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.

The 4 best coaching words and the 3 problems with selling coaching

Today we discuss two related topics. First, do you know the 4 best coaching words? A member of the Center for Executive Coaching just sent me an email this past week with these very words: “I got the deal!” In his case, the deal he got was for $62,000. Many coaches don’t know how to get deals like this. Meanwhile, many internal coaches don’t know how to build up the credibility to do the equivalent inside their organizations. One reason is that there are 3 problems with selling coaching…. So, what are the 3 problems with selling coaching? Here they are, with solutions: Problem One: Coaches are terrible at selling. Alternative: Stop selling. Do what you do well and coach. Coach the prospect through the buying process. Coaches would be natural salespeople if they remembered to stop selling and start coaching during business development conversations. Don’t make a pitch. Don’t promote. Instead, ask great questions to figure out whether the prospect has a compelling problem worth your fees. Then work collaboratively with the prospect to craft a solution. We teach you how to do this, and I will work with any member of the Center for Executive Coaching personally to role play. Any time! Problem Two: The word “coach” is confusing to prospective clients. Alternative: Position yourself based on compelling problems that you solve and the results you get. Don’t lead with coaching or toolkits or assessments. Start by talking about problems, solutions, and value. Then, when the client wants to know more about how you can help, you can talk about how you structure the work to get results. Most “coaches” I know don’t use the word coach very much. In fact, I just spent time with a leader at the ICF and he expressed frustration that we call what we do “coaching.” Problem Three: Coaching cannot be about asking never-ending questions – even if that’s what you have to demonstrate to get a coaching designation from the leading professional association. Successful leaders and executives hate that approach. Alternative: Provide substance. Give clients an efficient, effective path to results. I am writing this article in a hotel in Transylvania, Romania right now – getting ready to speak at the country’s largest HR conference. I have been meeting with lots of coaches here. Some are great. However, as is the case all over the world, many lack substance (and don’t even know it). They talk about coaching in terms of fluffy language, pseudoscience, and what they are passionate about instead of what clients care about. To land executives, managers, business owners, and professionals as clients you need to have substance. The Center for Executive Coaching attracts seasoned professionals who have great experiences, and then we give you tools and methodologies that provide practical results and delight clients. I know, because I use these same tools in my coaching practice with executives and business owners. So … Please stop selling, stop using the word coaching so much, and make sure you have substance – whether you are already coaching or want to get into the field. Things will be much easier and fulfilling for you. If you like what you just read, you will love the Center for Executive Coaching’s proven tools and methods.

Aflac

Amazon

Ancestry

Army Corp of Engineers

Ascension Health

AT&T

Bank of America

Bechtel

Best Buy

Booz Allen

Bose

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Brown University

Capital One

Caterpillar

Charles Schwab & Co.

Children’s Hospital Colorado

Cisco

Citrix

Coca-Cola

Deloitte

Dropbox

Duke Energy

Galveston Independent School District

General Atomics

General Electric

Google

Harvard Business School

Home Depot

Inland Steel

International Red Cross

Johnson and Johnson

Kaiser-Permanente

KPMG

Laser Spine Institute

Lexis Nexis

Liberty Mututal

L’Oreal

Macy’s

Mckinsey Consulting

Merck

Microsoft

MIT

NASA

National Basketball Association (NBA)

Nike

Nissan

Nvidia

Partners Healthcare

Philips

Procter & Gamble

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)

Ralph Lauren

Regeneron

Rice University

Ross Stores

Russell Reynolds Associates

Schneider Electric

Shell Oil

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Stryker

The Ohio State University

Tom’s Shoes

United Nations

University of Florida

Unum

UPS

US Air Force

US Army

US Army Medical Corps

US Marines

US Navy

USAID

Valassis

VMWare

Xerox

Zappos

Our featured articles