Questions to Ask Before You Hire Your Next Business Coach… If You Want Results

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June 29, 2017
Questions to Ask Before You Hire Your Next Business Coach… If You Want Results

I don’t know about you, but every time I turn around there’s a new guru that promises to teach you how to make the big bucks. They start with audacious claims like – “how to make millions your first year in business.” With that kind of hype I start to get skeptical.

The truth is there are a lot of so-called experts and business coaches who are teaching something they don’t know how to do. Can they teach you how make six-figures if they never have? Can they teach you how to work with corporate clients when they have only one or two themselves?

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big believer in getting someone to coach or mentor you. It’s made a tremendous difference in my business growth and looking back I can confidently say that I’ve learned from the best of the best.

So how can you tell the difference between the real deal and someone who is trying to look more experienced than they really are, or worse is a downright fraud?

You ask questions! It’s easy to “fake” your way through a nice looking website, a solid social media presence or a motivational speaking gig. It’s much harder to answer some tough questions about experience and results, unless you’re the real deal!

Many times when you get on the phone with a potential coach for the first time you’re busy answering questions about what you’re looking to achieve. And that’s great! That’s part of the process your coach should go through to ensure that you’re the right fit. But don’t be shy about asking your questions. You’re about to invest your money and your time in this person. Don’t be afraid to ask some tough questions!

Here are a few examples of questions to help you get started:

  • If you want help in public speaking ask: How many times a year do you speak for a fee? What is your average fee? Where were your most recent speaking engagements?
  • If you want help growing a coaching or consulting practice ask: How many private clients are you currently working with? What are your coaching packages and which one have you found to be the most successful? How many of your clients are repeat customers? How many of your clients do you get through referrals?
  • If you want help entering the corporate market ask: How many corporate clients do you have? What types of services do you offer? Who is in your portfolio of clients? What has been your most effective strategy in landing corporate clients?
  • If you want help marketing and growing your business ask: How long have you been in business? What kind of marketing initiatives have you tried and which were the most successful? Which were unsuccessful? What kind of results do clients typically get from working with you? How many clients have you worked with and in what fields of business?

These questions are just examples, there are plenty more you can ask. The point is to engage them into sharing their real life experiences with you. They don’t need to be perfect. In fact, if they’re willing to share their failures as well as their successes, it will work in your favor. You want someone who will pull back the curtain and reveal what’s really been working for them, rather than a lot of hype.

Another strategy to employ when screening a potential coach is to carefully examine their testimonials. For example, I tell people that I can help them break into working as consultants in the corporate world. I back this claim up with testimonials from real people that I have helped to be successful in this specific area. For example, Tere Preito from Imagen y Atavio recently shared, “Three weeks after attending Sarah’s Corporate Masterclass I closed a $6,000 USD deal! Another thing I think is helpful and brilliant from Sarah is she is a true leader and she wants to see you succeed. She isn’t afraid of sharing her materials, workbook, templates and intellectual property.” Do you see how much more weight Tere’s words have than anything I might say?

So make sure to read all the testimonials on the coach’s website and checkout their profile on LinkedIn. Are there plenty of specific, credible testimonials from real people? Do they include full attribution with the person’s name, company and website? Are their clients facing similar challenges as you? What kind of support is the coach providing them? What kind of results are they attaining?

Finding a coach or mentor to take you to the next level in your business is a worthwhile investment. Look for someone who has actually been in your shoes and has built a successful career following their passion. If you would like to explore a coaching partnership with us call 800-267-3245 to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation. And feel free to ask us your tough questions!

Predictable Results™ Assignment

When you identify someone as a potential coach, do your homework. Read the articles on their website, follow them on social media and read feedback from their clients. If they look like they have real life experience in the area you want to work on reach out to them for an initial consultation. Write out a list of questions to ask them so you go into it prepared.



As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Business Coaching, provides leading-edge business building strategies for small business owners & entrepreneurs who wish to take their company to the next level.

Illustra Business Coaching
Copyright © 2016, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIM, CPBS
1-800-267-3245, info@illustrabusinesscoa

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