8 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Business Coach

If you’re thinking about hiring a business coach, make sure to ask the right questions to help find the right coach for you. Nothing is worse than hiring the wrong coach because it can be a large expense and you want to get a return on any investment, along with getting the help you need.  Do the research before hiring a coach, to save yourself a lot of problems and missteps.

When hiring any coach, they will be asking a lot of questions to make sure you are the right fit for them, but you should also ask questions. Depending on what your goals are,  more than likely you want a coach that challenges you and pushes you outside of your boundaries.  Otherwise you may not experience the wonderful benefits of hiring a coach. So below are questions you may want to consider and ask during your interview of him or her.

Question #1 Do You Have any  Certifications?

While having coaching certification is not required by law, nor even required to be a good coach, the fact that someone spent the time and money on going through a program to become certified is a good sign that they take their business seriously and are devoted to making this profession their career. Listen to how they answer the question whether or not they are certified; it will say a lot about how they deal with pressure.

Question #2 How Long Have You Been a Business Coach?

This is an important consideration because if you plan to use a brand new coach you should pay a lot less since they are not experienced. But, if they’ve had training, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t do a good job if everything else comes together. The important thing here is to listen to their answer. It’s important to value honesty and hear how the coach deals with your questions.

Question #3 What Type of Business Owners Do You Normally Work With?

The coach needs to be clear on who their target audience is if they want to help you be clear on where you’re going in your business. Find out if the coach works with only six figures and up businesses? Do they work with start-ups? What stage of business do they want to work with to best use their skills?

Question #4 What Size of Businesses Do You Normally Work With?

Do they work with sole proprietors or larger companies? A coach who is used to working with a corporation might not like working with a work-at-home mom, for instance. The answers are really important and if they don’t normally work with your size of business. Also, you should follow up with asking why they want to work with yours.

Question #5 Which Industry Do You Specialize In?

Knowing what type of industry they like to work with is very useful. If your business works with authors, but they normally work with businesses who sell retail merchandise, they might not be a good fit for you. Hiring a coach familiar with your industry and what it takes to be successful is imperative, or they may not be able to advice you well.

Question #6 What Are You Good At?

The answer to this question should be something different than the insight you received from the above questions. They may be tempted to repeat their specialty, but dig deeper and find out what they’re really good at within that specialty.

Question #7 How Do You Quantify Results?

When you are hiring anyone to help you within your business, it’s a good idea to always think about the numbers and which metrics you’ll study to find out what you’re doing is working. If your ideal coach doesn’t know how to help you improve based on your idea or what you want to achieve,  you might want to question whether or not the expense is worth it.

Question #8 Are There Additional Skills To You Bring to the Table?

If you need a lot of guidance in getting your business off the ground or to the next level, having a coach who brings other skills aside from typical coaching to the table can be an additional help to push your business to the next level of success. It really depends on what you need as to which answer you like best for this question.

The important thing is to be clear on what you need prior to interviewing a business coach. You may not be sure at first, but interviewing several coaches may help clarify for you what you want in a coach and what type of personality you work best with. Remember, as they interview you, you need to interview them as well. If you find a coach you think you want to work with, ask about a trial session, to see if you want to continue after 1 or 2 sessions.  Good luck!

Do You Have An Elevator Pitch When You Talk About Your Business?

Last week in our mastermind group, we discussed having an elevator speech and the importance on how it comes across to a new person. We each took turns saying our elevator speech in front of the group. Some people read their elevator pitch from a piece of paper while others “winged it”.  In my opinion, you should be able to describe who you are and what you do to a new person, without having to look at a piece of paper.

A mentor once told me that I should practice my elevator speech over and over and over again. She said I should know my “speech” like the back of my hand. She also suggested I look in the mirror and practice 5-10x a day until I really become comfortable with the words, my expression, and having confidence when asked what I do and introducing myself. I totally agree with this!

Either way, having an elevator speech is something you should have and practice on how to deliver it smoothly; so the next time you’re in a networking meeting or introducing yourself in a business situation, you’re ready to talk about yourself with confidence! If you deliver your elevator pitch with confidence, you might just get the other person to start engaging and begin a great conversation with you!

To briefly outline what your elevator pitch or speech should have, here are 3 things to think about.

  1. What’s your purpose of having one ready?  Introduce them to your new venture?
  2. Are you letting people know what you do and about your business?
  3. Peak their interest, let them know your unique selling proposition? (USP)

Remember, to not be “salesy”, but do engage and listen to their comments and answer their questions professionally.  Make sure you have business cards or brochures to leave with them, just in case they may want to do business with you.

Do you think that having an elevator pitch today, is important? And do you practice what you’re going to say over and over until you get more comfortable? Or do you wing it when someone asks you what you do as a business owner?

 

Alternative Ways to Get Referrals

If you’re a new business and want to get more customers to build up your clientele base, then keep your clients happy. Word of mouth is priceless. If your client has a great experience working with you, they will happily send you referrals. However, you can also add other ways to create a buzz around the services you offer.

The first suggestion is to produce excellent content in different formats that’s useful to the prospects in your niche, including:

  • Articles
  • Special reports on hot topics in your niche
  • YouTube videos
  • Images/infographics
  • Webinars
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Emails and autoresponder
  • Online courses

Add share buttons for all of these types of content. Many blogs have plugins that allow visitors to share the content at your site on many of the main social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. Publish original content on the networks that your followers can also share easily. We might also term it creating buzz about your products and service. Launch new products regularly can create buzz. Be willing to give away free review copies in exchange for testimonials to pass the word along about how good your products are.

Create a Buzz or Go Viral

Offer a free webinar or workshop can create buzz if you have a good reputation in your niche.  This might make people eager to attend so they can interact with you.

Emails can be forwarded easily to friends and family. Online courses are even better for viral marketing purposes, if they are an interesting niche topic. Create special reports designed to get more email sign-ups that have a high potential of going viral.

Since YouTube is one of the largest search engines, create videos on this platform. Don’t want to appear in front of the camera? ( I feel the same way too.)  Craft your best PowerPoint presentations into video and upload them in your YouTube account.

Affiliates

Create an affiliate program for your loyal customers so they can earn income by referring your products and services. Form JV (joint venture) partnerships with people in your niche who are not your direct competitors so you can all help each other with viral marketing.

Let them try your product for free, so they can recommend it to others. Craft attractive offers that any customer would be delighted and be glad to tell others the terrific bargain they received from you.

Promote on your social networks

Publish unique content as well in your accounts and within groups you have joined or created yourself, such as Facebook groups. Your connections can share it with all their followers with just a click.

Lastly, just ask for referrals from your current clients.  You can ask for referrals thru email or phone call.  Reward them with a small discount or gratitude gift.

Add a Call To Action

On all your blogs or content marketing materials, you should have a CTA button.  You would be amazed that even top marketers forget to include a call to action button so if the reader liked the content or found it useful, they should feel free to share it with others.