Being a business coach or an executive coach is a role that many business consultants are readily embracing given the tremendous increase in this exploding field. With less people both in numbers and qualifications to perform the necessary job functions, companies from Fortune 500 to even local realtors and professional service firms are seeking business coaching as a solution to close the performance gaps. Possibly, these 7.5 tips may help you increase your sales in 2007 and reverse the trend that suggests the majority of coaches make only $20,000 and less than 10% have incomes exceeding $100,000.
- Define your target market
- Market, market yourself to your target market
- Define your value to your prospects
- Embrace a proven sales process that is results based
- Track your activity
- Optimize your website and provide value to visitors
- Invest in your own professional development
Can you succinctly answer what is your target market? If not, then it is time to return to your strategic plan and the strategic action plan. Invest the time in researching your market so that you can crystallize what people you wish to coach. NOTE: A strategic plan is a comprehensive thought process where you have invested time to due the research both externally and internally. This plan includes a marketing, sales and financial plans. Within this plan are goals and these goals are the key elements that comprise your strategic action plans so that overall strategic plan is operationalized on a daily basis.
After defining your target market, begin to market yourself to those individuals. Again, within your strategic plan should include a separate marketing plan that has a marketing action plan where you monitor your written goals specific to getting your name out within your target market. HINT: Many business owners confuse marketing with selling. These are two separate processes within a sales process. See Tip #4.
Many business coaches and executive coaches identify themselves as "My name is (insert the name) and I am a business coach certified by (insert the institution’s name). " These individuals have missed a tremendous opportunity to stand out by being the red jacket in the sea of gray suits . The value that you bring to your clients should be aligned to your vision, values and mission statements within your strategic plan.
The sales process is comprised series of specific executable steps that can be identified as either marketing skills or selling skills. When you consistently use a proven process, you can quickly identified where you had a mis-step and make the necessary corrections before making that next step. This sales process should include process sales tools that are in alignment with the sales process and your own strategic plan.
If you cannot measure, you cannot manage it. Identify your key performance indicators and monitor those numbers on a daily, weekly, monthly and year basis. Tracking should extend beyond actual dollars to include number of leads received, number of appointments, number of referrals, number of meeting and activity from your website. Remember, spray and pray (spray it on the wall and hope it sticks) is for those who are independently wealthy.
Research suggests that more and more people are using the Internet to secure information about professional services. A report released earlier this year by the Pew Internet and American Life Project revealed that between January and June of 2005, 67% of the American adult population went online with 68% being male and 66% being female. NOTE: Be very careful in seeking outside help for search engine optimization (SEO) because many who profess to be experts are truly not. One way to check their expertise is to use the Google Tool bar that indicates their Google Page Ranking. If the SEO expert doesn’t have at least a Google page rank of 4, be cautious of spending your limited marketing on their recommendations.
With information doubling every year, outstanding business coaches or executive coaches make a commitment to invest in their own professional development . Does this mean being a certified coach? Not necessarily, but it does mean being the best that you are and know that you have the skills supported by ongoing learning. Professional development is both formal such as attending conferences and informal such as subscribing to electronic newsletters to reading a new book each week.
7.5 Hire a coach who works with coaches
Given the explosion of the coaching industry, if you are not making at least $50,000 a year, then you need to hire a coach who is not only a coach, but works with coaches. This coach should have a strong background in strategic planning, proven expertise in marketing including understanding SEO and embrace a results focused process that provide for a money back guarantee.
These top 7.5 tips are from my experience as both a business coach and business owner who was one of those earning less than $20,000 from the coaching side of my practice. By executing these tips, I realized tremendous results this past year and see incredible measurable opportunities in the future.
Leanne Hoagland-Smith writes and speaks on securing measurable and sustainable business improvement. Her practice includes business coaching as well as corporate coaching.
One quick question, if you could secure one new client or breakthrough that one roadblock holding you back from success, what would that mean to you? Then, take a risk and give me, Leanne Hoagland-Smith, a call at 219.759.5601 to experience incredible results.
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