5 secret superpowers you already have for winning coaching clients
September 9, 2016 by Kevin Oubridge
A coach I was mentoring recently said:
I finally get what you mean by ‘win clients playing to your strengths as a coach’
I was, of course, delighted.
But also a bit perplexed, given that the strapline I’ve been using for some years now doesn’t seem to communicate instantly and with total clarity what it is I help coaches do. My ‘exactly what it says on the tin’ approach to helping coaches win clients clearly isn’t working.
It doesn’t get over that you don’t have to retrain as a marketing or sales professional to win coaching clients because you already have the right skills. Probably all you’re missing is a bit of process and know-how to make it happen, and maybe the belief that marketing and selling aren’t intrusive, rude, pushy, unscrupulous, dishonest and not for right minded people or coaches at all.
Here are five strengths you definitely have as a coach, your secret superpowers, that will help you win coaching clients:
1 You want to help others
The desire to help others through enabling them to reduce their anxiety, manage time, plan more effectively, achieve their goals, lower their stress, or whatever, was probably a key driver in your becoming a coach.
Professional sales people might very well claim that helping others is their key driver too. At its best marketing and selling are aimed at helping people like you and I buy products or services that we want or need and that will improve the quality of our lives.
OK, there are ways of marketing and selling that fall well short of this ideal but a lot of marketing and selling is actually helpful to others. Think of mobile phone ads that convey the photo share features, different apps availabe and how good it looks. The holiday brochures with pictures of sun-kissed beaches and great restaurants. The airline promotions showing happy and caring cabin crew, ready to make your journey a treasured experience.
They’re all aimed at helping you understand what you’ll get for your money.
2 You’re good at building rapport
As a coach, you’re good at putting people at ease, developing trust and building relationships. Being able to do this is an important part of your coaching – it’s difficult to help a client who is feels uncomfortable talking to you about their challenges and how they might overcome them.
The best sales people are good at building rapport too. I remember the last time I bought a TV, the sales person was fantastic. She asked if she could help and I mumbled something in reply, hoping that she would go away. But she didn’t. She asked me questions, listened to my answers, asked further questions, made suggestions and by the time I left the shop I felt as though I’d made a friend as well as bought the TV I wnated.
Building rapport is the same whether with your client or a potential client.
3 You’re good at asking questions
You wouldn’t be much of a coach if you weren’t good at asking questions. Then, having asked one question, you’re good at following up with another and another, broadening the scope of the conversation or digging deeper for more detail, depending on what’s appropriate. And we’ve already seen with the TV sales woman, asking questions is a great way to build rapport which, in turn, is a great way to market and sell.
As a coach, simply knowing the right questions to ask and a few useful follow up questions, could make all the difference for you in marketing and selling your coaching.
4 You’re good at listening
The perfect complement to asking questions is to listen to the answers you get – it’s only polite and you learn so much from it. Part of the reason the TV sales woman was able to engage me in conversation was because she listened to my answers and responded appropriately. So, when I wasn’t sure what I did and didn’t want she asked further questions to help me get clearer, when I said I didn’t want HD she pointed me to other TVs, when I asked her about integrated freeview and DVD, she explained the pros and cons.
Basically, she was an attentive listening.
And yes, I am going to say that being an attentive listener is a crucial strength for marketing and selling your coaching.
5 You’re very patient
It would be no good if, as the coach, you tried to rush a client to a decision or force through a behaviour change. After all, the very essence of your coaching is to give coaching participants the time and space to understand their situation, what they want to achieve and how they can get there.
Coaching, then, most definitely is not for the impatient or for people who want to go straight to solutions without thinking things through. It won’t shock you to learn that neither are marketing and selling – had the TV sales woman tried to sell me the first TV we came to, she wouldn’t have been able to engage me in conversation, let alone make the sale.
No, you need patience to build rapport, ask questions and listen attentively if you want to truly help others and sell your coaching services. Your strengths as a coach are actually superpowers when it comes winning clients. They really are.
What other ‘secret superpowers’ do you have that help you win clients? Let us know in the comments section below.