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 months with a client at $15 – $25,000) 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.