A hunk of money in one go & 10 other reasons to coach by the programme
September 9, 2016 by Kevin Oubridge
I’ve been mentoring Ingrid.
She has just sold her first coaching programme to a new client company for nearly 9,000 EUROS (click the link here for amount in your currency).
Ingrid is obviously delighted at her success and looking forward to helping the coaching participant transform how he works to improve business results. On top of that, she’s excited about the opportunities she now has to sell further programmes to her client company.
You would probably be delighted too, at such an achievement.
The question is though, apart from getting a good chunk of revenue in one hit, what gives a coaching programme the edge over selling your coaching by the hour?
1. It makes your coaching more real and tangible for your potential clients
A lot of coaches find it difficult to describe what their coaching achieves. Having a programme gives you a structure around which you can explain the difference it makes for your clients. Potential clients can see something solid with a beginning, middle and end that can deliver real value for them, rather than a series of meetings with loosely-defined purpose.
2. You can agree coaching outcomes to achieve by the end of the programme
I get that coaching allows people time and space to step back from the day-to-day to think things through in detail, have insights and plan actions. However, when you’re selling to businesses they generally want something more focused than this, dare I say SMART (specific, measurable, aligned, realistic and timed). Coaching by the programme enables you to agree smart coaching outcomes that the coaching participant will achieve by programme close.
3. You can align those outcomes to business objectives
If you’re going to agree coaching outcomes it makes sense, and adds value for the coaching participant and the client company, if you align those outcomes with what he’s trying to achieve in his job. It doesn’t matter how life-changing or wonderful your coaching is for the participant, it needs to have a business purpose or the business will find it difficult to justify paying for more.
4. You can involve the line manager
A way of helping align coaching outcomes with business objectives is to have a three-way meeting with the coaching participant and line manager. This benefits the participant because they get line manager input, and also the line manager because she understands more about the participant’s work situation.
It also benefits you, the coach, because it enables you to build the relationship with the line manager, a key stakeholder in the coaching, who you can approach at a later date for further business.
5. It maximises the value of the coaching
Having a coaching programme enables coaching participants to pick up real momentum, achieving what they want quicker and in better shape than they would otherwise. OK, it’s possible to get the same results without a programme but there’s also a greater risk of getting bogged down.
In addition, there’s benefit for participant and line manager in communicating effectively over participant performance, something they may not do or do as well outside of the coaching programme.
6. You can review progress half way through the programme
Another way to keep momentum going is to have a progress review mid-programme. Clearly, you can do this outside of a programme too. It’s just a lot easier and more powerful if done as part of a programme with clear and measurable outcomes agreed at the start.
It also gives you the opportunity to involve the line manager again, adding additional value for her and the coaching participant because they’re communicating effectively about work stuff, and for you, providing you with another opportunity to continue building the relationship with the line manager.
7. You can measure results
If you’re going to bother to agree coaching outcomes aligned to business objectives at the start of a programme, it would be plain daft not to measure results at the end. You can do this first in discussion with the coaching participant and then in another three-way meeting involving the line manager.
It adds huge value for the coaching participant and line manager, who get a real understanding of how far the participant has come as a result of the coaching. It also clearly demonstrates the difference your coaching has made for the coaching participant, line manager and the wider business, which will help you win further business.
8. You can leverage the relationship with other stakeholders
At the end of a programme you can report results of your coaching to key stakeholders, such as the line manager’s line manager, the budget holder paying for the coaching and human resources and ask them if there is anyone who would benefit from your coaching. You must also be sure to meet up with the coaching participant and line manager to remind them of the difference your coaching made and ask them too.
Winning further business from an existing client company in this way, where you have already proved your worth, is so much easier than starting from scratch with new contacts in new companies.
9. You can become a trusted advisor to the client company
Using this approach you can win further business in your client company year on year. You become a familiar face at the client’s offices, people trust you and value your contribution. Setting up catch up meetings is less stressful for you and the people you set them up with are happy to give you their time to discuss their work situations and where else they might use your services.
You can end up working in the same company for 5, 10, 20 years, where people come to asking for your help, rather than you having to chase them to sell your services.
10. It makes you look and feel professional
Having a coaching programme, with a clearly defined beginning, middle and end, means your clients and you always know where you are with the coaching, meaning you come across as a professional and reassuring presence. And this professionalism makes it easier to win further business from your client company and from new potential clients – they can see you have something tangible and of value to sell.
And you shouldn’t under-estimate the impact feeling professional has on you. Instead of walking into client offices feeling like the junior partner in a coaching engagement, you feel like you belong as a peer to those you coach. That’s a great feeling, trust me.
In short …
I strongly recommend you coach by the programme. It’s better for your coaching participants, those around them and the wider business. It’s also better for you in selling your coaching in the first place and building relationships, enabling you to sell further coaching to your client company year on year.
Share this article with other coaches and start a discussion by adding your comments below.