In most sporting environments, it is accepted and expected that if you want to be the best you can be, you will use a coach. Often that coach comes attached to the team or the club to which you belong.
As you excel at your craft or sport, you might identify additional coaches who will further support your development. A conditioning coach, a style coach, a nutrition coach and the list goes on. Because sport coaching has been an accepted part of industry for a long time, it is easy for a successful coach to attract more clients. They are often sought after, based on the level of achievement of their charges.
When it comes to Life and Business Coaching, there are many other concerns and the primary one centres on trust. The thought goes something like this, “If I put my life or my business in this person’s hands, how will they make me feel? Will I have to reveal all of my innermost secrets? What will I become?” While most coaches know that this is not how coaching works, the potential client has these fears and for them those fears are real. So here is how you can go about setting a platform of trust for your future clients.
As a business coach, I will bring to the table a number of issues that all coaches need to consider and I will do it from a business perspective. Your first step is to determine whether what you are creating is a job or a business
A simple rule of thumb is that for a job you get paid for your effort. I often say, “With a job, if you don’t turn up, you don’t get paid!” On the other hand, with a business, you get paid to manage resources: other people’s time; and materials. “With a business, you get paid whether you turn up or not!” How you apply basic business principles to your coaching will determine whether you have a job or a business.
Having a coach should be a rewarding experience. Trust and belief are two very strong emotions that you will want to bring to your coaching engagement. The other benefits your clients will experience should include the following.
A coach’s role is to share their skills and experience. This is designed to help your clients grow, develop and improve. If the coach has little or no real life experience, how can they share their skills and experience? A good coach in any field will want their ‘charges’ to perform better than they ever have. Development is about identifying and removing any self-imposed boundaries and developing the student for the outcome they want.
Coaching, in any area, is about communication. Without a solid relationship there will be very little chance of ‘true’ communication. In a relationship your clients are happy to ask for help and willingly accept help when it is offered. This relationship provides a sounding board and the support they need.
A coach helps set a direction. As it is likely you have ‘been there before’, you can assist them to identify and then select a path that will get them to their goals sooner. You can identify what they might expect, which can smooth their journey.
To hold someone ‘accountable’ to their dreams and aspirations gets them there sooner. They can do it on their own but the possibility of success expands exponentially with a coach. Constructive feedback, critiquing, not criticism, is the hallmark of accountability.
For those that want to WIN, their chances are greatly enhanced when they have a trusted coach on the journey with them. When they get caught in the minutia of the day-to-day, a coach is there to keep them focused on the results they desire.
Some Key Points to Consider …
The following list identifies the type of relationship your new charges will be looking for. What you need to do is determine how you express these to your existing and your prospective clients:
Do you resonate with them? If they trust their ‘gut instinct’ will they choose you? Ignore this point if you are happy with short-term, fast turnaround clients.
I suggest to clients “Be cautious. If you are ‘not sure’, then that should be sufficient warning!”
What experience do you bring to the table? Have you achieved success with others? How many years have you been in your chosen profession? What experiences led you to the profession?
Has your experience been broader than their specific need? For example, a business coach doesn’t need to have detailed experience in the client’s specific ‘industry’. Often a broader base of knowledge and experience brings about a much better outcome for your clients.
- Walk Your Talk
Are you a business that advises others about being in business? If you are a life coach, is your life in order and an example that others will aspire to emulate? If you are a sports coach, are you fit and healthy and a good example for others to follow.
I am often amazed at the low level of fitness I see in a number of the high level swimming coaches. Many achieved greatness in the pool and now spend all of their time ‘out of the water’ so that their weight and fitness level is a liability.
What will your clients be required to do? Are they prepared to commit the time that will be needed? Coaching is a two-way street; the more they put in to it, the more they get out. In most coaching relationships, your client is looking to you to hold them accountable to a level of activity.
Can you show them the system that you will use to get the outcomes they desire? Not just the initial enquiry parts, the system that they will be engaged in for the entire period?
How long is the engagement for? If you want it to be a long-term relationship, will it be 1 to 2+ years. How will they progress in the system or program?
- Value for money
Are you able to convince your prospects that their investment in engaging you as their coach, will give them the return greater than their investment.
- Your Support System
What is your support system? Will your clients have someone to talk to, if they need to, when you are busily engaged with another client.
Are you able to allow them to check your references? Of course you will give them referrals to satisfied clients. Do you have a range of references that enable a client to identify someone that has experienced the outcomes that they desire?
Are you able to offer a Guarantee? Be sure that your systems are sufficient to ensure that you are able to fulfil on your guarantee. At Brightwater Business Coaching we offer this guarantee:
“You are satisfied that your Brightwater Program adds value to your business or it’s free!”
Are they Coachable?
Now that you have established your coaching systems to ensure a level of satisfaction for your clients, you need to determine if the people you are about to engage with, are coachable?
For anyone who aspires to be even more successful in their chosen area, there is a great lesson to be learned from true champions; coachability.
Whether it is by engaging a coach, surrounding themselves with people who have special talents or a combination of both, all champions understand that they “don’t know what they don’t know!”
With that perspective, coachability refers to their ability and willingness to remain open to new and ongoing learning and to action whatever is needed to accomplish their goals.
If you and your client look at your engagement with a “beginner’s mindset”, you will realise that every day is a new day that will present new challenges and new learning opportunities.
Beginners are aware that they do not know it all and thus are open, humble and lacking in the rigidity that quite often accompanies success and achievement. Beginners often believe they lack the resources to engage in coaching though they desperately know they need to be coached.
The best way to coach is to encourage your clients to ask questions. If they approach every day with the attitude that they will learn something new then they are coachable.
As a coach, you must also remain coachable. You will then recognise that everyone you meet has something to teach you and that when you learn, you grow. When you grow, you take yourself, your team and your clients on the “success journey”.
Powerful Stories, Tips and Amazing Insight
Ready, Set, Go! Everything you need to know to start coaching from the legends in the field. As well as the Business and Life coaches, our launch edition features David Parkin (AFL), Lisa Alexander (Netball Australia), Adam Commens (Hockey Australia), Simon Cusack (Swimming Australia), Sean Douglas (FFA) and many more!