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Most coaches get involved in coaching for one extremely compelling and valuable purpose – because they want to make a positive impact on the lives of others.
As a coach, the extent to which you are able to fulfill that objective is contingent upon two factors. Firstly, your skill and effectiveness as a coach; and secondly, the number of clients, you are able to affect through the application of your services. The purpose of this article is to focus on the second factor.
In the process of assisting people, it is also possible for coaches to develop a fruitful lifestyle for themselves along the way. In fact, these objectives are entirely complimentary.
Many business people, including coaches, fail to recognize the important ethical role that marketing plays in their business. In doing so they develop a mindset that is self-defeating to themselves, their business, and their clients.
As a coach, you are in business. How effectively you operate your business is entirely contingent on you. There are enormously successful coaches (in terms of client numbers, income, and coaching outcomes), and coaches that are barely able to etch out a living. The difference between these extremes is not their coaching competency, but rather their mindset. You may be an incredibly skillful coach, but unless you have people willing to use your services, your skills are of little to no value.
So what mindset does it take to be a successful coach?
A successful coaching mindset:
- Puts the needs of prospects and clients first;
- Actively seeks to assist clients to attain their objectives;
- Is empathetic to the needs of clients and prospects;
- Doesnít limit the service offered to clients, and
- Acts as an ethical adviser.
It takes a Marketing Mindset to be a successful coach.
We regularly hear of coaches that feel as though marketing is ëleadingí and ëunethical.í They feel as though it is too ësalesyí and donít feel comfortable with it. For those coaches, we are going to explain why marketing is both ethically valid and commercially crucial.
There is an enormous (and growing) volume of people in society that would benefit from coaching services. Let’s call these people prospective coaching clients or prospects. These prospects have specific goals theyíd like to achieve, or challenges theyíd like to overcome, with a view to leading a better and more fulfilling life.
As a coach, you have a certain duty of care to assist these people. You can only begin to assist them once they utilize your services. Marketing is the link between the prospect’s desire and your ability to assist them to fulfill their desire.
Marketing only becomes unethical in the circumstance that you are not able to fulfill your marketing promise to your client. In this instance, you misled your client, either knowingly or unknowingly, and acted unethically.
On the premise that prospects will seek a coach to assist them to attain their specific goals, itís the ethical obligation of coaches to help prospects select a coach that will best be able to assist them. To do this coaches should fully, comprehensively, and transparently disclose to prospects what services they offer; where their specialties lie; what experience they have; how they assisted people with similar desires in the past; and how using their services will benefit them. Or to state it more simply, to undertake marketing.
Marketing is commercially crucial because it links prospects that desire a certain outcome with skilled professionals trained to assist them to achieve that outcome. It identifies you as someone that may be able to assist prospects with their pre-qualified needs. By seeking out information on coaching services, prospects have already identified for themselves:
- That there are certain things in their life they like to attain or challenges theyíd like to overcome.
- That a coach is a person with the requisite skills and experience to assist them.
- That they are willing to invest financially in the process.
The above is an extremely important point and one that coaches need to accept.
As we explained earlier, coaches generally come from one of two schools of thought with respect to marketing.
The first school of thought perceives marketing to be leading and sales. They come from the paradigm that by marketing you are proactively influencing someone in their decisions. Or specifically that you may make someone do something they would not otherwise do. We call this train of thought the Influencing Paradigm.
The second school of thought accepts that prospects are people that have identified for themselves their need to invoke change. And theyíve identified that a coach will assist them to make that change. They recognize that the prospect has made the intellectual link between their needs and how they want those needs to be fulfilled. We call this train of thought the Service Paradigm.
The thought processes of these two perspectives are entirely dipolar. One positions the prospect as someone reluctantly influenced into utilizing a service, and the other positions the prospect as a proactive individual capable of determining their needs that has actively sought out coaching services.
As a coach, it is critical that you put yourself in the second paradigm of thinking. Only then will you be able to ethically fulfill your objective of assisting your clients. And only then will you be able to fulfill your symbiotic goal of building a successful coaching business.
By putting yourself in the Service Paradigm of thought you will recognize that to assist clients to meet their objectives, you should:
- Actively promote your services through compelling advertising that clearly describes what you can offer clients.
- Understand that as a coach and a trusted advisor you are often in a better position of knowledge to ascertain your client’s needs to assist them to attain their goals.
- Be empathetic to the needs of your clients and actively offer solutions to them through various products and services.
- Value your client’s intellect and decision-making ability.
- Do not pre-empt your clientís wants and hence limit the range and scope of products and services you offer them.
- Always acts as an ethical adviser.
Once you embrace the Service Paradigm of marketing, you realize that marketing provides you with a much greater opportunity to fulfill your primary objectives and assist your clients, and build a successful coaching business. These objectives become complementary and you create a truly win-win situation between the desires of your clients and your own desires.
In the second part of this article, we provide you with further information on how to develop your Marketing Mindset and Service Paradigm.
While an individual would like to improve an aspect or certain aspects of their life so they can achieve a specific goal or set of goals.
To quickly surmise, we explained that people with an Influencing Paradigm mindset perceive marketing to be ëleadingí and ësalesy.í They come from the paradigm that by marketing you are proactively influencing someone in their decisions. Or specifically that you may make someone do something they would not otherwise do.
People from the Service Paradigm school of thought accept that prospects are people that have identified for themselves their need to invoke change. And theyíve identified that a coach will assist them to make that change. They recognize that the prospect has made the intellectual link between their needs and how they want those needs to be fulfilled.
To be a successful coach, or in fact successful in any business, it is critical that you embrace a Service Paradigm mindset toward your marketing.
In this article, we are going to further explore exactly how you can develop a Service Paradigm marketing mindset.
Before we can begin to discuss how you can develop your Service Paradigm mindset, let’s look at some of the characteristics. Coaches with a Service Paradigm recognize that to assist clients to meet their objectives, they need to:
- Recognize that everyone in business is in the business of marketing. Without clients, they have no one to deliver their services to and hence no one to assist.
- Actively promote their services through compelling advertising that clearly describes what they can offer clients.
- Ethically promote their services with vigilance.
- Recognize the cycle of life of their prospects and regularly promote their services for as long as prospects allow.
- Understand that they are often in a superior position of knowledge to ascertain what their client needs to assist them attain their goals.
- Be empathic to the needs of clients and actively offer solutions to them through various products and services.
- Value their client’s intellect and decision-making ability.
- Not pre-empt their client’s wants and hence limit the range and scope of products and services they offer them.
- Always acts as an ethical adviser.
As a coach, to outwit your competitors you must create a niche; and to build a successful dealership you must attain a Service Paradigm marketing mindset.
To develop your Service Paradigm marketing mindset:
Be determined to succeed
You need to be absolutely determined that you are going to succeed. If you just want to succeed, but youíre not willing to go the extra mile, you get swept aside by those that are more determined. If you are truly determined, you be confident and this confidence will automatically show in your dealership and be transparent to prospective clients, peers,, and the general public. Prospective clients will want to be associated with you, and clients will want to continue their involvement.
Coaches with a marketing mindset embrace challenges as part of life and part of the dealership If you perceive challenges as impassable barriers you never develop a marketing mindset. It is crucial you accept youíre going to confront hurdles as part of the dealership. How you perceive these hurdles, as opportunities or barriers, will drastically influence your level of success. Perseverance is a key ingredient in developing a marketing mindset.
Literally, nothing destroys a marketing mindset more than a negative attitude. A marketing mindset is a ëcan doí attitude. Faced with the same challenge, the coach with a positive ëcan doí marketing mindset will find a way; the coach with a defeatist attitude will submit and fail.
As a coach this is something you should know a lot about. Set yourself specific, achievable, stretch goals.
Plan a strategy
Establish a specific plan of action to attain your goals. Identify what resources you need and the possible challenges you may confront.
Implement your plan
This is the most difficult part. Implementation of your plan. Modify it where required, change your goals as others are attained, modify your plan if flaws are perceived, but always continue implementing. Non-action is the precursor of business failure. If you continue to implement, your dealership will always sustain forward momentum. If you have momentum, your direction (goals and plans) can always be adjusted.
Your success or failure hinges on your marketing. Always maintain your marketing mindset. Always be focussed on marketing. Itís a common trap to get caught up in the day-to-day ëoperationí of your dealership and put marketing aside. This is a recipe for disaster. How effectively you market will be the most influential determinant of the success (or otherwise) of your dealership. Marketing is not difficult or confusing, but it does require significant ongoing diligence and attention. The moment you lose focus on marketing your dealership is the moment your business performance will suffer.