NOTE: As of 2022 the Center for Executive Coaching is now accredited with the ICF as a Level 2 Coach Training Organization. The ICF has changed their language and replaced ACTP with Level 2. We were among the first group of coach training programs to receive this accreditation, after a rigorous review by the ICF.

Coach case study: Phenomenal coach, no clients. Why?

This week I worked with a coach during one of the practice sessions that comes with our coach certification programs.

She was off the scale in her coaching talent and skills, but is struggling to build her practice. Let’s look at what is going on here…

First, in about 10 minutes of coaching, she helped me come up with insights about a start-up I’m involved with — in a way that absolutely blew me away. She doesn’t have an MBA, or much experience with my kind of start up, but that made no difference.

She got to the heart of beliefs and attitudes I have in this specific situation, and that is holding the start-up back. By the end of the session, I was recharged, rejuvenated, and had a couple of big ideas to get on track.

In short, phenomenal coaching!

So why isn’t her practice filled with high-paying clients?

The answer cuts to the root cause of what is keeping many coaches from earning what they deserve: She is trying to sell her services based on her ability to ask questions that generate insights, transform, improve leadership presence, and shift limiting beliefs.

That’s not the language that most people in her marketplace (entrepreneurs and owners of mid-sized businesses) use when they are looking for help to grow their businesses.

When they hear words like “transformation,” “breakthrough,” and “limiting beliefs,” most will roll their eyes and end the meeting. I know I would — and I’m in the business!

A better approach would be for her market her services with what we call the “Trojan Horse” strategy. She needs to come up with language that gets clients to bring the gift horse into their castle — words that involve revenue growth, profits, increasing the value of the business, innovating and launching products more quickly, and getting the most out of employees. Then she also needs tools to show practical processes to do those things (which our program provides).

Then, once the client is engaged, she can do her thing. Results, and raving clients, will follow.

Meanwhile, she and I are working one-on-one to develop an irresistible marketing message and action plan for her to get visible to her market. She has what she needs to succeed; once the marketing is in place, everything else will follow.

This is what members of the Center for Executive Coaching receive as part of their membership, and it is one of many features — along with tool kits and practical, results-driven coaching methodologies — that set us apart. It’s like having a marketing strategy team on call for you, pretty much 24/7.

Join us today, so that you can take your natural talents for helping other people get better, and actually fill your practice with clients.

As always, feel free to call me on my personal cell to see if there is a fit, at 941-539-9623. Please be sure to check out our executive coaching certification program descriptions first.




Army Corp of Engineers

Ascension Health


Bank of America


Best Buy

Booz Allen


Bristol-Myers Squibb

Brown University

Capital One


Charles Schwab & Co.

Children’s Hospital Colorado






Duke Energy

Galveston Independent School District

General Atomics

General Electric


Harvard Business School

Home Depot

Inland Steel

International Red Cross

Johnson and Johnson



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Lexis Nexis

Liberty Mututal



Mckinsey Consulting





National Basketball Association (NBA)




Partners Healthcare


Procter & Gamble

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)

Ralph Lauren


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Ross Stores

Russell Reynolds Associates

Schneider Electric

Shell Oil

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory


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Tom’s Shoes

United Nations

University of Florida



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