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Business The Top 4 Ways Prospects Choose a Coach


By: Paul McCarthy CSP •  1 year ago •  

Before you spend any more time, money or energy chasing new prospects it might be a good idea to first get CLEAR about the most likely way people will find you.

According to HUBSPOT’s research these are the top 4 ways a prospective customer goes about selecting a coach or professional service provider.

Cue the drum roll…

The number one way a prospect chooses a coach is…


No surprise there.

Most business owners will tell you referrals are their number one source of business.

That’s awesome, because obviously it means you’re doing a great job. The only problem is that growing a business with organic referrals can be painfully slow.

The key is to ignite your referral efforts, this means you need to stop waiting for them to slowly roll in and start driving them in by establishing a referral system.

Okay, if referrals from a trust friend or source is the number one way to choose a service provider what’s number two?

Surprise, surprise, more referrals…

2. A referral from another service provider.

Outside of your clients your next best source of business are the clients of other quality service providers.

I know that I’m constantly asked by my clients for referrals to other service professionals I would recommend.

This is one of the reasons you need to build a strong network of service professionals, people you have real faith in. The fact is when you recommend another service provider to one of your clients you place your reputation on the line.

You don’t want to HOPE they will do a good job and look after your client; you want to KNOW they will.

A good rule of thumb is if you don’t know the quality of the work supplied by a service provider be careful. Referring to someone who let’s your client down can be a costly mistake.


Build a great network of service providers around you and ONLY refer if you’re certain they do good work.

Referrals are commonly the number one source of business because people like to buy from people they trust.

Referrals leverage the trust of a friend, or the positive experience a customer to reassure the prospect they are making a good buying decision.

That’s two down and two to go.

The third way a prospect chooses a coach is…

3. Brand Awareness

Having Brand Awareness is the third most likely way someone will decided to work with you.

If you can build brand awareness it means your work and reputation precede you. You have earnt Top of Mind Awareness, in the mind of the prospect.

This is the goal of any serious brand.

The key to brand building as a coach is to focus on becoming famous for one thing.

To narrow your offerings and own a niche where you are the first name people think of in your field.

But I think of the top four strategies HUBSPOT identified, the fourth way a person is likely to choose a professional service provide is my favourite.

Now the answer may surprise you.

I’ll give you a clue, it’s NOT via social media, or your website! No? According to the study…

The fourth most likely way someone will select you as their coach

4. They saw you SPEAK at a seminar or event.

That’s right SPEAKING is an awesome way to attract clients.

The fact is speaking is one of the most powerful marketing tools you will ever possess.

If you have the confidence to speak in front of a group of people then you have the potential to market your business like few others do.

Why is speaking so effective?Here’s a short list.

• You get to speak one to MANY making it time efficient.

• You get to provide massive value upfront.

• You get to demonstrate your expertise and share your knowledge.

• You get to build rapid trust.

• You get a massive competitive advantage.

These are just a few of the reasons why speaking is such an effective tool for coaches to use to build their business.

And the best place to learn how to develop and leverage speaking is to join Professional Speakers Australia.

Professional Speakers Australia is the peak body for anyone who speaks professionally in this country.

It’s a great source of support and education, which I would highly recommend you check out

Paul McCarthy CSP

Paul McCarthy CSP is an award-winning speaker, bestselling author and founder of the Marketers Club (

Over the past 15 years, he has assisted thousands of service professionals to market their talent, earn what they’re worth and make more of a difference in the world.

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