I have said that sometimes the winning move is to decline a coaching client or a chance to market your business. You’ll get better results from saying ‘yes’ if you are willing to say ‘no’ some of the time.
But how do you know when to decline? What’s the difference between a good opportunity and the right opportunity?
Only you can say, but here’s how to get started: create your own success criteria, write them down, keep them handy, and use them. Success criteria are ground rules you set to help you decide which opportunities are worth pursuing in your business.
For example, for any opportunity that requires a commitment of your business time, before you say yes, you might ask whether it:
- gets you exposure to ideal prospects in your target market.
- pays your hourly rate or better.
- gets you work at the times and in the work style that you prefer.
- builds your credibility and brand rather than someone else’s.
- helps you create resources or marketing language that you can reuse for another valuable purpose.
If you don’t have a specific set of success criteria that are working for you, take the time to create them now. Start with a vision of what you want your coaching business to be, then consider what kinds of steps it will take to get there:
- what kinds of clients,
- what kinds of opportunities to write, speak or network,
- what kinds of collaborations with other service providers.
Ask yourself this question: What opportunities would you pursue if your coaching practice was already full? What would an opportunity have to look like for you to say ‘yes’ in that circumstance?
Of course, creating your success criteria will do little good unless you use them. With practice, it gets easier to turn down whatever doesn’t meet your criteria – and when you do, you’ll realize that:
- what you declined, in most cases, would have wasted your valuable time, and
- saying ‘no’ made room for higher payoff opportunities.
Here’s a head start. The top line of just about every coach’s success criteria should be – “Does it fit my target market?”
The best way to stay focused on high payoff actions is to direct all your marketing and credibility building efforts toward one viable market. Keeping that narrow focus concentrates your time and energy like a laser, and naturally builds leverage into everything you create.
Not sure if you have targeted a viable market? Join my workshop on how to cultivate raving fans for your coaching business. In six weeks, you’ll have chosen the perfect target market for you, created client winning marketing language, and designed a suite of core offerings that will earn you raving fans.