When I went to coaching school, one of the things we were taught was to design an alliance with our clients. We were taught to help them find their agenda and set up what they want to work on through coaching. We were taught to ask questions to clarify the objectives of our relationship and what their needs are in order to get what they desire. We were taught to partner with our clients to make sure the relationship is beneficial to the client and honors the coach. It’s a design that creates a whole new entity; the coaching relationship.
I’m listening to the book Trust-Based Selling by Charles H. Green. In his book he states; “The relationship is the client, not the customer.” If the relationship is the client, then in order to sell your coaching services, you need to create a strong coaching relationship that will thrive.
What does a thriving coaching relationship need? It needs at least two things:
- A coach who is willing to be curious, ask questions, leave their agenda aside and focus on the Coach-ee. Along with many other ethical commitments and skills.
- A Coach-ee with an agenda they are willing to share, explore and be challenged on while doing some pretty major self-introspection.
What else does a coaching relationship with YOU need to thrive?
What’s it going to take for YOU to create a successful and sustainable coaching relationship?
Who do YOU want to be while creating that kind of relationship?
When you focus on what it takes to build a coaching relationship, you no longer need a “client”. You now need a partner. You’re looking for a partner who is a good fit. You will need to nurture that coaching relationship from the very beginning. You’ll need to be the coach. And not just when you get on the phone. It starts in your writing, social networking, interviewing etc…
Now, I’m not saying to go out and coach for free and coach everyone you can find (while that may work for some people)! I’m saying to start building the coaching relationship. Take a look at your website, blog, social media, business cards, brochures etc… Are you building the relationship as a coach looking for the other half of a coaching relationship? Or are you trying to get a client?
As I listened to the words spoken about what Trust-Based Selling looks like, I found myself smiling from ear to ear. Why? Because Charles H. Green basically says that people who want to be Trust-Based Sellers just need to be coaches. And we, as coaches, already know how to do that! Imagine how much more difficult that might be for a Lawyer!
The problem is that we are trying to sell by way of sales training that so many other professionals understand and can make great success with. However, we coaches have an edge on them. We can build trust. It’s innate in the skills that we learn as coaches. People are tired of being marketed to. They want a relationship. Lucky you. If you’re a coach, you may have the perfect relationship for them.
Stop trusting in processes and procedures that help you make a sale.
Trust in your skills as a coach. Feed the relationship every step of the way. And those who want to partner with you will trust you immediately. Don’t make it about getting the client. Use the power of AND. Make it about the relationship you’re building together.
What do you think? What do you think it looks like to sell to the relationship?