You enjoy a number of benefits when you become a coach. To find out which benefit is at the top of the list, we did some research in various executive and leadership coaching communities. The results were almost unanimous about which benefit stands out.
Following are five of the biggest benefit of being an executive coach. Guess which one stood out, by a wide margin, as the top one:
1. Flexibility: You get to work my own hours, from anywhere, with whomever you wish.
2. Income: You can make a great income.
3. Work with great people: You get to work with leaders who are making great things happen.
4. Learn about what makes people effective: You discover secrets to human potential and performance.
5. Make a difference: You have incredible impact, helping people have insights, realize new possibilities, and improve results that really matter.
The top response, by a mile, was…Making a difference. Comments included: Helping people realize how powerful and capable they are; results – when the client can see sustainable and measurable results; when clients realize what they though was impossible is actually possible; hearing the great impact of our sessions; making a strategic difference in the organizations and in the lives of individuals with whom I work; and watching a client realize a major career goal in a few months’ time.
This finding has big implications for you if you are looking to get into the profession. That’s because you can’t realize the top benefit if you don’t have the right training.
Recently a couple of coaches who graduated from or quit other coach training programs (and came to the Center for Executive Coaching) let me know that they chose the wrong program. They didn’t get what they needed to find clients and then help them solve their most pressing challenges.
One came from a major university program and wrote: “While we learned the ICF core competencies, I left absolutely clueless about how to build a practice, set up engagements, and coach in the real world.”
The second came from a coach training program that is well known for its focus on a particular philosophy. He wrote, “I left the program the way you sell a stock that keeps sinking. The content just kept getting weirder and weirder. We had to use their specific language and philosophy, or else. I’m the CEO of a hundred-million organization and I would NEVER hire a coach who had training from this program.”
A third came from one of the largest life coaching schools, which now has added leadership coaching to its curriculum. He wrote: “I wish I found out about your program sooner. It is practical and relevant. My previous program was good for introspection, but didn’t teach me anything clients would actually buy.”
At the Center for Executive Coaching, we help you to achieve all five of the above benefits, and we especially help you have impact with clients and make a difference. Our methodology is practical, with a focus on the top challenges that leaders face. Everything we do is about getting results and delivering value. We also guide you to set up your practice, from finding your niche in the coaching space to writing compelling messages, getting visible to decision makers, and knowing how to structure and close engagements. That way, you attract clients and then become trusted advisors to them, so you can have the impact you want to have in your career.
Here is what one graduate wrote to us as she was preparing her taxes, and saw the difference our program made:
“It has only been 18 months but a busy one at that. I realized as I was preparing my taxes that I owe it all to you and your program. I now have the flexibility to live and work wherever I wish and help others. The last six months it has really taken off. I am speaking at several workshops and seminars each quarter and have developed quite the following on social media. I have traveled to Florida, New York, Texas, Louisiana, and Colorado to speak. I do not say this to brag but to let you know that you …helped me re-invent myself. Soon I may even need to hire someone to do the administrative work. Thank you!”
There are lots of coach training programs out there. Please choose wisely. If you do, it can change your life.
You can join our distance learning program anytime. You can get our certification, the Board Certified Coach certification, an ICF designation, and we also include custom specialty designations that you can create at no extra cost, to set yourself apart as a practitioner. Plus, you are always a member with ongoing access to our resources and one-on-one support anytime. No other program matches that level of support, guaranteed. You can also come to any of our quarterly seminars to get certified with us.
To learn more, visit our website, especially our new FAQ page, and contact me anytime to discuss your goals, fit, and next steps. My email is email@example.com and my cell is 941-539-9623.
If you want to get into executive & leadership coaching, there are only two keys to success:
One: Get great clients
Two: Deliver great results to your clients
Unfortunately, most coach training programs don’t show you how to do either one of these. I know, because I not only train members of our Center for Executive Coaching, I also help coaches who have graduated from other coach training programs to get on track. Following is some guidance on both of these areas.
Get Great Clients:
Whether you are an internal or external coach, you have to position yourself in ways that set you apart from others. Most coaches do a very poor job in this area, and many give up. If you are willing to do the work, you can succeed once you get the right training. Here is what it takes and what we teach you:
Choose a lucrative niche. Spend about 70 percent of your time targeting this niche, and 30 percent of your time open to what comes your way. There are dozens of growing niches in coaching right now, whether by industry, function/title, geography, demographics, psychographics, or a horizontal solution where you excel. We show you how to select the right niche(s) for you.
Develop messaging that compels people in your target market to come your way. A couple of hints here: First, start your message with the problem you solve, the costs of the problem, the benefits clients receive when they work with you, and why you are uniquely qualified to help. This sounds obvious, until you read the marketing copy on most coaching websites; notice how they only talk about themselves, as if the client is secondary.
Second, use the word “you” 3 times more than you use the word “I,” because clients care about their issues, not yours. When you join our program, I will personally review and edit your message with you.
NOTE: Internal coaches also need this skill, so that you position yourself as a strategic asset in your company, not just a place for “coaching as a last resort.”
Get visible in ways that establish yourself as a go-to expert in your market. At a high level, there are really only four ways to do this, and we give you tool-kits to figure out the best tactics for your style and talents. A key tip: If you are spending money on marketing, you are wasting your money!
Know how to have business development conversations that convert interested, qualified prospects to clients. Most coaches also fail miserably here. I did when I started, and it took me a while to realize that all I had to do was coach the client through the buying process. There are a few key questions that you and your prospect have to answer together to know whether to move forward. We show you how to do this so that you don’t waste time with prospects who will never buy.
Here is what one graduate writes: “I realized as I was preparing my taxes that I owe it all to you and your program….You are changing lives. I now have the flexibility to live and work wherever I wish and help others. The last six months it has really taken off. I am speaking at several workshops and seminars each quarter and have developed quite the following on social media. I have traveled to Florida, New York, Texas, Louisiana, and Colorado to speak. I do not say this to brag but to let you know that you really did help me re-invent myself.”
Get Great Results:
You are not going to get great results the way that most other coach training teach coaching. Many of these programs either teach coaches to evangelize a particular philosophy or pseudoscience, or teach coaches to ask a series of never-ending questions. Both frustrate clients quickly.
We teach you the core coaching competencies, and then we go much further. We do this by giving you over two dozen methods and tool-kits to address the most pressing challenges executives face: influencing with impact, engaging employees, leading change, building effective teams, creating a high-performing culture, planning for succession, resolving conflict, and more. That way, you have efficient, practical, proven processes that you can put to work immediately.
We also show you how to bake value and measurable results in every interaction you have with your clients, from the start of an engagement until the end.
That’s it: Get great clients and get great results for clients. That’s our focus. Other programs don’t think this way.
There are lots of programs out there. None are like ours. That’s why we attract the top professionals from the best companies, as well as super-successful entrepreneurs, elite athletes, returned military leaders, and others.
Strategic thinking enables the success of any business. Starting and growing a successful executive coaching practice is no exception. Unfortunately, many coaches don’t think strategically about their businesses. They seem content to position themselves as yet another generic coach, just like all the others that are out there competing for business.
As a result:
– They don’t have an edge over other coaches.
– They are seen as a commodity.
– They price at the low end of the market, usually have short engagements, and don’t get a lot of long-term clients.
Ultimately, many of these coaches end up disappointed.
A couple of examples stand out of coaches that don’t think strategically, and suffer for it:
The first example is the executive coach that always goes through Human Resources of large companies for all of their assignments. This is no way to build a business. By going through Human Resources all the time, you have to endure long sales cycles, small budgets, and a group that typically doesn’t have a lot of power in their organizations (even through they play a critical role). Many engagements are for a few sessions at a set rate. To win them, you often have to compete against three or four other coaches that meet with the same client, in a series of chemistry meetings. This means that going into any engagement, you only have a 25% chance of winning, and you have to invest a lot of time for a short engagement anyway. Coaches who go this route end up feeling like they are on a constant treadmill.
A second example is the typical career coach. These coaches provide a set career coaching package to a client, until the client finds and succeeds in a new role. Then what? The coach has nothing else to offer, because they only do career coaching. By the time the client wants a new career, they have probably lost touch with the career coach or found someone else to work with as their career has evolved. There is no recurring revenue! Unless the career coach has built an alliance with a large group — like a recruiter, massive company, or organization — that feeds a stream of clients to them, they do not have a strong strategic position.
You don’t want to be like these types of coaches, and they make up the bulk of the market.
So what is the alternative? At the Center for Executive Coaching, we equip you with new ways of thinking about how to enter and succeed in the market for executive, leadership, business, and career coaching. No other program shows you these strategies and tactics. You can learn and get certified with us via our in-person seminar or join our online/distance learning coach certification program anytime.
We believe that a starting point is how you position yourself. Instead of positioning yourself as an executive coach, highlight one to three big problems you solve for clients, and the value you bring to them — and communicate why you solve these problems better than anybody else. Think of yourself not as a coach but as a solution provider, someone who gets great results for clients by solving their most pressing problems.
Once you do that, you might not call yourself an executive coach anymore, at least not as your primary title. Suddenly executive coaching becomes one of many ways you can deliver results. You can train, facilitate, consult, speak, assess, and run leadership circles and mastermind groups. Maybe you call yourself an Executive Advisor, Leadership Advisor, or Strategic Advisor. If you solve a specific problem, you could label yourself an expert: Influence Expert, Strategic Planning Expert, Change Leadership Expert. Think of these new labels as umbrellas. Under your umbrella title, which represents the highest strategic ground you want to hold, you offer a range of solutions that solve problems for clients.
If you study any of the best-known experts, you will see that they follow this approach. Look at the people who started Crucial Conversations. They have a book. They train. They coach. They speak. They license their materials to other coaches and consultants. Patrick Lencioni has demonstrated this approach brilliantly, especially with his Five Dysfunctions of a Team. He helps companies build better teams through a variety of options, from coaching to speaking to licensing others to offer his content.
You can do the same. You don’t need a book (although it’s never a bad idea, and we work with you on developing one, as many of our graduates have done) right out of the gate. Start with smart positioning.
Once you do, you will find that the road gets easier:
– You can sell directly to decision makers. They have larger budgets than Human Resources, and you can tap into much larger consulting budgets with this strategy. This is especially true in the smaller to mid-size organization range. There are millions of these organizations, and they seek solutions that include coaching. I know, because this is where I focus my own professional practice.
– You open up entirely new markets and ways to serve clients.
– You keep clients longer, because you have the primary relationship with them, not HR.
– You become more of a trusted advisor than a coach.
Yes, you can still spend most of your time coaching. You can do pure executive coaching; or you can embed coaching in a hybrid approach that includes assessments, facilitation, training, and any number of other services your client might want and expect. It’s not a matter of what you do, but of how you position what you do. Meanwhile, career transition coaching becomes a tool you can offer to a client as part of a long-term relationship as their trusted advisor. Coach them in one role, help them transition to another, and coach them when they get there; this is a superior approach than a one-time engagement with each client that most career coaches have to tolerate.
It’s up to you. Most other coach training programs show you the foundations of coaching and then they set you loose. You are like those thousands of baby turtles that hatch every year on beaches. Most get eaten by birds and fish. Maybe 1 in 10,000 survive. When you join our program, that metaphor no longer applies. We show you strategies to do circles around the coaches who choose those other programs. We are a small, boutique program that gives you ongoing support directly from the founder, with tools and strategies to be a great coach and great at building a practice.
I guarantee that once you get the hang of thinking this way, it is not hard to implement. We are there with you every step of the way. And it will make a massive difference to your practice, especially compared to other coaches trying to make a go of it.
By the way, if you are an internal coach, these principles also apply to you! Too many internal coaching groups lack the credibility and respect they deserve and want. It’s because of how you have positioned yourself to senior leadership and the organization. If you want to change how you are perceived, you have to change the quality of your programs, the value you bring, and the way you communicate that value.
It’s not enough to know the basic competencies of coaching in today’s market. If you want to succeed, you need to think strategically. Join any of our coach training and certification programs today and learn how.
During the past year I have had the opportunity to work with a number of coaches who received training outside the Center for Executive Coaching. This work has given me the opportunity to understand what the overall competitive landscape looks like out there. There is great news for you: You can do better than most coaches in the market today. Following are 15 reasons why.
One: No training/ winging it. Many coaches hang their coaching shingles without bothering to get coach training. They think that because they have an MBA or worked in HR or as an executive that they can just get into coaching. That might have been true 20 years ago, but it isn’t true now. Those coaches are dead in the water. I have met a number of these coaches, and they don’t know what they are doing. They talk a big game. Some even have books and endorsements from well-known opinion leaders. However, once I got to talking to them, I found out that they can’t get clients, can’t keep clients, and really don’t know how to get their practices going. They are all smoke and mirrors. With solid training, you can beat them. Two: Poor training. Just as disturbing, I have worked with coaches from many of the larger, better-known coach training schools than the Center for Executive Coaching — even some of the original ones in the market. I’ll let one coach speak for this group: “My school gave me good basic training in how to be a coach, but they didn’t teach us anything about how to set up a practice, attract good clients, or work at the leadership level in organizations. It was more about how to promote coaching as some great thing, but no one wants to hire me based on that.” At the Center for Executive Coaching, we go so far beyond what these schools teach. We focus on what matters in the market, how to get results for clients, and how to establish yourself as a go-to professional in your market. We also give you specific tools and methodologies to help leaders, business owners, and up-and-coming talent address their most pressing challenges. You need these methods to be credible in the market.
Three: Dabblers. Many coaches I met act like they have a trust fund or won the lottery. They are dabblers. Their resume reads like they have jumped from one job to the next. When it comes to their coaching practice, they don’t seem to take it seriously. Maybe they have one or two clients paying them a low hourly rate. They don’t do what’s needed to market themselves. They hide out in their offices writing blogs that no one reads. They talk about a leadership book they will never finish. They quit after they get a few rejections. They just seem to be fly-by-night coaches, and maybe fly-by-night people. If you are serious about starting a coaching practice, you can beat these coaches — and there are lots of them — simply by taking this business seriously and sticking with it.
Four: Not willing to do the work required to make a practice successful. Either because they lack courage or they are dabblers (see #3 above), too many coaches don’t realize that they are in a real business. You can’t be in any business if you aren’t willing to do the work to market yourself and be successful. You can do circles around most coaches in the market today if you have a good work ethic. Having worked with hundreds of coaches outside the Center for Executive Coaching in the past year, I can tell you that most of them are like deer in the headlights. They are just sitting there, mostly doing nothing, hoping their phone will ring.
Five: Can’t think critically. Too many coaches do not come across as being especially bright. I can’t say it any other way. They are suckers for pseudoscience. They jump on the latest fad, even when it isn’t backed up by solid research and science. They spew simplified, bumper-sticker mantras about leadership. Serious executives, business owners, and professionals will not put up with their vapid thinking. At The Center for Executive Coaching we feel blessed: We attract really smart professionals, often with advanced degrees, who like to dig into complex challenges and work with leaders to solve them.
Six: Always overwhelmed. The one thing I have heard most from coaches outside the Center for Executive Coaching is, “I am overwhelmed.” Almost everything overwhelms them: presenting to a group, writing a marketing message, negotiating with a prospect, making time to get clients, dealing with a challenging client. They seem to be in a constant state of “always overwhelmed.” I’m surprised they get out of bed in the morning. Of course we can all feel stress at times, but I am telling you that you can beat most coaches in the market simply by having some basic coping skills.
Seven: No track record of success or substantive experience. I don’t think you should be coaching people to be better leaders if you haven’t demonstrated leadership yourself. And yet people who have not been especially successful in life wake up one morning and decide to become coaches. Coaching is the one profession where the “Imposter Syndrome” is a real thing — many people in the profession truly are imposters. These coaches won’t succeed. You can.
Eight: No edge that sets them apart. In any business, you need a unique selling proposition, some advantage that sets you apart. Most coaches I’ve been working with outside the Center for Executive Coaching can’t come up with one. They point to things like their listening skills, passion, and integrity. These are important qualities, but every coach should have them. In our program, we work with you to identify your unique edge so that you can stand out in the market. Plus, most of the professionals who join us have a track record of achievement and accomplishment. They have gotten results. It is not hard to tell a story that makes you credible, and we help you put it together.
Nine: Not focused on results and value. It is ridiculous but true: Too few coaches bake results and value into their coaching processes. They ask never-ending questions that go nowhere. They don’t know how to track and measure results. They seem more interested in having the client “transform” with some emotional catharsis than actually improve performance in the real world. They come across as, for lack of a better word, fluffy. Everything we teach at the Center for Executive Coaching starts and ends with bringing value and measurable results to clients. How else are you going to get hired?
Ten: No presence. If you want to work with leaders, executives, and up-and-coming talent, you have to have some degree of presence. This is hard to teach. It is cultivated over time. A lot of the coaches I’ve met outside our program don’t have it. They are light weights. I wouldn’t hire them as coaches, but I would refer them to coaches to get some help.
Eleven: On a self-indulgent journey. A few too many coaches sign up for coach training programs as part of their own inner journey. They are there to transform themselves in a weekend. It’s all about them. It’s a narcissistic approach, and coaching fits into their plan for personal nirvana. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t lead to the ability to serve demanding corporate clients.
Twelve: Evangelistic vs. market focused. A lot of coaches come out of other coach training programs ready to evangelize a particular philosophy, like ontology, or psuedo-scientific approach to how to make one’s life better. Executives and leaders don’t want to listen to evangelists, anymore than we want an evangelist knocking on our doors while we are eating breakfast on Sunday morning. People hire coaches to solve pressing problems. At the Center for Executive Coaching, we show you how to think with a market-focused mindset, so that you understand the prospective client’s issues and challenges, and then work with them to develop a solution. You start with the client’s situation and goals. You don’t force a particular ideology onto your clients. That way, you stand a much better chance of getting hired.
Thirteen: Small thinkers. Many coaches think way too small about their practices. They charge tiny amounts of money for a small number of sessions with clients who can’t really afford coaching and aren’t serious about being coached. That is a really bad strategic plan. Obviously you can do circles around these coaches, and I would estimate that these types of coaches make up more than half of the current market.
Fourteen: Angry at corporations and authority. Some coaches got into coaching to become social justice warriors. They don’t like how companies are run. They think most authority figures are bad. Maybe they had a bad boss and got into coaching to fix all the bad bosses out there. They are certainly welcome to their opinions, but I don’t know many leaders who will hire someone who resents them.
Fifteen: Too academic. Finally, many coaches can’t move clients forward because they are stuck in theory. They don’t know how to get out of their own way. They’d rather explore an issue to death with a client, like a therapist, then get results.
For all of the above reasons, YOU — if you are a seasoned, smart professional — can beat the vast majority of coaches in the market today. I have seen them in action. I am not at all impressed. Join the Center for Executive Coaching for the tools, methods, and support you need to be successful.
If you study how executive coaches charge for their services, you will find it is all over the map: high, low, hourly, daily, monthly….Most charge by the hour, and at too low a rate at that. But the most successful coaches have borrowed a page from consultants and figured out the right way to charge. It is by the engagement, based on the value provided to the client.
If you want to switch to this approach, and we teach you how in our program, this article gets you started.
First, here is some background to consider.
Let’s say you were working with an investment banker to raise $1 million. Would you rather have an investment banker who takes a year and hundreds of billable hours to raise that $1 million for you, or one that makes a couple of phone calls and sets you up with the money? Of course, we would pay more for the second. But how should we pay him? An hourly rate makes no sense, because he didn’t spend a lot of time to bring us a lot of value. (Important note for the literal reader: I’m not suggesting here that executive coaches take a percentage based on whatever financial results the client gets, only that clients can see value in different ways than hourly).
Meanwhile, a number of management consulting firms won’t touch an engagement without a minimum client commitment of $250,000 or more. Also, it is common for consultants to be paid per engagement, with high-end firms charging high-end rates because they work on pressing, even mission-critical issues for clients. Finally, note that most companies have much larger consulting budgets than executive coaching budgets — often by factors of 10 or 20, and usually controlled by the true general managers of the company (not Human Resources, as with most executive coaching budgets). Now, consultants sometimes back into these rates to justify their fees, for instance by bringing in teams of analysts at high billable rates; however, they are smart about how they do this.
Both of these examples highlight a few important conclusions:
1. Clients are willing to pay for value based on things other than hours. 2. Clients will invest large sums of money when the value is there. 3. Many other types of professionals are used to much larger fees than coaches earn. If you come from that background, you won’t be as worried about asking for larger fees when the time comes. 4. Positioning as a coach vs. a consultant or other solution provider might not always be the best idea, because that locks us out of bigger budgets and more powerful decision makers than what we find in Human Resources (although, of course, we always want to work with Human Resources, involve them, and support their important goals).
I am fortunate that I came from a consulting background when I got into coaching. Pricing based on value was second nature to me.
The trick is how to have conversations with clients so that they agree to pricing based on the engagement, and also at high-end fees. It’s easy once you get the hang of it, but hard for some coaches transitioning from the mindset of charging by the hour.
Following are some steps to make this transition. The Center for Executive Coaching’s programs, and one-on-one support, show you how to do it. If you want to be a top-tier executive, leadership and/or business coach, you should join us and learn this. In fact, at our in-person seminars, we have a lunchtime session in which we practice this exact approach.
Before we begin, make sure you have some sort of default pricing in your mind. You can always adjust it, but it will help you think about whether or not you have a serious client. For instance, with leaders in mid-sized companies, I have a figure of $25,000 for six months in mind. I know if I can work with the client to find a problem worth $250,000 or more (and often the intangible, emotional issues like stress and frustration are worth much more than that to a leader), I can win the engagement. Note that this pricing is on the lower end for executives in larger companies, for instance, over $100 million.
Here is the process:
1. Market yourself so that prospects come to you with issues. Don’t chase clients. Do this by getting good at networking/asking for introductions, forming alliances with complementary professionals, conducting educational marketing (e.g., speaking, writing, webinars, online videos, whatever works for your style), and leadership roles in industry associations and non-profit organizations (quality over quantity; pick a couple and go deep vs. dabbling in many).
2. When a prospect comes to you with a problem, don’t pitch or sell. Instead, coach them through the buying process. Your job as the coach is to discover together whether the prospect has a big enough problem to hire an outsider, whether they have the money and the authority to get it, and whether they want to work with you. Ask the tough questions to find out: – Probe about how big the problem is and what it is costing, as well as what it will cost if they client doesn’t act soon – Probe to find out the value of solving the problem – Ask about what the client is willing to invest to solve the problem, and how they can access the money
3. If the client doesn’t seem to have a big enough problem to afford your fees, there is nothing you can do. Politely move on. You have saved yourself a lot of time.
4. If the client has a big enough problem, and the money, to pay your fees, that’s great news! Now you can ask about how they see you working together. The client might already have ideas. If they don’t, don’t worry. When you join our program, we show you what to say here so that you explain to the client at a high level the process you use and the path you take to get results.
5. Ask the client what they want to do next. There is no better closing question than this. The serious clients usually say they want to move forward. A proposal then summarizes everything you discussed (price, scope, etc.; never submit a proposal if the client hasn’t already agreed to sign it and has agreed to price and scope beforehand).
6. Through the process, you are willing to be open and on equal footing. If the client hems and haws — even after you take time to explore the client’s concerns and objections — you are willing to move on. You are okay with saying, “I thought you had a big enough problem that you wanted to take action. It sounds now like you don’t.” Don’t be obnoxious about it, but hold your ground.
7. Negotiate on the scope but not your fees. Again, it is not about hours. It is about value. The value is there or it isn’t. If the client complains about time, ask whether they would want to spend more or less time with you to address this issue. You can even offer to spend as much time as they want; most executives will chuckle when you do. They understand. If the client is adamant that the engagement is too expensive, go through the value of solving the problem again and ask what you missed. Ask what part of the solution/value he or she doesn’t want to experience.
If you are new to this, realize that some clients will never get this approach. Let other coaches work with them. Plenty of other leaders do understand that the top professionals charge based on value, and they are willing to pay a fair price to solve big issues. Consultants and other professionals have already trained them that this is fair.
The above has changed the practice of many coaches, increasing their income and cutting the time they spend on business development. For new coaches, it has allowed them to leapfrog coaches who have been at the game a long time.
Try it. I wouldn’t be a coach if I had to charge an hourly rate and track hours with every client. It’s too task-oriented. I want to get results and have impact, and so do you. We should charge accordingly.
Recently, the Center for Executive Coaching graduates met for our first-ever reunion. Among the events were panels in which our members shared their best practices and experiences. It was so wonderful to hear examples from so many of our coaches about how they have developed successful practices and working with leaders at well-known organizations to achieve amazing results.
Following are seven examples which represent key approaches that most coaches seem to be taking to succeed. The common factors include hard work, courage, persistence, listening to what the client works instead of using coaching jargon, using the toolkits provided by the Center for Executive Coaching, and following our guidance about business development and pricing.
[Editor’s Note: If you like what you read below, please visit us now at https://centerforexecutivecoaching.com and explore our programs. We are different than any other coach training program because of our practical, results-driven approach for seasoned professionals who want to become executive and leadership coaches.]
Here are the specific examples and approaches:
One: Get a small foothold with a client and build from there. In this approach, which I follow myself, a fast nickel is better than a slow dime. The coaches using this approach typically start with a single coaching engagement (e.g., six with a client at $15 – $20,000) or a team retreat. Once they get in the door and over-deliver, they listen for additional opportunities to bring value to the client. That usually leads to long-term relationships and engagements, often lasting many years. One coach who graduated from our program only this past year shared how she already has earned six figures following this approach.
Two: Go big by planning out a long-term plan with the client. At least one coach took a bolder approach that the approach above. Only a few months after completing our seminar, he sat down with leadership at a manufacturing company in need of organizational development. Initially he thought about proposing a single coaching engagement. However, on hearing about all of their needs, he decided to aim high. He proposed $500,000 worth of coaching and related services over five years. The client agreed to about $250,000 of what he proposed.
Three: Focus exclusively on one or two key solutions to major problems that leaders in your market have. One very successful coach and HR consultant shared that she has packaged two solutions: strategic planning and leadership development. Everything she does is about being the best in coaching clients to plan strategy that gets executed and in developing leaders to grow and strengthen the organization. As a result, she is selling packages of services worth a minimum of $70,000 at a time.
Four: Be visible and plant seeds about the value you bring. A team of two coaches who work together, usually to help build high performance teams, shared a great case study about a $1.5 million engagement that they led (and are still leading) over the past four years. It began when they courageously suggested to an executive that, despite what she was telling them, she didn’t have a high-performing team. She had high performers, but not a high-performing team. The executive didn’t like their comment. However, two years later, in a new role, and in a company that was more supportive of paying for coaching, she called them again to help turn her team into a high-performing team. These coaches are constantly out there educating the market about how to create high performing teams, and planting seeds. You reap what you sow.
Five: Dominate a niche like no one else. A number of our coaches have become leading coaches in their niches: coaching physician leaders, coaching federal government leaders, coaching healthcare technology leaders, coaching CEOs who are recovering from addiction, and even some specialty niches like coaching aspiring travel writers to build six-figure businesses. Many have created amazing platforms to support their coaching: books, member areas, seminars, conferences, invite-only events, and tele-seminars. By going deep, these coaches have built what Warren Buffet calls a moat around their businesses.
Six: Write a book and use it as a platform for a brand. Teri Citterman is one of my favorite coaches because of her energy and grit, and is a great example of this approach. She wrote a great book, From the CEO’s Perspective, and has used it as a platform that she has turned into coaching, events, and more value-added solutions for top technology CEOs and their teams. At our reunion it was so great to see how many coaches have written or are in the process of writing books on a variety of topics related to leadership. When you join the Center for Executive Coaching, you receive tools and guidance to do this, if this is an aspiration for you.
Seven: Assessments leading to million-dollar coaching. Mike Pacholek is an amazing coach and also happens to love assessments. He shared a number of cases where he has sold assessments starting with a single assessment for $750 to a small group of assessments for under $5,000 and this has led to multi-million dollar client engagements in coaching, training, and more assessments over multiple-year client relationships.
There are lots of coach training programs out there. One theme that came through loud and clear at this event was this: It really DOES matter which program you choose. We are not the biggest, and we don’t want to be. What you get from us are great tools, personalized support to achieve your goals, and a focus on delivering practical results and value so that you delight your clients. We don’t waste your time with jargon, pseudoscience, fluff, or language that will frustrate your clients and turn them off from coaching. You learn how to start with the client’s needs, an idea which shouldn’t be revolutionary in coach training, but unfortunately seems to be. If you are willing to do the work, we will go to the mat to help you succeed as an executive, leadership, and business coach. That is my pledge to you.
If there was any other theme at this reunion it was: “I wish I had done this sooner.” Take action now.
Following is a complementary webinar about coaching clients to improve their powerbase, or network of professional relationships. While you watch, give serious consideration to how strong your network is. How healthy is your opportunity flow as a coach? Is your network sending you great opportunities before others know about them? If not, you should join the Power & Influence Coach Certification and Training Program.
Here is a recording of our webinar about the principles of influence and how to coach clients to prepare for high-stakes influence conversations. This webinar gives a tiny sliver of a preview of our new Power & Influence Coach Training and Certification Program. If you would like to learn more about it, click here.