Before engaging with a client, I offer a short phone and/or Skype consultation between 20 to 30 minutes. The purpose of this convo is to determine compatibility between me and prospective client.
Although I’ve been told by hundreds of satisfied clients I’m a great mentor, career, business, and team coach (their words not mine,) I understand I’m not a good fit for everyone. Choosing a coach is a personal choice. Prospective clients must select a professional coach who resonates with them.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve learned a lot from these consultations. Clients arrive on my door step, individuals and organizations, bringing a multitude of scenarios. Experience says they’ll come wrapped in one of four packages:
End of The Rope
They’ve tried to get where they wanted to go using everything imaginable from self-help books to routine resolutions to empty training to threatening staff to the hope strategy to telling themselves a lie.
EOTR’s are frazzled and out of control. Their emotions are running wild looking, hoping, and grasping for answers.
Another telling sign they’re an EOTR package is there’s not much time on the game clock and finances are dwindling faster than The Road Runner escaping Wile E. Coyote.
EOTR package comes with built-in habits and mindsets on how not to be successful. They’re masters at it. Regardless of what magic I pull out of my coaching bag, it takes time to shape new behavior.
I try to give this package free ways to create a shift. Then, if and when they’re in a better position, ask them to give me a call in the future.
Dollar Store Drive Thru
During the consultation, I sense the prospect wants change. They have more time and money vs. the “End of The Rope” prospect. However they want results to happen PDQ without investing much sweat equity or bank.
Analogous to a Dollar Store with drive through service, DSDT package wants to pull in, peruse the big board, order any number of $1 “I Dream of Jeannie” items to instantly satisfy their pain, and then grudgingly drive around to the cashier window to pay the bill.
Most DSDT’s almost never engage with me.
On the rare occasion I say something during the consultation that triggers DSDT to move from their old life to new life, over time they’ll see their situation gets significantly better: career, life, and/or business.
DSDT’s only regret is not starting sooner.
In Lots Of Pain, Ready and Willing
Ready and Willing (ILOPR&W) is the most popular parcel to slide through the Coach drop box.
This client package is in so much pain they’ll do anything and everything to get relief.
ILOPR&W package realizes if something doesn’t change, they’ll remain in the land of status quo.
Personal pride is beaming from ILOPR&W.
Before they take their last breath, this package wants their legacy to be anything other than coulda, woulda, shoulda.
ILOPR&W is willing to take the time to invest in themselves and/or their organization mentally, physically, and financially.
I’m proud to say the overwhelming majority of ILOPR&W’s fulfill their endgame.
This package is rare. What’s Next! (WN!) shows up once in a blue moon.
WN! client type is already successful. They’re happy in their business or career. The organization is crushing every conceivable qualitative and quantitative number.
You’re probably asking, “Why do they need a coach?” WN! doesn’t need a coach, they want one!
You see, WN! is uncomfortable the moment they feel complacency creep inside their bones. They’ve reached status quo, walking around in a coma, without a meaningful endgame in site.
WN! isn’t satisfied with sitting back, feet up, a cold one in their hand, riding the wave. They thrive on kickin ass. WN! wants an upgrade to their professional and personal life. Their motto is, if it ain’t broke, break it and make it better.
My goal for every client is to bring them to the land of WN! Coaching is product development and the client is the product.
My experience has shown it’s not about lack of money or time it’s about commitment or lack thereof.
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Photo by Marc Falardeau.