help you convert prospects into clients and achieve success in your practice.
Let’s fast forward a few months down the line: you’ve graduated and you’re opening a private practice as a Certified Sex Coach. You’re fired up, filled with the knowledge and skills that only a select few people possess. You’re ready to bring your vision to life and make an impact.
You put yourself out there and have conversations with people you would so love to work with day after day. While you make contact and spark engagement, it feels like something just isn’t connecting. You’re attracting a lot of interest, but no one is signing up for your services.
Often, what’s standing in the way of taking the relationship from casual fan to committed client is a failure to meet your prospective clients where they are right now. Without knowing it, you may be meeting them as an aspirational or inspirational figure—someone they’d like to be like, but not for them as they are today.
What They Want vs What They Need
Let’s face it—you are a specialist. You’ve been through a rigorous program of study to be able to call yourself a Certified Sex Coach. You’ve completed a journey of deep, personal work. Now, almost as if it is second nature, you’re able to look outward at the people you wish to serve and you know what will help get them to where they want to be.
You have a strong awareness of what they need in order to get there.
The thing is, it’s not enough to know what your clients need to reach their goals for sexual self-realization. You have to be able to speak to their desires as they exist today using the words your clients would use to express what they want.
One of the greatest challenges in marketing is to lead with what your clients want, instead of what they need. The classic marketing advice to state benefits first and only briefly touch on features speaks to the same truth: human decision making is more influenced by emotions than logic.
Your skills and expertise could be the best fit in the entire world for someone, but if they don’t understand that you have what they want, they won’t work with you.
Take a moment and think about the best clients you have worked with, or the people you hope to have as your clients one day. How would they express what they want from sex coaching? It may sound very different to what you might say.
Your clients might say they want to want sex with their partner, they want to achieve G-spot orgasm, they want to get laid, or they want to last all night with a rock solid hard on.
How comfortable do you feel meeting these potential clients where they are by naming their wants in their own words?
The World Has a Troubled Relationship With Sexuality
There’s nothing quite like being in a community of fellow sexuality professionals. It can feel like a breath of fresh air to speak a common language and enjoy the safety and ease of sharing similar values around human sexuality.
We live, by and large, in a world where most people have a challenging relationship with sex. Most sex coaches grew up in a similar context. In fact, overcoming our struggles around taboo and sexual shame are often what called us to this work in the first place.
It can be painful to re-engage with what we’ve left behind. It can remind us that the world is still so far from what we know it could be in terms of compassionate acceptance of the wide spectrum of human sexual expression.
Most of your clients are still living in that context, and there can be a resistance to engaging with your clients around these parts of their current reality.
Maybe your client reveals that they visit tube sites to watch porn. You may feel a strong desire to move immediately toward offering specific suggestions about other, more ethical sources of porn and sharing all you know about the downsides of tube sites.
Or, maybe your client, a man in his mid-thirties, shares that he contacted a telehealth company for a Sildenafil prescription because he was tired of losing his erection with new partners. You might feel frustrated, because you know this client’s concern doesn’t have physiological roots. You may be tempted to warn him about the powerful marketing of the pharmaceutical industry and suggest there are other ways to resolve his concern without pills.
In both cases, you may decide to share these resources and information with your client.
Before you do, though, meeting your client where they are means listening to the client deeply, especially for what remains unsaid.
A client may use tube sites to avoid a charge appearing on the bank statement their partner has access to and the shame around porn use within the relationship is the deeper concern. A client may have considered using the dark web to order bootleg boner pills, and instead chose to reach out and have a consultation with a doctor—a big step, because this client struggles to ask for help.
By listening deeply, we can help our clients to zero in on what lies beneath their concerns and so give them the best chance of defining actions which yield lasting results.
There’s a Reason We Call It a Practice
Being in service to our clients is a practice—it is a journey without an end, one that calls us to regularly reflect on the values, attitudes, and beliefs we hold.
Meeting our clients where they are is part of how we keep the arrow of sex coaching pointed at the client throughout our coaching relationship, including in our marketing as we make first contact.
To maintain your awareness of the unconscious biases you hold, you can schedule time to get curious about what you think and feel about sex. Once a month, open your journal and ask yourself: How are my values, attitudes, and beliefs affecting how I show up for my clients? Is this in service to me, or to them? Do I have any new hard boundaries about who I can and cannot serve on this basis?
Remember—if you feel uncomfortable at times with meeting your clients where they are, this is a strong signal that you’re right where you need to be. It means you are further along in your journey than they are—you’ve already done the work, and this is what enables you to be a powerful and transformative sex coach. Just be mindful of setting the bar so high that those who would benefit from your work are unable to clear it.
Keep in Touch
If this Sex Coach Tip was helpful for you, make sure you don’t miss the next one! Join Sex Coach U’s newsletter to keep up with all of our offerings, news, and more Sex Coach Tips!