Late last year I wrote a blog titled “What Should You Be Asking a Coach” (found here). In it, I addressed five keys areas you should consider when hiring a coach (or consultant). Four months later I am noticing that not only are people not asking those questions when hiring a coach or consultant, but they are actually hiring people who aren’t really qualified in the first place. Don’t be misled into thinking that a certification or even real world experience in your profession instantly qualifies them as a business pro. Why? Because an overweight personal trainer just may be an average Joe with a certificate, an out of work therapist just may be an average Joe with a degree, and an unsuccessful coach or consultant may just be an average Joe with a great sales pitch.
So how can you be confident that the person you hire is qualified? Here are a few practical questions which can be asked to decide whether you are dealing with a “Business Pro or Average Joe.”
What goals have you set for your own business? Can you share with me one reason why you aren’t achieving the goals you set for yourself?
Most everyone has a goal they haven’t achieved. If someone isn’t willing to be honest and share their own struggles, I would discourage you from hiring hem.
If you had to choose one type of client to work with, who would it be and why?
It is so important that the person you are hiring know exactly who they want to hire because if they don’t, they may be taking you on as a client for their own gain and not for your best interest.
Do you consider yourself an organized business professional? What systems do you have in place to ensure you are?
There is an old saying that “the cobbler doesn’t have any shoes”. This implies that the person providing the service doesn’t have time to do it for themselves. While this carries over into some professions, it should NEVER carry over into a coach or consultant. If the person claiming to help you put your business together doesn’t have their own together, I think it would be very unwise to hire them and unprofessional for them to offer services to you. Find out if they manage their time well, their sales and marketing efforts well, and their business finances well.
How do you define success?
You want what you value to line up with you what your coach or consultant values as best as possible. Things most likely will not be identical, but being close definitely helps build a successful relationship.
Can you share with me one business failure you have experienced and what happened to you/your business as a result?
While hearing that someone “learned from their mistakes” is good, that is pretty much a coined answer. Dig a bit deeper to see how they handle failure, which will in turn allow you to see how they will help you through your own.
The end goal for you is to find out whether the person you are about to invest time and money into will really get it done for you. We can all make ourselves sound better by putting spins on our stories. Don’t be sold. Be engaged. Be courted.
How do I handle those questions when asked? Let’s set up a consultation and I’d be happy to share with you!