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Kevin Oubridge

Blue Chip Coaching Limited


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Win More Coaching Clients by Playing to Your Strengths


A coaching friend of mine was recently bemoaning the imminent loss of her best client, the CEO of a global marketing company.

"He's moving to Dubai, so no more coaching."

I was astonished!

"What about telephone coaching? He's also bound to be back and forth. Why not meet up when he's in the UK? And don't assume the company won't pay your air fare to Dubai. A global company! Huge budgets! You add great value! Why not check it out? And surely there are opportunities to coach others in his organisation. He is CEO after all, so you have a good relationship with the decision maker."

All of this was true but it struck me that my friend didn't know how to make any of it happen. This situation seems to play out over and over again. Many coaches have direct access to very senior leaders in global organisations. Leaders who manage multi-million pound budgets and vast numbers of people based in numerous countries. Surely an endless supply of further business opportunities? In theory, yes. In practice, NO! Coaches are good at building coaching relationships but many seem to struggle with the business-to-business (B2B) side of things.

The silly thing is that coaches have exactly the right skill-set for building long-term and highly productive B2B relationships. All coaches, through their training and by their nature, are good at asking questions and listening. They're good at helping people review progress against plans, and then at helping them plan and make decisions. These are the things that add value to your clients. They can also add value for you for marketing purposes.

However, building B2B relationships won’t happen simply by saying you intend to do it. You need a plan. Nothing complicated, just a few simple steps that enable you connect with all the stakeholders in a coaching engagement and ensure they understand the value you bring:

1.   Measure results of your coaching. Involve the coaching participant and line manager in looking at what the coaching aimed to achieve and ask them how well the participant did against these targets.

2.  Schedule meetings with all the key stakeholders – the coaching participant, line manager, the budget holder paying for the coaching and human resources (HR). All of these people will want to know the value of the coaching to the coaching participant, those around them and to business results.

3.  In these meetings report back on the results of the coaching and ask for their thoughts. At the end of each meeting ask them if there is anywhere else in their business where they can use your services.</li></ul>

A very simple process that adds value to your client company – all the key stakeholders understand the value you bring and will be interested in adding similar value elsewhere in the company. Asking where else they can use your services becomes the natural thing to do. In fact, it would be odd not to ask this question having reported back on the value of a coaching engagement. You just need to get used to doing it. It will soon become second nature.

Ultimately, this approach will win you more business. Enough business to mean you don’t have to attend networking events, chasing after new clients. You can instead focus on much warmer leads in companies where you already have a relationship, as well as evidence of the value you bring to add credibility. No need to reinvent yourself as a salesperson. Just do what you do best, to win more clients within your existing client companies.

This obviously makes sense. An individual coach can only deliver, say, 10 to 15 substantial coaching engagements in a year. But very few coaches are able to sell that many coaching programmes through the generally recommended routes, such as networking, presentations and social media. Much better to focus on building the B2B relationship. That way you can win 10 to 15 coaching engagements with the same client company. Imagine that! Winning more business by playing to your strengths as a coach.

Your problem then becomes the risk of having all your eggs in one basket - lose the client company and you lose your business. The simple way around this is to work with 2 or 3 companies: your main client company where you make most of your money; a second company where you are developing the B2B relationship; and perhaps a third company where you are just starting out.

It really is that simple.

Want to learn how to grow your coaching practice?

Download The Alligator’s Bite - it's FREE! I reveal the step-by-step process you can use to win Blue Chip coaching clients and build long-term relationships, where you win further business year on year. You’ll also receive regular Blue Chip Tips blog posts to your email.

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Kevin Oubridge


Read more from Kevin Oubridge

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