I’m being interviewed this week by the Toronto Star on types of clients Business Coaches get in the real world. The thoughts that came to mind were interesting to say the least as I recalled all of my clients. The ‘types’, if I can be forgiven by saying that, are all relevant and work in their businesses because I as a coach/counsellor/consultant as to will adapt how I work with them.
I’ll identify some of them here. It helps if you understand the difference between a Coach, Counsellor and a Consultant. The Coach will give you the tools to make your own decisions but will offer suggestions, the counsellor will lead you through the process and you make the decisions yourself, the consultant will tell you what to do.
1. the Show Me client- he will say give me the tools and show me how I’m suppose to do it and I will follow your lead. It’s like the consultant approach but they want to feel it’s their decision. That’s OK though as long as it works.
2. The Agree With Me client- I had a client who wanted to buy three radio stations and spent hours on the phone with me going over numbers, risk evaluations, SWOT, etc. before I finally realized he wanted to buy them desperately and really just wanted me to agree with him. So I asked him if he was prepared to lose all his money on a bad investment. He said yes and bought them. I didn’t say anything when 3 months later he closed the three losing a lot of money. He knew! Our relationship changed for the better after that one.
3. The Support Me client -He needs help so bad he can taste it. He knows in his heart maybe after previous failures that he is on the wrong track and just needs to be righted on the correct one. He is a coaches dream or should I say Counsellor’s dream because if you help him realize the issues and the changes needed he will find the correct solutions because he is needy and wants it more than anything.
4. The Tell Me client- this client is cool because he wants a consultant not a coach. He doesn’t care if you take control, he just wants his business fixed and wants you to do it for him. You better be right though because he’s the one listening to you all the way and it’s on your head if it goes south.
5. The Know It All client – ouch this one is tough, he’s told by someone that he needs to hire a coach maybe by an investor. He doesn’t really want you there. He thinks at 25 that he is a hot commodity and has the experience to run a global company, forget the fact he is in the first round of financing for an IPO or is raising cash from family and friends. He thinks nothing of spending their money cause he has it and thinks he knows everything. Then a family member asks him to bring on someone more experienced. Good luck , it’s possible to work with him but you better make him win.
Clients come in a myriad of personality types and for a lot of reasons. The best way is to figure out which type they are in the beginning so you can work out a strategy in dealing with them. The next blog should be about the 5 types of business coaches, hmm