Ep 78 – The Art of Crafting Powerful Coaching Questions with Laurie Cameron

I have something really special for today’s episode, which is about powerful coaching questions and is a part of a new series on Coaching Skills.

There’s a free download that you can get so stay tuned …

First, I want to share something personal with you. I have been so buoyed up by wonderful reviews lately. So I want to give a shout out to Gemma who said recently to me:

“I’m sending a heap of gratitude to you, Rhonda, your generous podcast has helped me identify my platform and program. Also, I know that I’m not alone in this. You’ve helped so many coaches. Thank you for cutting through the noise.”

That made my week. So I’m grateful to you, Gemma, for taking the time to write that review for me on iTunes.

So let’s roll with today’s episode.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Laurie Cameron of WAKE UP Enterprises.

Laurie is literally the best coach I know. She is also the best coach trainer I know.

In 2001 I co-created curriculum for Coach Training Alliance and I designed their certified coach program, I was their first trainer. Then I brought Laurie in. She surpassed me significantly and she is their Senior Mentor Coach now.

I first met Laurie 20 years or so ago at the Denver chapter of the International Coach Federation and we became fast friends. We were both on the board there. Beyond that, Laurie and I have been accountability partners for each other and doing a little co-coaching now and then. Something every coach needs.

LAURIE CAMERON: I am really excited and thank you for all those kind words that made my week as well. So I’m really thrilled to be here.

The Most Powerful Coaching Skill

RHONDA: Laurie, I’m going to ask you some questions. I hope they’re powerful questions because that’s the topic that we’re bringing today. So I wanted to start with … What is your favorite coaching skill, Laurie, and why?

LAURIE CAMERON: I would like to ask you a question in return. Complete this sentence: If you want better answers, you …?

RHONDA: … have to ask the right questions.

LAURIE CAMERON: Close. See when I do full day coach training workshops with leaders and managers and when I train coaches through coach training Alliance, that’s the common answer. A better answer is you have to craft better questions.

RHONDA: Nice distinction.

LAURIE CAMERON: Thank you. Questions are amazing and they’re even more amazing and more powerful when you are adept at putting words together in a way that draw somebody’s wisdom out and draw out something new and, and send them deep. That’s why I love powerful questions and learning how to craft them.

Take Your Time To Formulate Powerful Questions

RHONDA: That’s great. I wanted to notice something. You know, you asked me that question and I jumped with my answer. You’re talking about crafting and crafting takes some time. How can a coach that’s in the middle of a coaching session take the time to craft a question?

LAURIE CAMERON: Well, it’s about taking the time to do that actually. And one of the challenges that I’ve noticed that newer coaches have about asking questions is they don’t take the time to craft one before they start asking it.

So as soon as the kernel of a question pops into their head, it’s coming out their mouth, they are revising it, editing it out loud, and it actually turns into this long thing that the client just loses track of.

Learning how to craft a powerful question is more about taking the time, pausing, being comfortable with the silence — which is also a challenge for a lot of coaches — and crafting internally before they open their mouth.

LAURIE CAMERON: That’s great to know and it reminds me that a lot of times when I’m working with my own clients. I have something to say, could be a question or it could be anything, but if I don’t quite have it ready yet, I’ll just buy myself some time. I’ll just say: Give me a second, I thinking.

It’s Okay to Be Human and Transparent with Your Coaching Clients

LAURIE CAMERON: What makes coaching not only powerful is you can be transparent. You can be vulnerable. You can say, give me a minute. Or I found myself occasionally stopping mid question and saying: Wait a minute, that’s not the question I want to ask. Let me redo this.

RHONDA: Exactly. That is so important to remember that even though someone is paying you for this service, if you put yourself up on a pedestal that actually becomes worse for you and them.

When you’re training coaches, what are some of the biggest challenges that new coaches have with asking pithy questions?

LAURIE CAMERON: I love pithy. That’s a great way to describe really important, powerful questions because those are the questions that get to the heart of the matter really, really quickly.

The Continuum: Moving Towards Mastery in Crafting Powerful Questions

LAURIE CAMERON: So one challenge is not taking the time to craft a question before they open their mouth. Another one is asking what the client is doing now or what they’ve already done about their agenda.

So let’s just say a client’s agenda is — I want to manage my energy better during the week. I hear a lot of coaches say something like: What have you done so far? Or … What are you doing now? Until you really learn how to craft a powerful question, that sounds like a great question.

But, there’s no pith in it, right? There’s no challenge to the client to think about how to move forward. What they’ve been doing or what they’re doing now that is not working and they want something different.

RHONDA: That makes a lot of sense. Do you have an example of a different thing that they could say?

LAURIE CAMERON: With our example — I want to manage my energy better during the week — a more powerful question might be: When you’re managing your energy, what does your week look like?

RHONDA: You’re asking them to think about the ideal.

LAURIE CAMERON: Yes. You want to help them uncover and create in their life.

Asking … What have you done so far? What are you doing now? It’s not necessarily a bad or a wrong question. Mastering coaching really is moving along the continuum from less powerful to more powerful.

RHONDA: That’s a great point. There’s the concept of continuous improvement. It’s not about being perfect today or having it all nailed down before I take a move, but rather to just say “Okay, I’m going to do what I can today with what I know.”

LAURIE CAMERON: So it’s less powerful to ask the current or past questions and more powerful to ask what do you want to move forward towards? Because that’s coachable.

The Qualities of a Powerful Question

RHONDA: That’s a fantastic distinction. Okay, so now I would really like to hear if there’s a formula for how to get further down that continuum to more powerful questions.

LAURIE CAMERON: Well and I don’t know that this is so much of a formula as it is a list of qualities of a powerful coaching question. So perhaps they’re, they’re similar in there.

First and foremost it’s short.

I hear a lot of newer coaches ask a question, ask another question with lots of different punctuation marks in it and pauses. And it’s really easy for a client to get totally lost in that.

“So client, when you think of all the things you just talked about, the timing of the project, the obstacles, the resources you have or the resources you need, what do you think is the most important piece to consider first, you know, before all the others can actually come to fruition and then you can move forward and figure it all out?”

RHONDA: Yeah, I’m overwhelmed just hearing that

LAURIE CAMERON: It’s, it’s very easy to get lost. So the more powerful question would be to say: So what has to happen first?

RHONDA: So simple!

LAURIE CAMERON: That’s five words.

RHONDA: I think most people who are overwhelmed are not able to really see themselves clearly. And that’s why coaching is so helpful. All of us get into that place of overwhelm. Getting out is about setting priorities. What is the next step?

LAURIE CAMERON: Yeah, helping a client figure out what they want to do or where they want to go and then create a strategy to bridge the gap from where they are to where they want to go and create an action plan to make that happen.

RHONDA: Is there anything else that that goes into the formula or the list of characteristics?

LAURIE CAMERON: Open-ended. And I think a lot of people are really aware of that. Being aware of it and noticing it when it’s coming out of your mouth are two different

A closed ended, yes or no question might be —and I hear this one a lot too — is something along the lines of “So do you think you can figure out how to make this viable?”

And it’s clear the coach wants to know and wanting to challenge the client and yet there are only two options with closed questions. Yes, I think I can figure it out. No, I don’t think I can figure it out.

It’s actually more powerful just to ask an open-ended question. What will it take to make the project viable?

RHONDA: Yes. Who, what, when, where, how and occasionally why. Although I’m not a big fan of why

LAURIE CAMERON: Me either.

An open-ended question assumes success. It’s saying I believe in you. This is what you want to do. So what’s it going to take to make that happen?

RHONDA: It’s empowering.

LAURIE CAMERON: definitely empowering. And at the same time there are very few moments where a closed ended yes or no question actually can be more powerful and most typically that’s towards the end of a coaching session when the coach is asking the client for commitment. Something like: Are you willing to do what it takes to make this work?

If a client says yes, then they have stepped up, they are ready for accountability.

RHONDA: And there’s a bit of challenge in that question after you’ve helped to empower the person to later on ask a challenging question is a really great thing to do with your clients, because coaches who challenge their clients actually get a lot more from their clients.

LAURIE CAMERON: Yeah. Letting clients off the hook is not really leveraging their investment in you.

Why Not Ask Why?

RHONDA: Yeah. You know, before we get too far off of it, I just wanted to go back to the why thing. You and I both said we’re not a big fan of why questions and I would love to hear your reason for why not why?

LAURIE CAMERON: Well, a couple of them. One, there’s an underlying judgment in a why question and even if it’s not the intention of it, and even if the person hearing the why question is not fully cognizant, it’s as if a parental unit is standing there wagging their finger saying, so why didn’t you do this? Why didn’t you do that?

And with that judgment comes a need to defend one’s actions.

Two, it perpetuates the story. Why questions put people on the defensive.

RHONDA: So if a coach is wondering why, how can they ask their client something without why?

LAURIE CAMERON: What would be an example of a why question that comes to mind, Rhonda?

RHONDA: Why in the world would you ask me that? Lori?

LAURIE CAMERON: Thank you. That’s great LOL. Well, I would re frame that as: Where’s this question coming from do you think?

RHONDA: Yes! And by the way, sometimes it doesn’t have to be a question, but more of an inquiry. I am a big fan of saying … Tell me more about that.

Multiple Choice Coaching Doesn’t Land Well

LAURIE CAMERON: That’s a wonderful way to invite your client to dig deeper. As long as you give them silence.

This is another challenge I hear from newer coaches … they just start asking question after question after question. A powerful question will stand on its own.

I hear a lot of times what I call multiple choice coaching where a coach might say:

How do you see yourself being accountable for tracking your progress? Do you need to track it on the calendar or maybe talk to somebody, get somebody on board with it? What do you think?

What happens in those instances is whatever options or possibilities that are popping into the coach’s head, if they put those out there in answer to their own question, it limits the client’s options. As opposed to saying: How do you see yourself being accountable for tracking your progress? Question mark. Be quiet. Let the client go through their own options, their own choices and sort through that rather than limiting them.

RHONDA: I’m so guilty of that one.

LAURIE CAMERON: You get to be human too.

Universally Powerful Questions For Any Agenda

RHONDA: Let’s move on to another question. Are there any questions that you think are universally excellent or powerful for numerous coaching agendas?

LAURIE CAMERON: Oh, of course. Yes. I definitely have my favorite —what I call toolbox questions.

These are questions that are generic and fundamentally powerful when you customize it with the client’s agenda or goal or action. Can I share three of them?

RHONDA: Yeah, please!

LAURIE CAMERON: Okay. My first one is typically at the beginning of a session just after the takeaway is clear for both coach and client is, I call it THE MAGIC WAND QUESTION.

You know … the perfect outcome, ideal resolution. You touched on that a little bit earlier. Ask a client to tap into their true desire and paint that picture of success without worrying about the how yet.

It’s saying … What do you really, really want? Don’t think yet about how you’re going to do it or if it’s possible or any of that. That’s not on the table yet. For right now be bold, be big, dream big, be creative.

And the client might not actually realize that ideal situation. But when they start with what they really, really want and you coach them to move in that direction, there are a lot more likely to get more of what they want.

RHONDA: Great. Love that one.

LAURIE CAMERON: Okay. And another is: How will you know when you’re successful?

I love this one because it asks your client to project themselves into a future state of success and describe it. It’s kind of similar to the magic wand question. And when they answer this kind of a question, what they’re doing is they’re also identifying the parameters that they’ll use to evaluate their success and their progress.

So it opens the door for them to strategize what actions they have to take in order to move in that direction. If we use the same agenda that we were talking about before — I want to manage my energy better during the week, we ask: How will you know you’re successful?

It helps the client think forward in they might say: Well, I’ll have enough time in the evenings to spend with my kids. I’ll be exercising consistently and how, you know, when I get home on Friday, I won’t just drop onto the couch and pass out. I’ll have enough energy to go out and have some fun in the client. Identifying how they’ll recognize success when they’re in the middle of it.

They already have three things that they want to make sure they do. Spend time with the kids in the evening exercise consistently and go out and have fun on Fridays.

RHONDA: I would, in that situation, repeat to them the things they said.

LAURIE CAMERON: Yeah, absolutely. And that leads me to my third really favorite toolbox.

What will it take to …? And you fill in that … with the, the agenda, action or goal.

So what will it take to make sure you have time to spend with your kids in the evening exercise consistently and come home on Fridays with enough energy to go have fun? Yeah.

That what will it take question kicks it into strategy mode and you could say: What’s your plan to do that?

There’s something about the word ‘plan’ that is abstract and they have to start thinking in different ways.

But the question: What will it take to do what you want to do? is simple, more direct. And I’ve discovered that it’s easier for clients to go right into planning and strategizing mode and then you can coach them:

  • to figure out what level of accountability
  • how are they going to put this into place

There are three variations that I have of the What will it take question:

  1. What has to happen?
  2. What has to be different?
  3. What has to be in place?

The Coaching Skills Quickstart Giveaway

RHONDA: Great. They’re subtle but they’re simple. And Laurie, I know that you have something that you’d like to give everybody listening. What is it? And where can they find it?

LAURIE CAMERON: A list of Sample Toolbox Questions — all the ones that I’ve talked about plus a handful more.

This list of toolbox questions is adapted from a self-study guide I wrote for leaders and managers called The Coaching Skills Quickstart and I retooled it back to professional coaches and what they might come up against in a session with a client.

RHONDA: Brilliant gift. You can find that at https://wakeupenterprises.com/prosperous-coach/

By the way … know that whenever there are links shared with you verbally on these episodes, it’s really easy to go find this stuff. If you’re listening to the podcast on a podcast app, then it will be in the show notes. If you click details on there. If you’re listening to it on my website, well it’s right there in front of you in the SHOW NOTES.

So Laurie, I just want to thank you so much for your time, for your incredible expertise and I’m definitely downloading that baby for myself!

LAURIE CAMERON: Wonderful. It’s always such a joy and a treat and an honor to spend any kind of time with you, Rhonda. Thank you.

RHONDA: You are so welcome. My absolute pleasure. I feel the same way about you, so virtual hugs to all!

In the Next Episode: Competition, Comparison and Shame in the Field of Coaching

Ep 54 – Awaken Your Money Making Mojo

A quick announcement … Have you been stuck on something that’s holding you back in your coaching business? It could be something small but critical, such as:

  • choosing a narrow and viable target audience so you stand out
  • discovering the big problem you help your audience solve
  • crafting your compelling core message
  • branding your company
  • brainstorming an irresistible free offer
  • planning your transition to full time coaching
  • developing or pricing your program
  • or working on a mindset issue that’s been blocking you

These are all perfect topics for a 90 minute Strategy Session with me.

If you’ve been stuck on some aspect of your business, give yourself an early New Years gift of a Strategy Session. In 2020, fees for my sessions increase $200 but you can still get them now for the original price. Learn more and sign up here:

Now to the episode …

This episode is part of my new Money Mastery series in which I’ll be talking about money mindset, charging what you’re worth, profits, pricing and revenue planning.

In the last episode, I talked about gratitude practices and the concept of what goes around comes around. If you haven’t heard that episode it’s a great lead in to this one.

Gratitude primes the pump for attraction. When you appreciate your privilege and all that you already have in your life, you’re waking up your manifestation potential or what I’m calling money mojo.

It really should be wealth mojo because it’s far more than just numbers in your bank account. It’s about flow of all positive energy. But the alliteration in money mojo is more fun.

Also just about every coach I know has some money issues and it can be a key limitation to success. Money mindset challenges are easier to overcome than you might think. For some of my client a quick mindset shift and improved charging practices open the flow of income and profits.

What Is Money Making Mojo?

I consider “money mojo” to be an unshakeable belief in your ability to create the life you want.

Maybe right now you have a fledgling coaching business and what you really want is a steady stream of clients and a robust income from coaching. Maybe enough to transition from your day job to full time coaching.

Do you believe you have the ability to create that for yourself?

You might be thinking …

“Well, Rhonda, how can I have unshakeable belief in my ability

if I’ve never achieved those results in my coaching business so far?”

I feel you. When you want something so much, but as time passes and it doesn’t fully materialize, discouragement sets in. And then belief in self suffers.

It doesn’t help that friends and family are watching you. They might even be skeptical that the money you’ve invested in your coach training and business development are ever going to pay off. A lot of people don’t realize that entrepreneurship is always an initial investment and it takes time to get out of the red.

But what’s most important here is what you tell yourself. How you think of your own abilities.

Everyone struggles with belief in self. Everyone. So if you’ve ever felt like there’s something wrong with you and everyone else has this all figured out, that’s not true.

It’s a HUGE myth we all perpetuate that we are alone in our struggles. Let’s bust that myth once and for all! That’s part of what being willing to be both vulnerable and supportive in community is for.

Your growth opportunity every day begins with bolstering your faith in your abilities. And, as a coach and a fellow human being, it’s also a growth opportunity to help others bolster their faith in themselves. That’s part of what brought you to coaching.

You need to do the work that you ask your clients to do. Shuck those limiting beliefs.

But, contrary to a fear some coaches have, you don’t have to have it all figured out before you coach. Just be actively growing yourself.

Now, imagine for a second, that you are living your life from unshakeable belief in yourself despite not yet having everything you want? What would that be like?

Well, first, you would free up so much energy because you’re not living your life with the gas pedal to the floor and the emergency brake on. Seeing yourself as not capable is like an emergency brake that you forgot to take off when you started.

Releasing that constriction in perception frees up your potential too. And yes, it’s totally okay if it takes a while to fully release those false perceptions. Incremental growth rocks and it’s sustainable.

Also, positive beliefs are like pontoons on a boat. Everything flows more smoothly as you travel.

Stop Casting Spells on Yourself

So how can you awaken your money mojo – or your ability to create what you want in your life?

Begin by monitoring what you think and say.

Do you have a mean streak about yourself?

Do you talk to yourself as if you were lecturing?

Are your thoughts full of self-deprecation and bitterness?

Do you default to boredom, victimhood or sarcasm?

Negative thoughts and spoken words about yourself can cast a spell on you. Give yourself a fighting chance and stop casting those spells.

It’s easy to slip into unconscious beliefs about the way it is – as if your past has forever sullied your future or what’s presently happening will always be so.

I invite you to begin a new habit now where you adjust what you think to yourself and say about yourself to more accurate words.

“I’ve never achieved the results I want in my coaching business.”

becomes

“Some of my goals haven’t manifested yet.”

Feel the difference? The spell stops anchoring you to disappointment through your words.

5 Powerful Questions to Check Why the Coaching Business You Want Hasn’t Manifested Yet

Looking back at my own coaching business journey, I’ve tracked 5 reasons why I hadn’t yet manifested what I wanted at any given point in time:

  1. I let my previous failures mean that I wasn’t smart enough to make this happen.
  2. I hadn’t cleared enough space and time for the thing I was calling in.
  3. I didn’t actually create a full vision for what I want and then put an action strategy plan in place.
  4. My heart wasn’t fully into it as evidenced by my lack of focus and consistent action.
  5. My impatience made me miss the true value of the journey and opportunities available.

I’m much more sanguine about the ebbs and flows of my coaching business now. I know that while I don’t have complete control over my results, I have responsibility for generating my results. It’s actually very freeing to know that.

If your money mojo is flagging take a quick look at each of these areas to see what needs a shift. Ask yourself:

  1. Do I need to bolster my belief in self?
  2. Do I need to secure more time and attention for my goals?
  3. Am I patient and open minded enough to receive what’s coming to me?
  4. Is my vision and strategy complete enough?
  5. Am I taking consistent enough action?

I think you’ll find the key to the shift that wants to happen there.

In the Next Episode: Is What You Love to Coach About Marketable? This is ON AIR Coaching with Alexia Mellor

Ep 52 – Listeners’ Choice 2019 – How to Enroll More Coaching Clients Without Being Salesy

Last week I shared the Listeners’ Choice #1 Best Episode and again it had record plays!

A shout out to Susan who wrote:

“So much truth. It was like a choir of angels harmonized in the background as I understood. Happy Anniversary to you and Prosperous Coach Podcast. You’ve helped me get to someplace new and exciting in my business, thank you.”

I love that, Susan!

Today, is another Listeners’ Choice Best Episode in 2019 — How to Enroll More Coaching Clients Without Beings Salesy.

I’m not surprised that this episode was super popular. For one thing who wants to be salesy? But also this episode also has a content upgrade – a downloadable guide you can get for free that walks you through my step by step questions to ask coaching prospects during your Discovery Session.

The questions actually inspire people to hire you.

Here we go with Listeners Choice for 2019 …

This is the first episode in a new series that I’m doing called Smart Mindsets and Systems. There’s a ton of juicy stuff that’s going to be in this series. 

Now, in this session we’re going to dig into something that I know is critical and also difficult for a lot of people — how to actually enroll clients.

How can do enroll coaching clients in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re selling?

How can you enroll authentically while standing in your power with ease and grace?

When I shifted to this method of enrolling, it improved my enrollment success rate. I’ve taught this to every coach that I worked with. It takes a little bit of practice, but it’s not hard.

It’s much easier than giving a free sample coaching session!

We’re going to get down into it in just a minute. This session is sponsored by my own free offer to you. 

I want you to have this cheat sheet that walks you through 10 Steps to Enroll More Clients Fast!

You’ll find this cheat sheet really helpful and it also includes some of the secrets I’ll share with you in this episode.

Have you ever choked when it came time to tell a potential client your fees?

This is where discovery sessions often go astray because you’re shifting a conversation that’s more connective with your potential client to suddenly trying to tell them what you charge and why it’s worth it. 

Have you spent hours delivering your best sample sessions only to hear “Thanks, but I can’t afford you”?

Those two problems are big for new coaches. You’re not alone in that. I struggled mightily at this once upon a time. 

If you want to dramatically improve your enrollment into coaching programs, there’s a different that inspires prospects to say YES and hire you. 

3 Shifts to Enroll More Coaching Clients

There are three shifts you can make right now that will ease the money conversation and the whole enrollment process in your discovery sessions.

Shift from:          Over delivering in introductory or sample session

Shift to:               Having more effective enrollment conversations

Shift from:          Stumbling into your pitch at the end of the session 

Shift to:               Being transparent from the get go that you’re enrolling

Shift from:          Timidly asking for the sale

Shift to:               Confidently owning your worth

Something clicks internally when you believe in yourself. It seems hard to do, but it is something you can control. 

A Powerful Mindset Shift

I’m sure you’ve heard how important it is in life — in business with your clients, with your friends and family — to stand in your power. 

This is something I’ve been challenged with in my life. So I’ve made a study of it. That’s my Teacher Archetype coming in there.

Everyone fears rejection when asking for significant fees. You start wondering, “Who am I to think that I can help this client and why would they pay me well for coaching?” 

That thought form can take over your mind.

The trick is to notice your feelings and thoughts, then take a moment to notice it and turnaround your thinking. 

Those types of fears stem from two main things.You’re forgetting to own your innate gifts. It’s as if you haven’t taken ownership of all the talents and gifts you bring to the table.

If you’re a new coach who might be thinking: “Well, I’m new, so that means I’m not that good.” But that’s just not true.

Own everything you bring to the table!

Flip Your Mindset

Blow off that mindset about being a new coach.

Instead of looking for the proof of your worth in other people, know that you are inherently valuable. You wouldn’t be listening to me if a part of you didn’t already know that.

Decide right now to own your gifts!

And please know I am not talking about arrogance here. I’m not talking about strutting around thinking you’re better than everyone. It’s about being at peace with who you are and living the power of your essence, your integrity and your humanity.

It’s super magnetic.

The Power Pose

A quick tip to be able to access your personal power at any time. It’s a little physical exercise and here’s what you do:

Stand up

Feel your feet

Sense your spine

Find your center

Breathe

Try it now. Just stand up, spread your feet apart a bit and access your personal power in connection with everything else.

Let’s say you’re about to get onto a call with a prospect, why not just take a moment and do the power pose? Then have your enrollment call.

Feeling powerful in your skin goes a long way to helping you become a master at enrolling your clients.

Seeding Co-Creativity and Choice in Your Potential Coaching Clients

So now let’s talk about how to empower your potential clients and detach from outcome.

Now that you’re in connection with your personal  power, simply enjoy the human being that you’re talking to. I feel so honored that I get to meet amazing human beings in my discovery sessions.

When you put your focus on enjoying them, it’s as if the spotlight comes off of you.

The other thing that seeds co-creativity and empowers your prospects is to set fees that pay you well and then stand firm in them.

I find that a lot of my new coaching clients are charging subsistence fees that are never going to help them make a good living as a fulltime coach.

What about you? Are you charging subsistence fees?

My guess is that you are thinking that that’s all you’re worth. Or, because you haven’t done something — certified, coached a lot — you feel that you have to keep low fees.

The truth is you haven’t started enrolling clients at higher fees yet because you haven’t asked for them.

$50 to $100 US per hour (convert to your currency) may seem like a lot if you’re working for a company with benefits. But as a entrepreneurial coach, you have marketing and website expenses plus health insurance and higher taxes to pay all out of your own pocket.

All of these considerations should go into how you set your fees. And I don’t even want you to think in terms of dollars per hour for your fees. (I’ll cover fees in more depth in another episode.)

Right now, if you know you’re charging too little, double, triple or even quadruple your fees. Just do it and then stand firm. The more that you charge higher fees, the easier it’ll get for you to attract excellent clients.

Trust that your IDEAL clients will afford your fees.

An interesting thing happens when you show up this way — enjoying the human being you intend to enroll, having set fees that pay you well and trusting that your ideal clients will afford you … clients feel that power and they step into their own power.

And so, for the highest good of all, your prospects feel at choice and choose from their highest self.

If you make concessions to enroll a client, you unwittingly disempower yourself and your prospect.

Take that in.

If your prospect does hire you because you discounted a fee for them, then your professional relationship begins out of balance. It is not co-creative.

Anytime that I have done that in the past, the client ends up becoming a burden.

Have you ever felt that a client has become a burden? It’s not a good feeling, right?

They’re not showing up enough because you’re carrying them and then you will resent the relationship and how hard you have worked for so little.

So you see that your fees are not just a pragmatic choice. And it’s not a choice about how experienced a coach you are or your money issues. This is really about integrity. It’s about the health and wellbeing of your relationship with your clients.

Attachment Stunts Your Growth

Attachment stops the flow of prosperity.

Let’s say you become attached to enrolling a potential client. Your expectation builds. And then if you don’t reach that outcome, then disappointment breeds and becomes toxic.

Detachment is seeing what is as perfection and that is freeing.

Do set intentions to achieve the things that you want. While you’re enrolling a potential client, if you feel they are a good fit, think to yourself: “For the highest of all, I’d really like to work with this client.”

Then, let it go.

Literally, open your hands and let go of attachment. Let the energy dissipate. Acknowledge what went well and aim for continuous improvement in your enrollment skills.

Whether potential client says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ neither diminishes nor elevates you.

Just bless their decision and bless yourself and move on. That signals the Universe that you’re serious about your success and it pays off in the short run.

Hold Back the Goods During Discovery Sessions

Do not coach or problem solve during enrollment conversations. That muddles what the discovery session is meant to be.

Why? Primarily, because they have not paid you yet.

If you were taught to do sample coaching sessions by your coach training school, know that the reason schools have you do that as a student is to get you out there having coaching experiences.

Now that you are not a student anymore and you are the CEO of your own coaching business, enroll clients in a professional way.

Sample coaching sessions are not set up well for enrolling clients at fees that pay you well. Here’s why:

  • They don’t uncover what prospects want in the long term that would inspire deeper investment for real value.
  • They tend to focus in on one bite size issue and they leave prospects feeling complete without the desire for more. Prospects are not hooking on because they don’t perceive a longer arc in what you can help them achieve.
  • Lastly, giving free sample sessions keeps you in the newbie frame of mind and offering session by session or monthly services for low fees.

So what do you do in a Discovery Session to enroll a client? That’s where my free cheat sheet comes in …

These steps will keep you out of the coaching role with prospects. They set you up for success because you are transparent from the get go about what’s going to happen in the session.

There’s no shock when you get towards the end of the session and tell your prospect about your program and your fees. They’re ready for it. They know it’s going to happen.

This step by step enrollment process works for any coach.

How to Earn More and Work Less

This enrollment process and the mindsets that go with it work beautifully with higher ticket programs.

But you’ll need to set your business up with a strong foundation for it to work for you:

  1. Target one unique viable audience that fits your specialty or build your niche around that audience and what they want so much, they’ll pay you well to get your help to achieve it. (This is your coaching niche!)
  2. Make your brand, messaging, marketing, website and offers congruent with your niche.
  3. Stop selling coaching. (Listen to Episode called Why is Coaching a Hard Sell?)

Your business could look like mine if you take these 3 steps. And that’s what I teach my clients.

  • I only need to work with 20 – 30 clients per year to earn really well.
  • I market very little to attract all of my clients.
  • I earn a lot because I deliver high value in a longer term package
  • My overhead is very low.
  • I only work with clients 3 days each week.
  • Most months I have a whole week off

If you’d like VIP handholding to become a coach in high demand with a business model like this, let’s work together. Try me out with a Strategy Session and we’ll go from there.

In the Next Episode: Get Prosperity Thinking Working for Your Coaching Business
Did you ever think about this — what comes around goes around … even in your coaching business. In other words if you put positive energy out to others it comes back to you.

Ep 37 – 8 Powerful Coaching Questions to Ask Any Client Anytime

This mini episode is part of the Smart Mindsets & Habits series and a continuation of the Client Management Topic that started with Episode 34.

These are powerful questions that are standard in the coaches toolbox.

The right question can really help anyone zoom past obstacles and into a power zone of awareness and action on their own behalf.

That’s why questions are so valuable to coaches and in coaching.

So the first question unlocks a lot for your clients:

What do you want?

Well, sometimes people have a hard time answering this question, but with probing questions beneath it, you might be able to get them to it.

The second question is:

What’s holding you back?

As human beings, we do generally have a sense of this. We might be in denial about it, but we generally do know what we’re doing that’s either sabotaging ourselves or what we’re thinking, what we’re feeling that is lingering too long for us to be able to transform.

So what’s holding you back?

That question will cause your coaching client to go inside and really look at the truth with a capital T.

The third question is:

What is it costing you to continue holding back?

I don’t know if we normally as human beings think about what the costs are of our actions, of our thoughts, of our habits, but to ask someone that causes them to look at themselves from a place of self responsibility.

The fourth question is:

How could you show up differently?

Presumably you’re talking to them about a circumstance or a situation and this question allows them to wonder, Oh, I’m at choice here. How could I show up differently?

I remember this one time where I was going to be speaking in public at a pretty big event for coaches and I was just so nervous. I called my husband for support and he has asked me: How do you want to show up, Rhonda?

I paused and I thought about it. Well, I want to show up standing in my power, believing in myself and being open and vulnerable to my audience as well as delivering something that is actually valuable to them.

Those four answers just grounded me. They made me feel good again, made me feel ready again. And I realized that it was okay to be vulnerable with my audience. It’s okay that I was nervous and I didn’t have to try to obliterate that nervousness before getting on stage.

The fifth question is:

What is a new perspective that you could adopt right now?

Oftentimes when our coaching clients are telling us how they feel or what they think about something, it might be a gripe. It might be the raw feeling and there’s nothing wrong with that.

As a matter of fact, I invite my clients to share their raw feelings.

You can respond to that raw stuff with the question: What’s a new perspective you could adopt right now about that?

You’re inviting them to pick themselves up out of the situation and get a 30,000 foot view. Look at it from the other person’s point of view. Or from their highest self point of view.

The sixth question is:

What is the most meaningful action you could take right now?

So often when our clients are stuck, it’s because they’re unwilling to or afraid to take an action and when you put that word meaningful in front of action, it helps them think differently.

Meaningful to them could be journaling. Or it could be having a conversation with you or someone else. Meaningful to them could be deciding not to do it at all and to take a different direction.

The seventh question is:

What new habits will you put in place right now?

Habits are amazingly powerful in our lives and in the lives of our clients.

We all have bad habits. If you take any aspect of our lives on the life wheel, we’ve got bad habits in those areas, whether it be finances, or how we behave at work … how we feed or exercise ourselves.

We all have habits that can be improved and habits are amazingly powerful if we put the right ones in place.

That’s partially why I’m talking to you about client management because these are habits that we can have in place with our prospects and our clients.

 And the last question, number eight is:

What new skills or support systems will ensure your success?

We want to teach our clients and ourselves to realize that sometimes we have to learn something new or go get help in order to ensure our success.

I always ask my prospects about their support systems. I want to know do they have a family? Do they have a partner? Is that partner supportive of them building a coaching business? Do they have childcare? Do they have ways that they’re going to be able to segment parts of their day to work on their business?

With your own target audience around the niche you have, the ultimate outcome you’re going to help them achieve —be sure they have support systems in place and not just you. You don’t want all of the help and succor to be on your shoulders.

Going back to the skills too, of course everyone who is undertaking something new or trying to do something big.

Hopefully, you’re helping your clients achieve something big to get past or solve a big problem they have or to achieve a huge goal they have. Because if you’re doing that with your clients you may not be able to earn enough as a coach

New skills might something like developing a stronger intuition. It might be developing greater awareness of themselves, of their body, of what their mind or emotions is telling them. Or it could be something really nuts and boltsy such as taking training in order to succeed.

These questions are useful for coaches, for nearly any client at any time, so I hope you use them for your success!

More Tips on Powerful Questions

Coaches love powerful questions. So I have a treat for you … I’ve interviewed Laurie Cameron, the best coach and coach trainer I know. She shares more pithy questions that you can use any time with any client. And there’s a free CHEATSHEET for you.

Listen to The Art of Crafting Powerful Coaching Questions.

In the Next Episode: Should You Give Gifts To Your Coaching Clients?

Ep 36 – Ten Big Questions for Intake with Your New Coaching Clients

This episode is part of the Smart Mindsets and Habits series. And it’s a continuation from Episode 34 about client management systems.

This questionnaire I’m about to take you through is one piece of a good client management system.

This episode and the next 3 will be mini episodes because I’m moving house! So you’ll get a bitesized idea in a short time. I hope you find them valuable.

By the way, Prosperous Coach Podcast just passed 10,000 downloads! That’s one sign among many that these episodes are landing well with coaches. Thank you for listening and sharing this with other coaches! We are growing a community.

If you’d like to be part of that community, join us in the Prosperous Coach Club on Facebook

Questions are the life blood of what we do with clients. Open ended questions are so powerful that a single one can evoke a positive shift.

It makes sense that the coaching client intake would include powerful open-ended questions!

Here are the 10 questions I have in one document of my intake packet:

  1. What are your strongest beliefs about yourself?
  2. What are your strongest beliefs about the world?
  3. What wisdom has come out of your greatest life lessons?
  4. When in your life have you felt the most generative?
  5. What does prosperity mean to you?
  6. How do you define your success?
  7. What is your BIG WHY for creating an ongoing business?
  8. How might you sabotage your own success?
  9. What do you want me to do if I notice sabotaging behavior?
  10. How can I best empower you?

The Next Episode is: 8 Powerful Questions to Ask Coaching Clients Anytime

How to Set Your Coaching Business Goals

I know… the idea of business planning gets a big groan from most entrepreneurs. What I know for sure is that coaches who do some planning usually do better financially than those who don’t. My first big profit year came for me the first year I planned my business.

Start with a discovery process. The result is a solid jumping-off-place for a more fun and profitable year.

Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself

1. What are your personal goals for the year?https://prosperouscoachblog.com/book-brings-clients/

  • What is your theme for this year? It could be about the phase of your business or about a mindset you want to cultivate. Mine for this year is EASE.
  • What are the best times for your vacations? Always get family and me-time into your calendar first. I like to plan 3 weeks off at a time, even if some of it is stay-at-home time.
  • How do you want your work time to flow? For me, Mondays – Wednesdays are open for clients and consults. Thursdays are for business development. I’m off Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

5 Things That Inspire Coaching Clients to Enroll with You

Have you ever felt like your potential clients are giving you a mixed message? They grab up all your free stuff — your irresistible offers, free discovery sessions, articles and other goodies — but too few hire you, buy your products, or enroll in your programs.

It’s clear they need help. They seem to be attracted to you and your message. So what’s missing?

They aren’t properly motivated to invest in what you’re offering. All 5 of these things must be aligned for your prospect to say YES to you!

1. They truly want the outcome you’ll help them reach.https://prosperouscoachblog.com5-inspire-coaching-clients-enroll/

Are you speaking clearly to exactly what they most want? This is easy if you’ve niched to a unique target audience. If you’re selling what you do — coaching — you’ve failed to provide a link to an outcome they want. Draw out of your prospects the specific tangible and emotional outcomes they most want, then speak to how your coaching or program helps them get there. A set of powerful questions asked during enrollment helps them tap into what they really want with all of their heart.

Move fear on its way quickly

Fear can be a great ally. It puts you on notice that you’re at the threshold of realizing more of your potential. If you step through the threshold, despite your fear, you’re likely to never look back because action replaces fear with inspiration. Your creativity and motivation take over and propel you forward.

Sometimes fear speaks loudly and literally paralyzes you, even though some part of you knows you were meant for this next step.

https://prosperouscoachblog.com/move-fear-quickly/When I’m afraid, I want to run away! If I slow down long enough to be with what I’m feeling, I realize that what I’m running away from isn’t tangible at all. It’s merely a thought.

“It’s fear of outcome, not the outcome itself that causes pain.
– Larry Crane, The Release Technique

Fear is inevitable. Everyone feels it. So the goal isn’t to stop feeling fear, but rather transform it and be back on your way as soon as you can. Try this quick step-by-step process to get your mojo back on line.