by Nicole Huffman Hollins
Never Make Your Sales Funnel More Important Than Your Clients
As an entrepreneur, I am often privy to conversations regarding the benefits of hiring a business coach. I have heard many stories from fellow entrepreneurs regarding unpleasant experiences with coaches. Based upon these discussions, the following is a list of ten suggestions for business coaches to help repair the industry’s image.
1. Say “No.”
All money is not good money. You must learn when saying “No” is in the best interest of you and the entrepreneur. You do not have to take on every client. If you cannot say ‘No” to money, pick a new profession.
2. Say “I Don’t Know.”
If you don’t have the answer to a question, don’t pretend that you do. Tell your client, or potential client, that you cannot answer the question, but you will get back with him after researching the answer.
3. Know when someone needs to be benched.
As a coach, part of your job is to determine whether someone is ready for your services. Have a system in place that helps in this determination. Before throwing an entrepreneur into a long-term program because it suits your financial needs, make an honest pre-assessment about her coaching needs and if you are the right person to provide them. Even when an entrepreneur thinks he is ready, if you want to be the coach, you have to be able to recognize when he is not. Michael Jordan thought he was ready in high school. The coach knew that he wasn’t. Michael Jordan did not play until he proved that he was ready. Take a note from Jordan’s coach and bench someone who is not ready to play or who is simply not a good fit for your team.
4. Fulfill the terms of the agreement.
Do what you say you are going to do. If you can’t do it, tell your client. If you don’t want to do it, tell your client and return his money. Do not half-foot around the issue. You either can or you can’t. You will, or you won’t. You must pick a side. Do not take the entrepreneur’s money and not fulfill your end of the agreement.
5. It is not your vision.
When an entrepreneur comes to you for coaching, respect the vision. If you are not able to see the vision, if you do not agree with the vision, or if you want to turn her vision into your vision, you need to decline the work. Furthermore, consider performing a self-check to make sure that you don’t have ulterior motives for wanting to steer someone in a certain direction. Ego has no place in service. Although you may have information the entrepreneur wants, there are other fish in the sea, and she may decide to go fishing in another area.
If you are too busy for your clients, you are too busy for business.
6. Your sales funnel should not be more important than your clients.
If an entrepreneur signs-up for a long-term program, but you see that it is not working for him, consider ending the agreement and refunding monies paid or cancelling future payments. Additionally, if you are in business to serve people and not just your funnel- I detest that word- consider giving them an opt-out option. For instance, if your program is 6 months, give the entrepreneur the option to opt-out after month three if he decides it is not working. You are not running a sweatshop. If it is not working, release them. This is not Egypt. You are not Pharaoh. So, let the people go.
7. Practice what you preach.
If you are not living the life that you are trying to motivate other people to live, you will not be successful. It is difficult for entrepreneurs to take you seriously if you have no experience doing what you are trying to teach them to do. How can you teach someone how to quit her job, but you are sitting on a 6-figure salary with no intention of ever leaving your corporate position? Furthermore, not only will you not quit your current job, you have never left a job in order to become an entrepreneur. Don’t teach what you don’t know.
8. Be professional.
Your client is not your friend or your child. Do not become so familiar in the relationship that you don’t establish boundaries. Be professional in all of your communication. This is especially important if there is a difference of opinion over services.
9. Do not treat your clients like an inconvenience.
If you are too busy for your clients, you are too busy for business. There should be some process in place where they are able to communicate with you regarding questions and concerns. Even if you are not always reachable by phone, there should be some system available that allows your clients the opportunity to communicate with you about business matters.
10. Do. Not. Lie.
Do not, do not, lie to clients or potential clients about your background, skills, connections, past results, results you can achieve for the entrepreneur, or work that you have done on her behalf. Don’t. Do not.
In summary, business coaches need to act with integrity.
Connect with Nicole on Twitter at NowWithNicole.
Hi! I’m Nicole. My life’s purpose is to help children, women, and families bring align their faith, family, and finances so that they may live in freedom. Part of my mission is to help people recognize their worth, own who they are, and succeed in life by being true to self. I am the founder of Now With Nicole where I have had the opportunity to author self-help books such as The Girlfriend Code and Peaceful Pain and appear as a contributing writer for many on-line and print publications. I am also the creator and host of Now With Nicole Radio where I discuss topics regarding your Faith, Family, and Finances.” In addition to my own show, I enjoy appearing as a guest on Internet and network radio shows.
As a former family law attorney, I spent countless hours with fighting couples. Trying to find a more productive way to help these fractured families, I decided that mediation was a better route. While working with women and couples, I found that communication about money was a huge sore spot. After years of helping couples master mindfulness in their marriage and money, I saw a pressing need to educate and empower financial literacy from an early age. As a result, Money Fit Kids was created to encourage children from an early age to align the core values of faith, family, and financial fitness.
I am a lover of the written and spoken word who holds a journalism degree and Juris Doctor from the University of Texas at Austin. I make my home in Houston, Texas with my husband and son.