I read a LinkedIn article where the author was talking about being authentic as a coach, and it really impacted me. He stated that when you are authentic, you attract your ideal clients, and you will discover within yourself how you can help them and why they crossed your path. He also added that when you are authentic, clients will start seeking you and wanting to work with you. Authentic coaching is built on the premise of building meaningful relationships rather than selling your services.
I enjoy going to different networking groups to meet like-minded entrepreneurs. What I HATE is when someone from the group claims they want to meet with me to find out more about my business and how we can promote each other. Then try to sell me something that I have no interest in or to join their multi-level marketing business. I have experienced the same in retail stores as well. The salesperson tells me how great I look in a particular outfit. I look in the mirror and immediately see that neither the fit of the clothing nor the colour is flattering. In my mind, that person only wants to make the sale and get me out the door quickly so she can move on to the next customer. She has no interest in what looks good on me.
The LinkedIn author also suggested that when you charge higher rates, you get better results because the higher fees make clients feel more confident and create commitment. I agree with this to a certain point. Many times, I have compared two similar items and have chosen the one with the higher price because I thought it was better quality. The same can be said for service in a higher-end retail store as opposed to a department store. I enjoy the ambiance and individual attention I receive in a premium retail store and am willing to extra for this service.
With regards to coaching services, the author argues that when you charge higher fees, in addition to providing you with the ability to invest in developing yourself as a Master coach, it can often create a commitment in clients, and can be a safeguard for falling into the trap of you wanting the client to transform more than he wants it for himself. This can create a co-dependent or enabling relationship which is not healthy for either the coach or the client. Again, I would agree with this. I never want to define myself as an “expert” because I believe this label can create a false sense of importance. I prefer to think of myself as a Master coach – someone who is always open to learning.
Coaching is a relationship business created from conversations, not pamphlets and brochures. Clients can quickly see when you are only chasing the sale and not interested in their needs. You will never regain the opportunity to work with them again, and you will develop a branding as being a salesperson rather than a coach.