You stand in front of the crowd. Who stands behind you?

Are Audiences Saturated with Coaching Offers?

Looking around the seminar space over the last couple years, it’s interesting to note the rise in high-end coaching programs being offered by seminar speakers. These coaching programs have a sound foundation – many of the investment models re

quire a high-degree of attention and experience to execute with success consistently. To the same extent, the argument for professional business coaches is strong: People seek out high quality mentors to help them get on track towards the success they’re looking for. However, to the same extent, it seems like the “coaching” program is also being used as a crutch to navigate challenging economic times. Coaches are great resources, but they’re also challenging to justify to students when they’re being offered coaches at every event they attend. And therein lies the problem: If a student hears “buy my coaching program” again and again, they’ll start to seize up and resist the offer from everywhere. Furthermore (and this might be hard for some of you to hear): Coaching isn’t the solution to every problem! Duncan Wierman posted a pretty thorough comparison of the conceptual difference between a coach and a mentor – but even there – it’s a comprehensive lead-in to the concept of his coaching (err, mentorship) program. At the end of it all, if your investment model is so complex it requires a mentor or a coach to execute – perhaps the problem isn’t your students – perhaps its your investment model. Another thing that comes to mind is a story my friend in the financial services sector told me after attending a sales training seminar. During the sales training, they offered the standard “one-on-one” time with a coach in the room. When asked about the coach’s qualifications and credentials (mind you, my friend is

responsible for dozens of people and millions of dollars), the coach replied that he’d been a top-performer selling books door-to-door. If you’re going to offer coaching, be sure to bring out top-tier coaches – and do the industry a favor and guarantee performance. Results may not be guaranteed – there’s no sure thing in investing, no matter how well you think you’ve managed. But at least guarantee that the coach will perform the things he or she ought to do. The reality is, seminar coaching offers are flying at a rapid pace, but they’re not right for everyone, and they’re not right for every system. Though it may seem like an easy “up-sell” the truly pioneering firms are already moving away from just pairing a student and a coach and calling it a day. Customers today deserve more than just a smile and a 20 minute phone call every other week. They deserve a complete solution to build their success and employ your training.

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