You want to become a great business growth expert. And to do that, you’ll need to do these seven things. A business coach is a lot like a personal trainer. Both work hard to help people to assess their strengths and
overcome their weaknesses. In the case of a business coach, this means identifying a business’ skill gaps and zeroing in on the owner’s fears.

The idea behind this is to help the business owner confront their issues. Their fears can hold the company back and prevent it from growing. Skill gaps do the same thing. A business mentor provides the insight and perspective that the business lacks.

A good coach is an expert in their field and has years of experience to rely on when providing advice. They have connections, which they can use to a business’ benefit. Plus, they dedicate themselves to learning as much as possible about the businesses they work with. Any mentor worth their salt will do these things. But you want to do more.

You want to be a great business growth expert who goes above and beyond to help your clients. And for that, you’re going to need to know about the seven things that all great business coaches do. But before looking at that, it’s important to know about the fears that clients may have about hiring a business coach.

The Fears That Clients May Have

Every business owner has fears that you need to confront. If you can’t conquer your client’s fears, they’ll never accept your coaching. They include the following:

Fear #1: The Fear of Not Getting Value

Nobody wants to feel ripped off. Coaches often find that a fear of not getting value is the key issue they need to overcome. ActionCOACH client Tony Tanti had those fears. Having been in business for over 25 years, Tony Tanti felt hesitant about hiring a business coach. He felt like he’d been there and seen it all.

That meant he wasn’t sure how much value a coach could provide. ActionCOACH mentor Ali Minbashian had to prove that he could add value before Tony trusted him. And he did that by getting results.

In the three years since he started working with Ali, Tony has seen his bottom line increase by 150%. His business has also doubled its income.

Mentors often work with people who have many years of business experience behind them. They’re wary of spending money on coaching, especially when the business starts struggling. You have to be able to prove your value to overcome this client fear.

Fear #2: Fear of Accountability

Wayne Snelgrove of Buildseal is an ActionCOACH client who shows what fear of accountability can lead to. Buildseal is a building company that hit a bit of a slump after the construction boom ended. Work dried up as their regular clients struggled to win the contracts that the company relied on.

The company’s owner, Wayne Snelgrove, had an issue with mindset. He needed to get his mind right before he could succeed with the business.

ActionCOACH Ignatius Mendonca helped him to overcome his fear of accountability. With the help of his business coach, Wayne took ownership of the company’s problems. This allowed him to confront them and move forward. Now, Wayne’s in a better position to find a long-term solution for his business.

As a coach, you’re often tasked with helping clients overcome their fear of accountability. This can manifest as a resistance to change. You need to help clients confront the problems in their businesses before they’re ready to accept help.

Fear #3: Fear of Being Vulnerable

Business owners are in charge of their own destinies. That means they often find it difficult to accept help from others. After all, they’re usually the ones putting out fires in their businesses. It’s their expertise that got them to where they are today. ActionCOACH client Kevin Gregory highlights the issues this can cause:

Kevin Gregory is the Director of LandIn Realty. He’d always found it difficult to accept help from others. This meant that he often disengaged when people tried to offer him advice. Accepting help would be a sign of “weakness”, which is the last thing he wanted.

Kevin came to a seminar held by ActionCOACH business mentor Marcus Kroek with these fears still firmly rooted. But this time, Kevin didn’t stop listening after 10 minutes. Marcus provided valuable insight that helped Kevin realise that a business coach could help him.

Today, Kevin works closely with Marcus to improve his business. You may have to convince your client that they’re not weak because they need help. Marcus’ seminar demonstrated his value as a coach, which allowed Kevin to overcome his fear.

How Can You Overcome These Fears?

This is just a sample of the fears that your clients may have when hiring a business growth expert. Your job is to prove you add value so that you can overcome these fears and help your clients to succeed. And to do that, you’re going to have to prove you’re a cut above every other business coach out there.

ActionCOACH’s business coaches have gotten together to reveal the seven things that all great coaches do to help clients overcome their fears.

1. Work on Yourself - Charmian Campbell

You can’t help somebody else if you’re not confident in yourself. ActionCOACH Charmian Campbell worked on herself to ensure she had all of the tools to help others.

“Looking back at who I was, I now see the results, and therefore the importance, of working on myself and creating a stronger and better version of me.”

How can you expect to overcome a client’s fears of not getting value if you’re not looking to improve all of the time? Remember that you’re in the business of helping others make improvements. That means you can’t lose focus on the fact that everyone has strengths and weaknesses…you included.

Part of being a great business mentor is the ability to recognise what you can’t offer to your clients. That recognition gives you things to work on so that you can offer a more comprehensive service. It also helps you figure out the areas in which your expertise can’t help your client.

This ensures you don’t end up offering “help” that ends up hurting your clients.As Charmian puts it:

“As I stepped forward with the intention and focus on becoming a better me I became a better coach. I made it my mission to identify, rectify, and overcome the programming of old.”

That’s exactly what Charmian helps her clients do in her work as a business coach too.

2. Work With Intensity - Ali Minbashian

You’ll recognise Ali from earlier in the article. He had to help one of his clients overcome his fear of not getting value from a business coach. His results were the proof that Ali needed. However, he also points to intensity as being a key thing that every business mentor needs.

“When you need to work hard then that’s what needs to happen. Don’t waste time when you are in work mode.”

Your clients want to see that they’re getting what they paid for. If you’re procrastinating or focusing on other issues, you’re not providing them with value. And that’s only going to confirm their fears.

Business coaches are as vulnerable to the distractions that business owners have to face. They also often struggle with the same productivity killers that they’re trying to help their clients overcome.

Ali’s ambition to always work with intensity helps him to overcome those issues. When he’s in work mode, nothing can distract him from the task at hand.

This means his work is a constant demonstration of the fact that he adds value. Plus, it means he can make time for what he wants out of life too. So, how do you work with intensity?

“Block out distractions and “time thieves”. Otherwise you will miss out on valuable time with your loved ones.”

3. Don’t Put on an Act - Andrew Johnston

An ActionCOACH for over 14 years, Andrew Johnston knows that clients value one thing above all others – authenticity. As soon as a client figures out that you’re putting on an act, their trust in you disappears. If you can’t be real with them about who you are, how can they trust the advice you give as a business coach.

“Clients will sign up for the content and system we have, but stay long term because of your charisma and personality.”

Andrew makes a crucial point. You need to have confidence in your system before you can feel comfortable in being yourself with clients. With ActionCOACH, you get amazing content and a powerful system. You also work with a community of coaches that make that system work every day.

Hundreds of clients feel confident in that system, so you should too. And with that confidence comes the freedom to be who you want to be as a business growth expert.

“It’s ok to wear jeans and a tee or ride a Ducati to a diag.”

If that’s who you are, you’re being yourself within the framework of your coaching system. That means you’re offering your client transparency, which gives them more reasons to trust you. And with that trust solidified, you can get to work on helping the business.

4. Build a Great Team - Chris Morrison

Chris Morrison has been an ActionCOACH for over a decade. Before that, he had an eclectic career. Chris has worked as a fine arts teacher at a high school and as a farm manager. He’s even lectured at university on the subject of horse breeding.

But it’s perhaps his experience as an HR Manager that’s influenced his work as a business mentor the most. Chris knows that coaching isn’t an individual thing.

“Business is a team sport. You can’t do it on your own. Work out who is on your team and let them shine bright.”

That’s great advice for any of your clients. But it’s also something that you need to implement as a business growth expert. Remember that you’re an example for every client that you work with. They’re looking to you to show them the way. If you’re telling them that they need a great culture and a strong team, they want to see that you’ve made that happen for yourself.

If you’re trying to do it all yourself, you’re showcasing one of the biggest problems that your clients want to deal with. You can’t possibly have enough time to enjoy life and run your business as a coach. How can you help business owners achieve that very thing if that’s the case?

5. Find the Fee - Jules Radich

Jules is a former science teacher and motorcycle shop owner who’s been an ActionCOACH for 11 years. Through all of that time as a business coach, Jules has recognised one constant client fear.

“No matter what they might say, business owners expect that I will help them make more money, so it is critically important that I do.”

Jules hits an important point here. A business owner may come to you because they want to change their culture or give themselves more free time. But money is always near the top of the priority list too. You’re a business mentor, which most clients translate as someone who can help my business make more money.”

A great coach recognises that this is the ultimate outcome that most clients want. After all, it’s only through building the system that creates a profitable business that an owner can step away and take more time for themselves.

That change in culture has the ultimate aim of creating a happier and more productive workforce. If you achieve those things, the business makes more money. You can never forget the bottom line.

“Installing a KPI system to track cash flow through the business and the activity closest to the means of production helps.”

Great coaches identify the systems a business needs to improve revenues and generate cash flow. If you help your client make money, you justify the fee they paid.

6. Listen and Review - Tim Morgan

Tim backs his 3 years of experience as a business coach with 25 years of working in strategic roles for FMCG firms. He’d also tried coaching before becoming an ActionCOACH, with little success. Since he became an ActionCOACH, Tim has become a much better mentor. And he puts that down to his ability to listen and review.

“Am I really listening? Similar to playing ball sports. Am I watching the ball? Am I really watching ball? Can I see which way the team is moving? Listening to understand meaning and then putting accurately in my own words whilst adding perspective is proof that I’m listening.”

Again, this is all about building trust. If a client thinks you’re just waiting for your turn to talk, they’re not going to trust you. That means they won’t put your advice into action.

Tim doesn’t just listen to his clients. He actively confirms what they’ve said to ensure he understands it. That means he’s listening and reviewing during every conversation.

This shows that he understand his client’s problems. He’s on the same wavelength but he can offer a different perspective. He adds the value that his clients want.

7. Ask the Tough Questions - Charmian Campbell

Charmian returns with another piece of advice that every business coach should take to heart.

“Asking the hard questions by digging deep is one of the keys to being a great coach. And yes, it is uncomfortable at first.”

Nobody likes to feel uncomfortable during a conversation. In fact, it’s that fear of leaving their comfort zone that makes many business owners hesitate about hiring a business growth expert. But the simple truth is that there’s something wrong. If there wasn’t, the business wouldn’t be struggling and the owner wouldn’t need a coach.

You have to confront the issues. And that means asking the difficult questions that some business owners have avoided for too long.

“For me - I was more worried about what the client would think of me. Now, the harder the questions the better because I have realised that playing “nice” only supports their story and keeps the client where they are.”

A business mentor is an agent for change for their clients. You’re not there to reinforce your client’s old ways. You’re there to offer a new perspective that will help the client achieve their goals for their business. Make it uncomfortable.

You can’t fix a problem until you dig down into the truth that lies behind it. You may face some resistance, but that just means you’re getting close to the root of the issue.

How we can help?

Every client that you work with has fears. Some fear the idea of paying money to a business coach only to get no value. Others fear confronting themselves and becoming accountable for the decisions they make.

A great business mentor does the seven things in this list to help their clients overcome their fears. These seven things also separate the great coaches from everybody else.

Now, it’s time to overcome your own fears and take your coaching career to the next level. ActionCOACH can help you, just as we helped all of the coaches who offered advice for this article. Click here to book a discovery session today.

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Written by ActionCOACH April 17, 2024
ActionCOACH is recognised as the creator and most successful practitioner of business and executive coaching methodology that offers owners and managers a new perspective on their businesses and companies.