(So it would be misleading to say I give free sessions. And of course, I wouldn't earn any money!)
Anyway, after a few minutes talking to this lovely chap he suddenly said to me, "Hey Rob, I suppose the next 20 minutes will be spent with you "selling" me your coaching services" He made the those " " signs with his fingers as he said selling.
Now I rarely disappointment my clients, unless I feel the need to do so. This was one of those times.
I replied, "I hate to disappoint you John but if any "selling" is to take place in the next 20 minutes it will be from you. You might have to sell me why I should spend my valuable time coaching you" I copied his gesture and also put selling into "" with my fingers.
"People will only be ready to be coached under two conditions: Away from their current pain, horrible circumstances or poor results; or they have a burning desire already within them towards a bright, compelling future and want help to achieve it. Most people wait until they are in the first position"
I went on to tell him that as many clients as I coach, I probably refuse the same amount, if not more, and that right now, he could fall into either category. And that it will all depend on how he answers my questions.
He was stumped. He had been expecting a "hard sell" from me, like some other coaches he had recently contacted.
Why I Don't "Sell" My Breakthrough or Performance Coaching
Some people don't actually want to be coached. Some are simply not ready to change and improve their performance and get better results. Yes it's true.
It took me a while to grasp this brutal truth, especially when I first started out and wanted to help as many people as I could. And of course, 'boast' that I had lots of clients.
I learned the hard way.
You see the one thing no coach can give anyone is desire; the want, the hunger to change their current circumstances or results. By the same rule, no coach can give them the pain they need to move away from what they want to change.
When your desire for better results or change is stronger than the desire to remain the same is the time you will be ready to be coached
And by the same token, no coach can give somebody the desire for something to aim towards. Sure, I can help people find their passion. I can then help them set (And achieve) a compelling goal tied to that passion.
But there still needs to be a desire to find that passion. Or equal pain that they are fed-up with under-achieving.
People have got to want to be coached. There is no way around this simple fact.
One time, a guy came to my office and paid me the cash for the session before he had sat down. He then proceeded to tell me, with a sense of glee, that I was his 7th coach in the last 2 years. And then he exclaimed to me, "So you Robert, you are my last hope".
Now I took into account the manner in which he said the statement and his body language. I paused and smiled at him and then stood up out of my chair.
Some coaches argue that if someone is willing to pay to change then they must want to change
"I'm not your last hope John. I'm your last excuse. I think you want to be able to say yourself, 'Look at me! I'm unique. Nobody can help me so I can carry on in my own little under-performing world where I don't have to try anything or test myself and can stay safe'
"You may even want to go back and tell your significant other that you have been trying your best to better yourself or whatever it is you want to pretend to do.
"So I tell you what, why not go and waste another coach's time - and your own - and get out of my office. I have far better things to do with my time."
I reached down to my drawer, got his money, slapped it in his hand, went to the door and opened it and bid him farewell.
I thought he was going to punch me for a couple of seconds. His fists clenched and his body stiffened. Then he left.
When people are sick and tired of being sick and tired is usually the time people will implement change
Three days later, he called me. He wanted to be coached. He told me that none of the coach's he had seen had spoken to him like that before. He went on to tell me that after the initial anger had left him he thought deeply about what I had said and that I was spot on with my assessment of his thinking and motives to see me.
He then suddenly found within himself enough desire to change. I took him on as a client. We spent about 5 hours together over the following 2 months. Within 3 months he completely changed his life.
His wife was amazed and happy at not seeing his unique talents go to waste. And she saw the happiness in him growing and glowing too. Within 12 months he had started and was running, a highly successful business.
An outstanding coach will place more emphasis on the desire of the coachee than selling their services
I certainly didn't sell him my services. It just wasn't worth it. I would have been wasting my time and his. Of course the money would have been welcome, but what's the point of that if you aren't getting your clients results beyond their expectations?
No, never sell your coaching (Or mentoring) to clients. Make them sell you. Ensure that they are in either far too much pain to carry on as they are; or check that they have something really compelling that they want to aim for.
Of course you can showcase your results and what you do via videos or blogs or free talks and workshops. But never sell to them. I always make a point to my potential clients that if they need 'selling to' or 'convinced' that my coaching is going to explode their results they don't really want to be coached.
Or, I am not the 'right' coach for them. Which is fine by me. I have my preferences for who coaches me too!
So make sure your clients have that burning desire to change their current results or circumstances. This applies to any form of coaching or mentoring you may give, be it weight loss, life or performance coaching, parenting, financial, business coaching or whatever your expertise is.
With their burning desire or severe pain, you can then transform their lives, results or business.