How to Become a Business Coach

The Profile of a Successful Business Coach

By on September 1, 2020

What skills and qualities do you need to become a successful business coach?

From my work in educating and training business coaches over the last 19 years, I’ve discovered there are three things you need:

  1. The right behavioral attributes.
  2. Sales and marketing skills.
  3. Knowledge in basic business disciplines and real-world experience managing a profit center.

Now, before I go any further, I want to make one thing crystal clear:

Regardless of your current level of experience, it is absolutely possible to overcome deficiencies in any of these three areas.

In fact, it is a rare person who possesses the “total package” right from the start.

The truth is, becoming a successful business coach happens just like success in anything else — through good old-fashioned practice and experience.

The truth is, becoming a successful business coach happens just like success in anything else -- through good old-fashioned practice and experience.

Just keep in mind that you’re always a “work in progress” — whether you’re just starting out, or pulling in $15,000 to $30,000 a month.

The most successful coaches understand this fact and are ALWAYS improving themselves. In fact, that’s a primary habit of success in anything.

Let’s break down these three qualities.

The Right Behavioral Attributes

Your behavioral attributes, or patterns of behavior, are critically important — and yes, there’s a tool that can predict with pretty remarkable accuracy whether or not you have the behavioral attributes of a successful business coach.

My thinking on this has been shaped by Flip Flippen, a brilliant psychiatrist, entrepreneur, and business mind. Over the years, Flip has become a dear friend and one of my most trusted mentors and advisors.

Flip combines his professional background as a psychotherapist and business owner with a sophisticated set of psychometric profiling instruments to produce dramatic changes in individuals, corporations, educational institutions, and government entities around the world. Flip’s reputation as the go-to guy for insight into the psychology and transformation of leadership behavior is legendary.

A few years ago, I worked with the Flippen Group and a well-known business coaching franchisor to coordinate a study of the psychological profiles of over 50 of the franchisor’s most prolific and successful coaches. These coaches were making huge money — a truly elite group of professionals.

The findings were amazing. All 40 shared eight behavioral attributes that we determined had a profound statistical correlation to their success as a business coach:

  • High Achievement Drive – the drive to achieve and accomplish great things.
  • High Dominance – the need to lead, influence the outcome, and make decisions.
  • High Competitiveness – the drive to win and excel in competitive environments.
  • Low Self-Critical – the tendency to resist beating yourself up, blaming yourself, or finding fault with yourself.
  • Low Willingness to Defer – the tendency to resist the opinions and preferences of others in favor of your own.
  • High Self-Confidence – the tendency to think very highly of your own capabilities, decisions, and views.
  • High Critical Thinking – the tendency to critique performance and behavior.
  • High Playful/Energetic – the drive to have lots of fun!

When you read this list, you should get a pretty clear picture of the iconic coach. You’ll see a hard-charging, focused individual with an insatiable drive to come out on top by challenging and confronting failure and mediocrity in business — yet having loads of fun along the way.

So what does this mean for you?

The more you develop these behavioral attributes in yourself, the more successful you’ll be as a business coach.

If you’re interested in becoming a business coach, you can probably already see many of these qualities in yourself now. But even if you’re unsure how you stack up, I want you to keep this in mind:

Most of these traits translate to increased success in business in general, NOT JUST coaching! So whether you choose business coaching or another entrepreneurial opportunity entirely, these are the behaviors patterns you’ll want to develop. Begin working TODAY to build these behaviors.

Sales and Marketing Skills

Next, you’ll want to develop sales and marketing skills.

That’s because, as a business coach, you never stop selling.

In fact, did you know there are 6 kinds of sales that EVERY business coach must make in order to be successful?

Here they are:

  1. Selling the prospect into talking with you on the phone.
  2. Selling the prospect into meeting with you.
  3. Selling the prospect into buying business coaching from you.
  4. Selling your client into changing their ways so their business improves.
  5. Selling your client into paying your fee for next month based on what you’ve helped them achieve over the past few months.
  6. Selling the client on how it will benefit them to give you a list of their friends who also need your help.

But here’s the real kicker.

Developing strong sales skills isn’t just about business coaching. It’s about being a successful communicator, teacher, or leader.

Obviously, as a business coach, you’ve got to constantly provide value, inspiration, and accountability to your clients so that they IMPLEMENT the strategies you suggest and continue to pay your fees.

Many people think that they’re either “good” or “bad” at sales. That simply isn’t the case. Sales is NOT a talent; it’s a skill. And like any skill, it can be acquired.

That doesn’t mean some people aren’t naturally more comfortable in sales situations than others. But like the personality traits, if you want to be successful in any business, sales and marketing skills are just something you have to develop. Period.

Knowledge of Basic Business Disciplines and Real-World Experience Managing a Profit-Center

The third criterion is pretty intuitive. The more business knowledge and real-world experience you have, the better you’ll be able to coach your clients.

It’s why so many business executives, accountants, business brokers, and entrepreneurs can make the transition to becoming a successful business coach.

However, even if you have limited experience, any good business coaching system will offer extensive training to help you augment your education in marketing, sales, operations, finance, or what have you.

In fact, our own system is packed to the gills with this kind of information.

Plus, as you run your own business coaching firm, you’ll quickly gain real-world experience managing a profit center — your own!

If you’re looking to become a business coach, I invite you to learn more about what it takes and how to get started. We wrote a FREE ebook that walks you through the whole process–download it today.

Good luck on your journey!

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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