How To Coach Scattered Patients

Confused ManDo you have life coaching or consulting clients who are difficult to work with because they can’t focus?  Have you spent way too much time trying to help people who get upset, distracted, or simply cannot organize their lives or activities?

I know I have.  Scattered people used to get to me, until I learned a few simple tricks . . .

Okay . . . so maybe the term “scattered” is a bit too broad and politically incorrect.  Perhaps the title should have referred to those clients who suffer from some sort of brain dysfunction, like those related to bipolar disorder, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactive Disorder).  The point is:  people like this are hard to work with, and you need to make sure that, as a coach, you refer them to someone who can actually help them get through or deal with their disability.

The Brain Plays a Role

While you as a coach, unless you are also a doctor, will not be treating these clients as patients, there are still some tools that modern brain science can provide that can help you get through the day and work better with such clients.

The first thing is to help the person separate themselves from their so-called disease or disability.  When someone introduces themselves as an “OCD patient,” you know he or she is in deep.  Get them to see that they are a unique person who just happens to have OCD.  they are not their disease!

Secondly, start attributing the OCD or Bi-polar episodes, or whatever, as “just a symptom of faulty wiring in the brain,” and nothing more.  don’t react to their behavior in ways that blame them.

Thirdly, get them to focus the mind more, or practice things like yoga or meditation in order to still the mind, and

Fourthly, once new behaviors and habits are formed, get your client to see that the old patterns brought on by ADHD or OCD are simply trash… “not worth the gray matter they rode in on.” 

By doing these things, you not only become a valuable asset to your client, you can also rest easier at night knowing you made a difference!  If you suffer from any of these disorders yourself, get someone to help you practice the steps with you.

After all, isn’t the ability to be an effective coach all about also being able to be coached yourself?!  So go for it!

How To Avoid “Coach-itis”

Do you have “Coach-itis”? 

This is a condition that prompts you to approach everyone who looks like they have a problem and offering to help them solve it.  The condition is often debilitating over time.  While the victim may feel great starting out, his or her emotions start to drag after the third or fourth daily rejection.  Over time this condition leads to years of chronic frustration, bitterness, and isolation.

The first skill to learn as a coach?  LISTEN UP, STUPID!!

In your first meeting, do NOT try to solve any problems.  Your fist goal should be to listen to the goals and aspirations of your prospective  client.  Make every attempt to come from THEIR point of view, not your own.

There are other steps as well, as illustrated in this neat 4-minute life coaching video:

 

How To Promote Your Life Coaching Business

life coach businessIf you are a life coach or business coach, you know that, in order to get more paying clients, you have to put yourself out there,  let potential clients know who you are and what you do, and ideally attract clients who you can help the most.

There are FOUR STEPS or Phases you must master, however, if you want to be a successful coach.  I’ve laid them out for you here:

STEP 1: LEAD GATHERING 

This is the step that most people are familiar with, yet the one that the fewest coaches take action on.  The main reason for this is  because most coaches don’t have a clue about what their coaching is really about!

If you really want to gather leads, you have to go after and attract only those clients who have a particular problem that you are uniquely qualified to solve.  Lead gathering requires that you have a SYSTEM to follow, and that you take SPECIFIC and CONSISTENT ACTION when following this system.

I recommend, first of all, that you know or select your coaching niche, and fully understand how your expertise BENEFITS prospects looking to find problems within this niche.  This is KEY!  Unless you know what problem you solve for your client, he or she will have no desire to look for you!  Very few people are searching Google for “life coaches” unless they are already familiar with you, and want to improve their lives in a general way.  This is rare.

Most people search online to find a solution to their problem.  Are you a life coach specializing in helping folks get healthier?  You might start off helping them solve a health-related problem first, e.g., weight loss, stop smoking, or increasing stamina.  Or is you coaching about relationships?  Rather than blather on about “I help you with your relationships, blah, blah…” get your coaching leads by selling them on the idea that “I can help you fall in love with your husband/wife again in three weeks.”

Which statement do you think would be more compelling to a client?  You got it – the second one.

“But Leah . . . I don’t want to limit my coaching to only couples…”

This argument in lame for two reasons:  a) Unless you solve a specific problem you are not speaking directly to your ideal client, and b) by focusing on one small niche, you are actually expanding your client base, not shrink it!

Let’s suppose the person you talk to is NOT your ideal client.  So what?  At least now he or she knows what you do . . . and will refer a friend or family member to you who needs what you offer! 

See how that works?  Once you are recognized for being an expert in that niche, you become the go-to person for that niche!

All you need to do now is have a system of gathering names and email addresses of each person you meet or go after online.  This means a) getting cards at events, or better yet b) offering them a free gift (CD, DVD, or report) online that they can get simply by opting in to a web page.  This puts them on your list and allows you to establish an ongoing relationship with them.  You know what they want; just start giving it to them, piece by piece!

STEP 2: SEDUCTION

Remember when you used to go out on dates?  You spent time with the person, got to know him or her, then decided at some point whether or not the relationship was going further.  Its the same with selling.

The only reason to build a list of prospects, by the way, is to eventually sell them something:  a product, coaching, a seminar, or maybe the idea of referring someone else who will then buy something.  But you need to woo them first.  You do this by sending those who opt into your list some information that will help them solve their problem  that thing we covered in Step 1.

Send them at least 7 or 8 emails within a two week period.  these emails don’t have to be long; in fact, make them fairly short and to the point.  Your subject line of the first one might read, for example, “Hey, check out this article on the couple married for 80 years!”  The body can then go on to share a link to the article with them.  The second email might share a video you made, ore one you found on YouTube that talks about successful relationships.

STEP 3:  FIRST SALE 

Using the same dating analogy, once your prospect has gobbled up your free stuff, make your move to “first base.”  This means sell them something, even if its only a $7 item.  In your followup emails – interspersed with valuable content – provide some information about your program, and offer them the $7 eBook, report or checklist that provides a fast solution to their problem.  This becomes your first sale, and now you’ve got them somewhat committed!

Whether or not they buy, don’t stop there.  Continue to send them valuable tips, articles and videos to stay in touch.  Since they have already raised their hand (by opting in to your list), they will be open to getting these tips and will appreciate your attention to their problem  (actually buying something from you, however, means you are now “going steady!”)

STEP 4:  UPSELL

Once you convert a prospect to a buyer, you then have permission to offer them more of the same, but this time in a higher price range.  Do you have “products” to sell as a life or business coach?  Surprisingly, you probably have more than you think!  Here are some products a relationship coach might sell:

  • An Ebook on How to Stay Happily Married ($17)
  • A DVD on seduction methods for couples ($24)
  • Weekly Coaching sessions for six weeks ($745)
  • A Weekend “Loving Couples” Workshop ($375)
  • A Three-part Communication Webinar ($75)

If your coaching is about business or health and not relationships, then choose “products” that match the specific needs of your clientele.   Don’t know what these are?  Ask!  Send out a survey giving them multiple choice  questions to answer about their most pressing needs.  Once they tell you, then create a course or product on their answers!

KEEP IT SIMPLE

While the steps above may sound complicated, they’re not.  Depending on your personality, you may decide to recruit clients in person, or spend some time and money attracting them online.  Either way, you need to take consistent action to 1) gather prospect leads, 2) seduce them to like you and do business with you, 3) sell them something, then 4) Upsell them more of what they want!

Now, go take some action! 

 

What’s the Best Life Coach Certification Program Online?

life coaching certificationLife coach certification, online or offline, is important, but not really for legal reasons.  Certification is not required in any state in the USA, or in any other country for that matter . . . so why would you ever want it?

Two reasons:  Competence and confidence.

The Best Life Coach Certification Program Bestows Competence

When you get certified as a life coach – whether it is from an online course or offline – you have a certificate that tells the world “I am competent doing the things I do and can help you achieve your goals.”

Quite frankly, a certification diploma or certificate usually won’t give you a raise or better position – unless you coach for a company.  It can, however, reward you with a larger client base, people who remain loyal, pay regularly, and refer other people to your coaching.  This, in turn, affects your bottom line.  More clients, more income!

Every certification should include basic training, i.e., on direct vs. indirect coaching methods, listening tools, body language skills, communication skills, and how to get your first few clients.

Better programs will teach you the basics, and also add things like guerrilla business and marketing skills, advanced rapport techniques like NLP or hypnosis, and

The BEST life coach certification online (or offline) program, however, will give you all of the above, and also train you to use every tool available to life coaches – including advanced marketing techniques, and cutting edge coaching methods – those that allow your clients to have a real transformative breakthrough.

If presented online, a great coaching program will provide high-quality video training, downloaded outlines, lessons and “cheat sheets,” and links to other resources that relate to the lesson(s) at hand.  There may also be a home study course that you can order and read the manual and watch on your home DVD player.  They may also have audio lessons you can download and play while driving, jogging or working out.

The Best Life Coach Certification Program Bestows CONFIDENCE!

The best programs in the world, however, will not make you successful.  Confidence is what urges you to get out of bed each day and go forth gathering those people who NEED your coaching!  If you have doubts in your ability to help them, clients will pick that up in the first few seconds they talk to you, or see your video.

People are not stupid.  They look for confidence in everyone who deeply affects their lives:  doctors, investment advisers, teachers, business suppliers, and YOU.   If you are hesitant in answering the question “what kind of training do you have?” . . .  you will lose a prospective client!

If, however, you can say – with confidence in your voice and face – “I’ve been certified by the best life coaching program out there, and have ALL the tools necessary to help you achieve your goal of ____!”    you will have their attention.  Even if they don’t become a client, they will remember you when speaking to a friend who is looking for exactly what you offer.

SUGGESTION:  Look online, check out the reviews and testimonials, then select a program that resonates with what you want to achieve, and provides the level of trust you need to take you to that next level of coaching.

Then go forth and get clients!

 

How To Coach Couples

couples need coachingAre you a relationship coach or counselor? If so, you have your work cut out for you!

Relationships are hard work for any  couple, and it takes a great coach to help them move through these difficulties. They will stumble;   they will fall.    It will be your job to make sure they don’t stumble and fall backwards! 

There is a new soon-to-be published book with the working title Men Are Stupid, Women Are Crazy… that may be a great tool you can use to understand and coach your couples.   The authors, Michael and Brigitte Craig, are currently asking for your stories about stupid men or crazy women (or both).  The fact that this subject is only now coming to light is interested . . . .because this comes under the “everybody knows” category, right?

The reasons men and women are so different are the same reasons that couples coaching is so difficult – and more of an art than a science.  Sessions usually consist of listening, followed by questions about how they want their relationship to look, then a lot of followup sessions with you trying to help them figure out how to smoothe out the wrinkles.

Sometimes couples simply cannot come to common ground, and end up separating or divorcing.  Its not anyone’s fault necessarily; these things happen.

Your job as a relationship coach is to guide them towards

  1. Understanding the needs and motivation of one another
  2. Finding ways to accept those needs, and
  3. Finding ways to satisfy those needs for their mutual benefit.

If this cannot be accomplished, so be it. The timing may be off, or they genuinely may not be good for one another.

If the coaching doesn’t help at all, its usually because one or both partners don’t really want to stay married, and have hidden agendas that don’t come to light during your times together.  Even a split can be considered successful, however, if both parties come to the realization they were not meant for each other (they need to reach this decision mutually, however . . . not be told this is the best solution)!

The only real way to avoid a poor coaching outcome for your clients is to have enough experience to know when they are sincere, and when they are feeding you a line of BS.  Only through listening, asking, and digging to bring to light hidden motivations will you be able to help them resolve these sticky men-women problems.

 

 

 

Coaches: Develop Those Listening Skills

Are you a life coach who wants to be more effective with clients?  Simple:  Learn to LISTEN! 

If you were certified as a life coach, you probably already know this, but for those of you who have not yet been certified, or who would like to hone your skills, the best way to start is to learn the subtleties of active listening.

Active listening involves listening to the person to develop rapport, get information, and find out certain key items that motivate or animate the speaker.  The following exercise is a great place to start:

New Years Resolutions: Do They Work?

Do New Years Resolutions Actually Work…?

life coach new years resolutionsOr are they simply a way for us to feel good about ourselves while staying “in the process” of doing very little . . . or trying, then giving up a few weeks later?   I guess it all depends on the person, but I recently discovered 12 “magical steps” to make New Years Resolutions actually take on some traction.

The author, Dr. Michael Craig, says he came up with these methods years ago when setting his own goal to ride 1000 miles a year for charity . . . on a unicycle! Since then, he has accomplished this goal – and much more – for four years and counting.

Check out these 12 Magical Steps, then use them!  I plan to follow this program this year, and hope to achieve my goal of being on the path to achieving six figures or more as a coach by the end of 2016.  According  to the ‘magic plan,” that means I will need to be earning at least $8,333.34 per month by December, 2016.  This breaks down to six clients at $1,500 per month, or 12 clients at $750 per month (or 2 clients at $4,167 per month)!

If I can do this, I know you can too!  I therefore challenge you to a “life coaching success year” in 2015!  Let’s aim at getting halfway there by then – “just” getting 6 clients for $750 a month!!

If you and I can’t do that, we both need a new job or career!

Merry Christmas

There, I’ll say it again:  Merry Christmas!

Political correctness being what it is these days,  if I offended a Jewish person, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Kwanzan, Wiccan, Atheist, Zoroastrian, Satanist,  or Kwanzan I’m sorry.  But December 25th is the official date of the birth of Jesus Christ, and I thought it would be appropriate to say “Happy birthday, Jesus!”

Now don’t get me wrong;  I’m not a Bible-thumping zealot.  I simply believe that when a large number of people have a particular religious belief – especially when that belief is part of our Western tradition – then we should hone the tradition, if not the religion.

So have a Merry Christmas!  While it won’t be a white one here in Florida like it always is in Russia, I will still have a great time going to the beach in a bikini!

 

How To Talk To People About Coaching

talking about life coachingHow do you talk to people about coaching? 

Are you confident?  Full of life and energy?  Ask questions of the people about their needs, goals and aspirations?

Or do you walk up to people at a party or gathering, tell them “I’m a life coach,” then slither over to the corner of the room and stay silent for the rest of the evening because they walked away when you opened your mouth?  Ouch.

First of all let’s get something straight:  not everyone is going to be your client!  In fact MOST people at any given party or network gathering are NOT looking for a coach or consultant . . . they just want to have a good time, meet people, and tell OTHERS what THEY do!

Sound familiar?  It should… you are just like them!  You want to talk about YOUR stuff, they want to talk about THEIR stuff . . . and nothing gets said except a bunch of words to people standing there wishing they could get a word in edgewise!

A wise person once told me “People are primarily interested in themselves.  when they look at a group picture, who do they look for first?  That’s right . . their OWN image!”  It’s so true.  People want to talk about themselves . . . AND, if you give them a chance to do that, guess what?  YOU become an interesting person!

Try that during these Christmas holidays.  When attending some event or gathering, walk up to someone and introduce yourself.  then tell them they look like and interesting person and you’d like to find out more about them and what they do.

Then sit back (or stand back) and let them do 75% of the talking while you actually listen to what they have to say!  You’re a COACH, dammit, so use your coaching skills when talking to people!

When they find out you’re a great listener, they will connect the dots and . . . VOILA!  You have a new client. And all you did was listen and give feedback to clarify their points.

So how do you talk to people about coaching when you’re not sure if they’re interested?

You don’t;  you simply coach.  When they come around to ask what you do, you tell them “I coach people on ways they can get the most out of themselves to accomplish . . . ” and then add a general topic, or whatever field or subject the person is talking about.  they will quickly see that this great listener can actually do something to help them . . . and likely give you another chance.

Be prepared afterwards to send them to an online opt-in page where they can sign up for a free offer, report or video training.  Or simply ask for their card and put them on your contact list.   You want to give them some reason that allows you to contact them again and follow up.

Then always be sure to follow up – with more information they seek or some resource – not even you – that they might find the answers they seek.  Send them a card, a clipping, an email with a link to the resource you told them about . . . something that will let them know you heard them.

They will remember you.

And – if you gave them specific steps to take that eventually lead them to sign up for long-term coaching – who knows?  Once they are convinced that you are the one to help them solve their problem, they will call!