Many trainers, mentors and professional consultants shy away from using the term 'Coach" to describe what they do, but there are plenty of reasons why using this term could be a better way to go, especially if you want to attract the perfect clients.
If you consider the most famous sporting coaches, the likes of Alex Ferguson, Phil Jackson, Vince Lombardi and the distinctly fictional, Ted Lassos Coach Beard they all have one thing in common.
No they might not have gotten on well with all their players, and many of their decisions were controversial, but the players respected and listened to them. And they got immense value from that.
You could say, well that’s fine, but a mentor gets even more respect and a consultant is paid for their advice, so why use the term coach?
Here are seven reasons why using the term coach is a good idea…
1. Keep It Simple
Most humans have the vocabulary of a 12 year old reading level. So any jargon or words that seem foreign or unusual create a barrier to the decision making process. Consider the words your ideal prospect is probably using themselves.
They probably don’t wake up of a morning and say to themselves “I think I need a mentor, or a consultant”, They use the word coach.
It is very easy for people to spot someone who doesn't know what they are talking about and by coming up crazy or fluffy terms to try to avoid using the coach descriptor, you may well be coming across as inauthentic. Educator, Facilitator, Guide…they are all terms that don’t really make sense to everyday people and can look like you are trying too hard to be something you are not.
3. Quick & Quality Feedback
This is what people expect from a coach, that there will be valuable feedback on a regular basis between both parties, back and forth, or even banter!
Coaches are on the journey with you, whereas trainers or advisors know things you don’t and you feel you are the ones listening while they teach and advise, mentors are above your status so again, they talk and you listen, consultants ask lost of questions and then give you a report or plan to follow.
Being someones coach enables you to form a much closer bond with your client.
4. Building Relationships
Coaches do not always teach, but rather they create deep and meaningful relationships with their clients.
Yes, building on the previous point, if you want to really work with people, being a coach and cementing your market position as one, is an ideal way to build a long term client base, with people who know, like and trust you, and they happily refer you to their friends.
5. Ongoing Income
Where consultants and trainers are engaged for a specific purpose and period of time, until an outcome is delivered, coaches are more likely to be an ongoing support. Mentors work in a similar way, but as someones coach, there is an expectation that you will help guide them through a long journey of discovery, improvement, personal development and ongoing goal setting and reviewing progress.
This is an ideal opportunity for good coaches to earn a long term income, not being a crutch for clients to lean on, but a friendly, helpful guiding hand that’s there when they need you.
6. Getting Unstuck
Coaches are there for their client every step of the way; they want to see them succeed which means that if their client is struggling with something or just need advice on what steps should be taken next, coaches will find a solution for them and often times provide the answer right away which could not be done if it were just a one-shot meeting or course where everything was planned.
As long as your coaching business has a process of goal setting, review and realising the progress, you should be able to grow a very solid and sustainable business model as a coach.
7. Part Of The Team
Coaching by nature implies that you are doing something together, just like a sports coach who works with all of the players individually, but has a helicopter approach to oversee the best outcome for the team as a whole.
Positioning yourself as a coach means that you have the ability to work 1:1 with individuals in an organisation, and at the same time, guide the entire business. Being seen as an integral part of the team enables you to develop multiple streams of income from the one client, coaching the CEO, Managers and all the staff, where a mentor or consultant might only work with the CEO.
In conclusion, don’t turn your nose up at the term coach, or worry that it isn’t professional enough for you.
It is an honour to be a coach, it easily explains what you do without having to explain it and it opens up and entire world to your skills and expertise.
Now go get em!