The following is taken from David’s interview with Michael O. Cooper in 10 Super Coaches.
What training, experience and qualifications did you have when you started coaching?
None! My first client told me they wanted to hire me before I even knew what coaching was. She gave me an article about coaching, told me I would be perfect for it, and wanted to hire me on the spot. I spent about four weeks reading all I could, enrolling in Coach U and hiring my own coach before our first session.
I subsequently discovered that I had been using a coach approach in managing teams, working with clients and developing strategy in my role as a management consultant.
What were the biggest doubts you had in your early months?
The need to be an expert! My own coach helped me see that I was rarely an expert in my role as a management consultant, but that I had a methodology, framework and best practices to help clients improve their businesses and systems – it was an easy shift to apply this same approach to my coaching business.
The following is taken from David’s interview with Bob Davies in 10 Super Coaches.
What top three methods, in order, did you use to get your clients in the first 2 years?
My belief is that it is vital that coaches become public speakers. Find your passion in the field and book yourself to speak as the “expert” in the field. Coaching clients will seek you out.
You could also align yourself with other speakers, like myself, who are not looking for more coaching clients, but want the speaking engagement. Leverage your client relationships to bring in “speakers” who will create “buy-in” for coaching and position you as the ongoing follow up live coach.
Did you coach your friends and colleagues?
My fees are too high to coach my friends, plus my friends would not listen to me as their coach. Many clients have become friends as well although I do maintain the professional relationship first. I won’t sacrifice my impact with the client in the name of friendship.
The following is taken from David’s interview with Ginger Cockerham in 10 Super Coaches.
What if a client brings up a serious life problem – and I don’t have a clue about how to help her/him?
I learned to distinguish between coaching and therapy and referred clients quickly who needed therapy. With the rest of my clients, I recognized that it was not my job to solve my client’s problems – it was my job to be their coach and support and encourage them as they discovered their own solutions.
How can I possibly convince a company that coaching will impact the culture and the bottom line with no established research to substantiate that?
I did pilot programs that would provide results substantiated by their internal records.
The following is an excerpt from Judy Feld’s Three R’s of Business Success, as part of 10 Super Coaches.
Reach: How many possible buyers/clients/customers/prospects know about your product or service?
- How many subscribers do you have for your E-mail (faxed or mailed) newsletter or broadcast bulletins? Depending on your business, this could be your most valuable asset.
- How many sets of eyes see the articles you write? Being published, in print or at targeted websites, with your byline, contact information and brief bio may be the best way to expand your reach. This means you have many opportunities for marketing expansion by using specialized print publications, and industry/professional websites and e-zines.
- How many people receive your mailings? Whether you send a simple marketing letter, an elaborate brochue, a postcard, a fax. Monitor and count the increasing size of your mailing list.
- How many people attend your presentations, talks, speeches, TeleForums? How can you grow your numbers? Is it the right audience for your product or service?
- How many people visit your website each day? Do you frequently refresh/update your website? Give visitors a reason to access your site, and reason to return, and measure the traffic. It’s easy to measure your visitor count.