How to Become a Business Coach

Business Coach Growth Tip: Give Ideas Away, Charge for Implementation

By on October 1, 2017

I recently read a fantastic book by Daniel Priestley called Oversubscribed: How to Get People Lining Up to Do Business with You. I recommend you read the whole thing, but one principle in particular struck me as especially relevant–a business coach growth tip I’ve been teaching for years.

It’s this: give ideas away, charge for implementation.

In the information age, prospective clients are bombarded with offers to buy this book, that course, or these downloadable audio programs that will change their lives forever.

But what they desperately need is someone to help them sort through the abundance of information available at their fingertips and to move it from head knowledge to on-the-ground results.

That’s where you come in.

Information Doesn’t Sell Anymore

Priestley argues:

[S]ome people…are still under the impression that their information is somehow more valuable and they should make money from it. I see plenty of people trying to make money from ebooks, downloads, and audio programs. They refuse to acknowledge the world has changed.

Now don’t get me wrong: in a sea of information, even your free content has to be high quality and differentiating. But the way you cut through the clutter is to have better ideas, more consistently, than your competitors–so that you become a trusted source of knowledge, and so they turn to you first when they need help making things happen.

[S]ome people...are still under the impression that their information is somehow more valuable and they should make money from it. I see plenty of people trying to make money from ebooks, downloads, and audio programs. They refuse to acknowledge the world has changed.

Priestley gives five levels of value, as he describes below. A well-rounded business coaching practice would have some of each (and I’ve included examples of what that might look like).

  1. Information or ideas – People are drowning in ideas, information, recipes, and strategies. You can give people a blueprint of a stealth bomber these days and they would lose it on their ‘downloads’ folder. Information and ideas are good to give to potential clients to demonstrate that your company is a thought leader; the days of trading on ideas and information are numbered. Business coaching example: a book, ebook, podcast, blog, info-graphic, or whitepaper.

  2. Components – This is where you sell the ‘building blocks’ that people need to create something themselves. Components could be raw materials, basic services or regular commodities. You’ll need to sell a lot of these if you want to make any money. Business coaching example: Benchmark Boss or the Flippen Profile.

  3. Supervision – This is the lowest form of implementation work you can offer. It’s where your company provides close and ongoing supervision while your clients works on achieving an outcome. Be aware you are dangerously close to selling ideas unless you’re taking an active role on the client’s ongoing journey and assisting them in getting the results they want. If there’s no real accountability of personalization, this type of implementation will lose its value. Business coaching example: a membership site. 

  4. Done with you – This is…where you and your clients work together to create an outcome. They provide some of the work and so does your business. This is, essentially, business coaching.

  5. Done for you – This is a solution whereby your business has created a full and complete answer to a problem your client needs solved. Business coaching example: full service marketing, accounting, or other business service agencies with which you create joint ventures to recommend to your clients for ongoing referral fees.

Improve your business coaching practice by thinking about how you can diversify your offerings, create more engagement from prospects, and close more business! And for a step by step guide on how to become a business coach, check out our FREE ebook, How to Become a Business Coach.

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Eric Dombach

About Eric Dombach

Eric Dombach is the Founder of Coaches’ Coach. In 2001, he founded a business coaching firm that, by 2005, was generating more than $1 million USD in revenue, 23% operating profit, and average annual growth rate of 140% per year. In 2005, he sold the firm to 4 of his employees for $1 million U.S. dollars, generating a return on capital of more than 800%. Since then he has trained more than 1,300 independent and franchise business coaches in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australasian markets.

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