Demographics of Who Chooses Business Coaching


This perhaps is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself when you are seeking out a business coach. The good news is that there is plenty of data out there that help you paint a full picture of who seeks a coach.

In the middle 2009 the International Coach Federation published a worldwide study on coaching. This study looked at the demographics of who chooses a coach, why they seek to coach, and what was her overall return on investment. Some of the data is quite surprising as to who chooses a coach and for what reasons.

First, let us look at who chooses a coach. The conventional wisdom is that a coach is hired by corporations to help their executives. The study discovered that it is typically the individual who seeks out a coach. These individuals tend to have university or postgraduate degrees. Many of them are in leadership positions, if they are not business owners themselves. When it comes to gender 65% who select a coach are women. This tends to make sense as more women have increasing management responsibilities in corporations and are the leading founders of small businesses.

Second, the conventional wisdom would tell you that a business coach is hired primarily by corporations. While in the past a corporation would hire a coach to curb the bad behaviors of a particular executive, it has now become a badge of honor for many executives to hire a business coach. The reasons for hiring this coach are many but if you come in ones stick out. The number one area for hiring a business coach is to improve their work performance of the executive or of their team. This was followed by improving conditions for career opportunities and improving business management or relationships.

business-coachLooking at the data clearly demonstrates that those individuals and companies seeking on a coach realized that interpersonal or “soft” skills that are important to successfully take advantage of any business or career opportunities. Business coaching helps transfer the important fundamentals necessary to have their clients achieve these goals. Coaches are seen as delivering action plans that deliver value as opposed to an “on the couch” process. Unlike therapy or other methodologies, business coaching is a contractual relationship. Sessions last an hour in duration and the business coaching relationship is typically under six months. This appeals to the business owner and the busy executive who must juggle multiple responsibilities.

The business coach is no longer seen as a stigma or a stain on a permanent record. Establishing a business coaching relationship is seen more as a badge of honor and pride for many business owners and executives. As shown above the use of a business coach is not the exclusive province of large Fortune 500 companies. Instead it is a tool for the individual who wishes to exceed their current position and achieve new goals. It is a small business owner and individuals that are seeking a business coach.

Business Coach – How Many Times Have You Been Told “That’s Too Expensive?”

I’m sure that every one of us has heard that at one time or another. Here’s how from Yourbusinesscoachingclub to reduce hearing that, can’t totally eliminate it, and turn it into major sales.

When I started coaching I heard a lot of people say “don’t lower your price, what we have is worth it.” However, out in the “real world” that I’m in, and I’m sure that you are in, there are a lot of people saying, “Wow, that’s expensive.”

I’ll give you two key reasons why that is the case and several ways to avoid it.

The reasons:

Many coaches target the wrong market. Some will NEVER buy at almost any price. Most are a waste of time. But I’ll show you how to get more of them and avoid those that are a waste of time.
You are selling “business coaching” and not the “value” of coaching. Sell value and you’ll see your sales closes go up 5 to 10 times from where you are.
Offer something at a price they can afford so they can experience what you have, and they will likely take a bigger step next time.
Targeting the wrong market.

Here’s a rule of thumb I use.

Business Coach– businesses under $500K in revenue mostly work from “scarcity” thinking. They are stuck in a mode of what they can’t do. They can’t market because they didn’t have enough money last month, so they will cut more out this month, marketing that would generate enough, or even coaching that could help them get out of the rut they are in. They are stuck in a downward spiral. For those below $500K in revenue most will not change even when you show them how. If you want more success, target businesses over $500K and watch your results move up as well. Everything is about increasing the effectiveness of your time. Spend your time where it delivers the most return.
Business Coach – Above $1M most will spend the money IF you can prove your value. We’ll discuss this later.
Find the RIGHT target market for your business and price.
Life coach – Similar concept. Families at $75K income and below find it hard to spend money, even if it would make them better. Singles are freer with their money so that level may move down.
I go after the easier target market.

Sell Value Not Coaching

This applies whether you are selling into the lower income market, or the higher income market. If you’ve been selling “coaching”, most people don’t understand coaching, nor what it will do for them, that’s the value that it will deliver.

Your prospect isn’t interested in “coaching”, the ONLY two things they want to know is:

“How will whatever it is you have to offer help them resolve a problem they have
They aren’t interested in “coaching,” or the fact that you will help them build a business plan, or have a step by step process to ______________[fill in the blank for yourself], or that you are a “certified” coach, or have been working in their industry for 20+ years. None of that matters in the slightest.
I know that shocks some of you to the core, but it’s the truth, and it’s the reason you haven’t been successful up until this point.

Let’s look at some of these concepts, but from the prospects viewpoint, not yours. If you are the prospect, does “certified coach”, or “been in this business for 20+ years” or even having an advanced degree in it, guarantee (I said GUARANTEE, absolutely without fail) that this prospect will get what he wants, either a fast growing company, or removal of specific problems he’s facing?

If you are honest, the answer has to be NO.

Don’t you know people that have done what they do for 20+ years and are absolutely horrible at it?

Don’t you know “certified coaches” that are absolutely horrible at coaching?

When it comes to advanced degrees, I’ve coached lots of top executives in business with degrees as long as your arm that say “Wow, your causing me to think about things I’ve never run into before.” In fact, isn’t a coach supposed to help “think out of the box?”

Once you face up to the fact, that what you’ve been selling, and saying isn’t what the prospect wanted to hear, and you make that transition to the fact, that the prospect wants to hear what kind of results you’ve brought to others (RESULTS), and what is the VALUE of those results, then you will see your own results and income go through the ceiling.

Sell value, not what you do.

Find the Acceptable “ENTRY” Price Level for Your Market and Lead Them Through the Thought Process

Selling a product or service that appears to be “expensive” to the market you are selling into, becomes a high risk situation. The higher the risk, the more time you will have to spend developing the relationship and trust. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase that people buy from those they know, like, and trust. Well, that’s where we’ve got to spend our time. It’s not likely that you can show up, meet someone and instantly sell them a several thousand dollar coaching job. They have to get to know you, like you, and trust you. Takes time.

So, how might we do that?

Let’s look at this situation.

Getting to know them, like them, and trust them

You are walking along the aisle in your favorite grocery store. There is a little old lady standing there with something on the end of a toothpick. The smell entices you to go over. Your mouth is watering, so you take one to taste it. It’s really good, so she offers you more in a cup to eat. It really does taste good. Then she makes you an offer you can’t refuse, a whole bucket full to take home to the family for dinner at $1. You can’t buy dinner for the family at that price, let alone that tastes THIS good, so you take it home for dinner.

(She just gave you VALUE, lots of it for your money. And it tasted so good, there is no way you could refuse this offer. THINK how you could do this with your business.)

Of course, the kids go ape over it just like you did and they are begging for more. The little old lady did give you a coupon to buy more, or a coupon for next month’s special. So, when you go to the grocery store the next time you are looking for that product so you can guy an even bigger bucket of this stuff.


As you got that original sample from the little old lady, she also had you sign up for other specials, including being notified at the next birthday, or special family event where they will load you up with coupons for bigger and better choices.

Keep in mind that you probably weren’t looking for what the little old lady had to offer, and would never have bought it if you hadn’t had that opportunity to try the “free taste.” Now, you are buying their products, and looking for it in the store.

Do you see a pattern here? This is relationship marketing, getting to know them, like them, and trust them. The same idea applies to your coaching.

How do we do this?

Some key points are that you must find an entry point that is low risk, low cost, and then lead them step by step through the getting to know you, like you, and trust you process. Start with a freebie. Give them something where they get a chance to “take a taste”. If they go “Wow, this stuff is fantastic” you know you’ve got them started into what I call your marketing funnel.

Imagine a funnel as a big wide-mouthed funnel, wider at the top and narrows down as you move down the funnel. You stuff people into the top as they “take a taste” and move them step by step down further into the funnel. Each step is bigger, more valuable (but does cost more, which means higher perceived risk), until you get them to your final product or service (highest value, highest cost, highest risk, but because they liked what you had to offer.

Here are some ideas for coaching:

Offer a freebie, could be a seminar on how to grow a business fast, how to get more clients, something of value. Make it valuable enough to entice them, but short enough that it is “only a taste” of what could come later. Leave them with a sense of the value they received this time, and the value that is to come. Then give them an offer for the next step, it could be a low cost seminar, or it could be an e-book (probably something in the $39 to $99 range).

Other intermediate steps could be a teleconference, group coaching, mastermind groups, email coaching, something to let them experience more. Group settings are great. Some of the coaches I’ve coached through this process actually learn to make more at the intermediate lower cost steps than they do with the end result, one-on-one coaching.

One other hint, back to the grocery store and the marketing funnel. Once you get them down through the funnel once, don’t miss the next opportunity, getting them to try the “flavor of the month.” Start another funnel with another flavor. You just helped them down a funnel with one target in mind, next month offer them something else, another flavor. Because they now know you, like you, and trust you, the next sale will be even easier. Develop a series of different offerings and different marketing funnels.

Create A Successful Small Business Together With A Business Coach

Coaching Is For Champion Athletes And Successful Small Business Owners As Well

You may have played on a sports team and had a coach. But, that may not help you understand how coaching can help in business. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, or the CEO of your company, the focus, goal orientation and strength building of a coach is invaluable.

You may be surprised to know that not only great athletes like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods had coaches. Not only great singers, great actors, or other great artists had coaches. But,CEOs and great business leaders like Michael Dell, Meg Whitman, and Scott McNealy used coaches to reach success.


Many people try to explain the coaching process by explaining what it is not. It is not therapy, as there little emphasis on your past, or your psychological profile. It is not business consulting, because the relationship is a collaborative one. The business coach has expertise, but worked with you as a partner to apply what will work best for you.

The executive and small business coach is there to help you set extraordinary goals, and to make you accountable to accomplish them by building on your strengths.


MYTH: Coaching is for washout, weak figures who can’t make it on their own.

REALITY: It is just those executives with the profiles of champions and a track record of success that understand and maximize the benefits of coaching.

MYTH: Coaching starts by identifying your weaknesses and filling in the gaps.

REALITY: Coaching encourages you to declare a powerful future, of what is possible and predictable based on your strengths. It is there to give you the clarity, power, and velocity to reach your goals.


• Business Expertise – A coach should quickly understand what it’s like to be in your place. You should have a coach with business experience of running and /or starting a small business to be able to understand your challenges.

• Professional Training – In addition to business experience, a coach should have training in how to help people make positive change in their lives. Such training is from Psychology, Coaching, Social Work or HR programs.

• Encouragement and Support – Your coach is your partner. You must feel that in addition to understanding your situation, that your coach recognizes your strengths and uses them to build your business success

• Goal Oriented – The purpose of the coaching partnership is to get results. One of the key strategies for making that happen is for your coach to collaborate with you to set challenging yet realistic goals, while holding you accountable as well


It is not essential to be geographically close to your coach. Most coaching is done by telephone. That opens up the possibilities for you. You can check for coaching online, and it is advisable to review a coach’s website to get a sense of whether you feel the coach’s background matches your needs. Do not hire a diet or spiritual life coach if you are looking for strategic business planning and growth or ways to find money for your business startup.

In almost all cases, a coach should offer you a free consultation to make sure that you both feel it can be a successful and productive relationship. If you need one, consult