There is a coach who has been researching The Coaching Revolution with a view to joining us as a mentee. He is very thorough in his approach and has spoken to several of our existing mentees. One of the things that seems to have become stuck in his head is that he thinks he already knows who his ideal client is. That the client is one who wants to be coached to find a higher purpose.
Here’s the thing. No one is looking to buy coaching that will help them find a higher purpose. Actually, no one wants to buy coaching at all.
Isn’t Helping People To Sell Coaching What The Coaching Revolution Does?
Yes. It is. And so I am the voice of experience when I tell you that no one buys coaching.
People buy the outcomes that coaching can give them and this is where our researcher coach is coming unstuck.
He is sure that his client is looking for a higher purpose. One of the questions he has asked of our mentees is ‘who is your ideal client’. He became very frustrated in the end because he feels that all our mentees have ideal clients who have what he refers to as ‘obvious’ problems. This means that none of them have an ideal client like the one he has in mind.
To him, these obvious problems are easier to a) articulate and b)market to, than the one he thinks his ideal client has.
It Isn’t a Fault, It’s A Feature – Higher Purpose is an outcome
It’s no coincidence that our mentees have ideal clients who have what our researching coach considers ‘obvious’ problems. Let me assure you, most came to us with an idea of coaching for higher purpose, or self-fulfilment, or clarity, or ‘heart-centredness’ or even authenticity. And one by one they realised that their lofty ideas are not things that clients actually want to pay for.
A higher purpose, self-fulfilment, and all the other things I mentioned are what people actually get from coaching, but they won’t buy that.
People buy outcomes to problems that they have. They buy solutions to problems that keep them awake at 3am.
Our researcher coach is mistaken in his belief that his ideal client is different from the rest. The main mistake he’s making is that he’ll be able to find clients who want to buy what he wants to sell.
It’s Not The Best Coach Who Will Succeed, It’s The One Who Markets Clearly
It isn’t fair, but it’s true. It’s not your lack of coaching skills that will lead to your failure, it’s the lack of a clear marketing message that will.
A clear marketing message is gained from understanding your ideal client completely. Really understanding what keeps them awake at 3am.
The clients that our mentees work with do indeed have outcomes which result in clarity, self-belief, self-fulfilment and all the other things that make our coach hearts sing. However, I can promise you, not one of them bought those outcomes, they were entirely ‘coincidental’.