Knowing the right questions to ask a business coach so that you make a good decision is a real minefield.
This article will help you pick wisely.
Many who describe themselves as business coaches know very little about business.
As a published author on business growth, as well being a business coach myself, I’ve figured out the top questions you need to ask to make sure you’ll get what you need – results.
1. Do their clients achieve measurable, substantial results?
You don’t have time to waste on people with no track record of achieving results.
Look for a range of case studies or testimonials.
If you doubt them at all, ask to speak to past or present clients and talk the detail of how much extra revenue they’re making as a result of working together.
2. Do they have specific business skills as well as the ability to coach?
Lots of life coaches, who specialise in motivation and self-development, have taken to calling themselves business coaches because they can charge more for their services that way.
A true business coach will specific knowledge of business strategies that will add tremendous value to your business.
For example, I have a track record in marketing, including the creation of the brand and marketing strategy behind Varooma.com, a financial services business that achieved sales in excess of £1m in its first year of trading and continues to rapidly grow sales.
3. Have they published reference material of some kind that you can use to verify their expertise?
It’s too easy for people to inflate their experience and expertise when selling.
What have they written or created that’s publicly available to demonstrate their expertise without question?
4. How do they describe business coaching?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a business coach – if they tell you it’s all about helping you to focus and bring out the best in yourself, they are only half way there.
The other side of the coin is analysing your business to identify what’s holding you back, provide you with systems, blueprints, templates and processes to help you implement, plus support to tailor things to fit your business. You want ideas and contributions to help your business to grow. You need their guidance to build a clear action plan to deliver growth, plus a little accountability when you let things slip.
One client once told me before deciding to work with me, he was wary of getting ‘another consultant who just talks things through without arriving at a clear action plan’.
Every time we speak, you’ll end the conversation with clear actions to drive your business forward.
5. What types of business have they coached?
You don’t need a coach who is expert in your industry – you need a coach who can quickly adapt and help clients to be successful no matter what their industry.
There’s a huge value to bringing in somebody external with ideas from other sectors that none of your competitors are doing.
I’ve used ideas from manufacturing with clients in retail. I’ve used ideas from IT services to help a golf professional. I’ve used sales strategies from a franchisor to help another sell more franchises. The wider your coach’s experience, the bigger the breadth of knowledge, tactics and strategies he can bring to your business.
6. Will the coach provide any practical help as well as coaching?
My clients always send marketing to me before they make it go live. I’ll review it and even sometimes completely rewrite it if I think it needs it.
As a result, my clients see bigger results, and they get them faster, than they would if I simply gave a ‘marketing critique’ to them.
7. How long have they been a professional business coach?
It may not be wise to trust the future of your business to a newly-minted coach, armed only with a manual from their college or franchisor…
I was trained to coach in 1994 and have been a professional full-time business coach since 2004. Financial Times published Double Your Business in 2012.
8. How do they market their coaching business?
Business growth is driven by effective marketing strategies and sales skills.
Yet many coaches struggle to get clients in sufficient numbers, and end up having to supplement their incomes by selling multi-level marketing products like multivitamin. This is one of those questions to ask a business coach that deserves a little exploration – do they earn all of their income from their coaching business?
A good business coach will have a solid lead-generation system that is reliable and reliably produces enquiries to keep them busy.
My marketing includes several websites, SEO, Adwords, Facebook and email marketing for lead generation that’s completely under my control. I also enjoy a healthy flow of referrals from clients and enquiries from people reading Double Your Business.
Summary: Questions To Ask A Business Coach…
The bottom line is your confidence. But the role of a business coach often means they’ve got more bluff and bluster, or ‘front’, so having a sensible set of questions helps you to cut through the bullsh*t and find out the reality.
Serious about growing your business? Download my free 21 Ways To Increase Your Sales guide to discover some of the strategies I’ve used to help clients add millions to their sales.
Want to explore working with me as your business coach?
Now that you now the right questions to ask a business coach, apply for a free strategy session to test them out and I’ll help you figure out whether you’re a good fit for Double Your Business Coaching.