What does it mean to be a successful coach?
You start your coaching business with enthusiasm, valor and a great sense of pride.
You will change the world.
You will change lives.
You will finally have the freedom you’ve always wanted.
… And then, reality strikes.
Business challenges show up. Clients don’t seem to be so supportive. Enrollment seems like a challenge. Freedom seems distant.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. After researching several successful coaches and establishing my own coaching practice, I have found there are some specific steps to a thriving coaching practice — steps that you could easily take, too.
I can’t guarantee it will work for everyone, but hear me out and maybe you will give it a shot.
(Note: Before we jump to some action items, do note that nothing can replace actually being a good coach. This article assumes that. I assume that, before you read further, you have already done your study or certification, and have invested time to become a rockstar coach. All you need now is some direction in business building.)
Now, let’s get started.
Step 1: Define Your Niche
“But I can do everything,” said one coach, Marissa.
That maybe what you are saying right now as well. “Why do I have to box myself? Why do I have to limit what I do — when I can do so much more?”
I know how it feels, but here is why you need to consider being in a niche.
I call it productive deduction.
Observe your mind’s focus when I ask the question, “How should you grow your business?”
Now, see how the focus changes when the question becomes, “How should you grow your business using Facebook?”
The second question makes it easier to think about. It’s less overwhelming, and you have a clear line of thought.
If we were to take action on the this question, you would most likely get better results if you followed the approach of growing your business using Facebook.
It’s about deducting items that may seem important, but add to the clutter, overwhelm and lack of focus.
The same happens when you coach on anything.
Not deciding a niche makes us busy because every package may be different. It becomes hard to find which client is the right client, and it makes it harder to position yourself as the best in that field.
Choosing your niche helps you decide the clients you want to work with.
Here are some guiding questions that may help you find your niche—at least the niche to get started in.
- If enrollment was not a challenge, what would be the profile of your ideal clients? Would they be men or women? Is there a certain age group that would be more interesting to work with? Any particular profession? Any area of the world they may be living in? Any characterstics about them? Go into as much detail as possible.
- What is the key problem that these ideal clients have? Can you help them beyond problem solving, by elevating their game in a particular area?
- What are some of the coaching techniques you may have that will help these clients?
Once you have answered the above questions, you would clearly know who your clients are and what problems you are helping them with. You would also know some key coaching techniques you are going to master to help these clients.
So much clarity, right?
Step 2: Make Packages
In your head you may be thinking, “Slow down, I haven’t even had a client yet.”
I know. I hear you.
Designing packages is important to do at the start of your business, as it allows you to offer not just one-on-one coaching calls, but to engage your client long term. This, in turn, allows you to have a deep and profound impact on your client.
Think about it: when you work with a client, can you really, deeply transform their lives in an hour? Maybe you can—but imagine how deep your impact will be when you spend a day with them.
Packages not only allow you to have a deep impact on your clients, but they also help you to increase your value per transaction. This way, you don’t enroll clients for $200 an hour, but instead book them for 10 sessions for $2000.
Here are two common packages you can craft:
- Intensive: This is probably my favorite coaching package. An intensive is a day-long event where you get in a room or retreat space with your client. Throughout the day, you work with your client on several areas. You go in with an objective of a desired outcome, and you support your client for the whole day.It is, of course, a very tiring day! But it is very gratifying as well — and your client is a new person by the end of it.
- Group Packages: These packages are where a certain number of people commit to a time frame (or forever) to attend a particular type of coaching. This coaching format is done in a group setting with clients who have similar objectives.This can be done virtually using modern internet tools. It can also be done in a physical setting, where all clients come together in a room and work with the coach at the same time.
However, as you may have guessed, it is easier to deliver a group program virtually.
Step 3: Reach Out
Now that you have defined your packages, it is time to make some noise and reach out to your potential clients.
Usually this is the stage where coaches get all distracted with all the shiny, new tricks of the trade. We start feeling that we are missing out on the latest techniques and our competitors are gaining a competitive advantage.
But trust me: they are not. Only you are losing your advantage by falling for the latest fad.
Reaching out to find clients is a simple, consistent activity. If you do these activities sporadically, it usually creates an inconsistent brand — one that confuses your potential clients. This also makes enrollment harder.
As we defined our niche in Step 1, we also need to pick our channels of communicating with clients. The reasons are the same. Having a focused approach and picking just one channel allows you to build brand recall, and allows your clients to engage with you.
Here are some popular channels that you may want to consider.
- Facebook: Facebook is probably the easiest channel to get promotions started. Start a fan page. Run some simple ads. Get followers — and soon you will find your potential clients following you. Then, invite them to a page where they can sign up or take a free session or join a group session.Facebook also allows you to target potential clients more easily, as you can market to competing fan pages. This allows you have a very targeted, specific approach for client enrollment.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is my second favorite way for enrolling clients. It works even better if you are a business coach. Just being on LinkedIn will allow you to enroll as many clients you want.Here’s the beauty of it: on LinkedIn, you already know the profession of your potential clients — and so, you already know the groups they would have joined.Now you go in and join the conversation happening in the group. You participate. Once that happens you will be able to see how you are recognized in the group, and you can then reach out to its members.
These members are your potential clients.
Step 4: Create And Practice Your Enrollment Conversation
Now that you have already identified your potential clients, the next step is to approach them and really enroll them.
This is the place where you will see all the exercises in this article come together.
This is where you see how everything becomes easier because you are working in a niche and have packages ready to propose.
After you reach out, potential clients will start contacting you. They will ask questions.
At this point, if the client seems like a fit with your type of coaching, go ahead and schedule a call with them.
A call helps you understand your client. It also allows you to share the coaching experience your client can expect when they sign with you. Once you are on call, there is a certain method you’ll want to use to turn someone into a client — if they are the ones you want to enroll.
This method is called SPIN. It comes from a book called _SPIN Selling_. This book changed my life, and I attribute my almost-90% closing rate on my coaching contracts to this book. You can get it from Amazon [here].
SPIN stands for Situation Questions, Problem Questions, Implication Questions and Need-Payoff Questions.
This is the first part of your call. This is where you ask questions that will have your clients reveal their “situation” to you. These are facts about the situation they are dealing with.
Questions you ask (assuming you are a business coach and have a business coaching package to offer) may be something to the tune of :
- “Tell me a bit about what has been happening in your business.”
- “What do you feel may be the big hurdles in your business?”
- “How do you feel about your business right now?”
These answers should naturally lead you to identifying the client’s problem. Don’t jump and identify the problem straightaway. SPIN is based on the client selling themselves on the idea of working with you.
Asking Problem Questions
In this section, you ask about the client’s pain, and then clarify this problem in as much detail as possible. This gets the client self-identifying that there is a need for your coaching in their business — or life.
Here are some examples of possible problem questions:
- “What do you think is the problem that leads to you feeling (state situation here revealed in above section)?”
- “Why does that problem occur? Could you elaborate a bit more?”
The idea is to get the client to identify the problem, and then accept that he or she needs support. Remember, you are guiding this conversation, but its the client who needs to share the details.
The client needs to identify the problem themselves.
Once we know the dire situation the client is in, and the implied needs they have, we need to ensure they understand the intensity of the situation.
This is done through Implication questions.
These are a set of questions that helps your client understand the intensity of the situation they are in. To get your client to respect the solution, it is important that we get them to ackowledge the intensity of the implication of the problem persisting.
Implication questions may look like this:
- “What do you think will happen if this problem persists?”
- “How would it impact your organization if this problem were solved soon?”
You are asking these questions to ensure your client understands the intensity of their own problem.
Once they have stated the implication, they should have a fair understanding that, if the problem persists, it will have severe implications on their life or business.
This is where you you introduce the Need-Payoff Questions.
Need Payoff Questions get your clients to share their explicit needs. Now that your clients know the problem and intensity of the need for a solution, you get them to state exactly what solution they need.
If you did your research right, at this point your client is telling you exactly what you are about to offer them in your package.
This makes your pitch a whole lot simpler, as they just said they need exactly what you have to offer.
The questions at this stage may look like this:
- “How do you think we can prevent this problem from persisting?”
- “Do you think we can somehow remove this current problem? What would you suggest we do to solve this situation?”
At this stage, the answers your client gives maybe stating the package details for your coaching package.
Go ahead and suggest that you have something very similar if they were willing to explore it.
By now, they already have built a lot of confidence in you. This will be the time to suggest your coaching package — and offer them to sign up.
This is also why crafting your package comes in handy, because you now have a set of solutions to offer. A toolbox that you can use to help them through their challenges.
It is now time to sign the deal.
Step 5: Sign The Deal
In excitement to get a confirmation, don’t forget to take the follow-up steps to sign the deal.
Here is how you may propose to send the contract, once you have agreed on which package your client will enroll in. There are, of course. many better ways to say it. But this works just fine too. 🙂
“I am excited to start working with you from (insert start date). To get the house in order in the next 12 hours, you will get a contract and wire details from me. Please sign and send it over by the weekend so we can make sure all the busy work is taken care of.”
Send over the contract and get the details taken care of as soon as possible. This makes both you and clients very comfortable and ready to start coaching.
Phew… You not have our first client all ready to go — let’s build your business further!
Step 6: Repeat
Which brings us to the final step: Consistency. Once you have enrolled your first client, don’t sit back and bask in the success.
We want repeated success.
We want constant growth.
This will be the time for you to jump right in and repeat from Step 3 onwards—again and again.
This will not only create more clients for you, but you will also see that your can charge a lot more for your services. You’ll have a longer queue of clients waiting to work with you, and you’ll also be creating an impact beyond your immediate clients.
Go ahead and suggest if we missed a step, or if you have suggestions on how we can improve any of these steps further, and we will update this training.
Go ahead and comment below!Like this Article? Then You will Love Ajit’s Training on Leveraging Your Email List.