Nothing changes when it comes to learning from people with practical experience.
There’s a lot of bad and misinformation out there in the world of advisors and facilitators. We hope this will help you to see how dangerous a lot of the misinformation is for your organisation, customers, the industry and ultimately for the millions of people who never get well supported because they believed the myths and never spread the real secrets.
Here are some of the myths about advising, facilitating and coaching.
- Myth: People want coaching – Practically no one hires a facilitator just to experience what it’s like. People don’t want facilitation, they want results. You need to focus on people’s WIIFM (what’s in it for me). The idea that if we educate the public on facilitation, more people will hire facilitators is a myth. Facilitation is a very powerful force for change. But, people buy into the change, not the facilitation. You don’t buy a drill for the drill, you buy it for the holes it can drill. Really it’s not for the holes either, it’s for whatever the holes are going to do, like build a cubby house for the kids.
- Myth: You need fancy credentials – A lot of people will have you believe that you need fancy credentials to get clients, start helping people and make money. So many facilitators get lost in the world of getting credentials instead of getting clients and helping people. Even if you had all the credentials in the world, very few potential clients would care.
- Myth: You need facilitator training – You do not need facilitator training in order to start helping people, making money and getting clients. Facilitation training is important, but it’s not essential. The truth is you just need to be able to help people get results and you may be able to do that already, based on who you are, your compassion, your own experience, background and personal development you have undertaken in the past. A lot of people are afraid they don’t have enough training, so clients won’t hire them. So they purchase another training program and still don’t get clients. This damages their confidence and makes them think they need even more training, and the cycle goes on. Obviously, the more training you do, as long as it is focused, the better you and the advisor become.
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth”. Rumi
- Myth: You should charge for all your time – The idea you should charge for everything clients do with you, is a dream-taker for facilitators. The problem is that this reinforces the idea for you and the client that they are buying your time, instead of what they should be buying, the outcomes they will get from your facilitation. You can solve a problem in just one coaching session however, that should not be the end of the relationship. Clients always have a lot more challenges in getting all the way to their goal, a journey which could take a year or two, or the rest of their working life. Give clients options, a 6 or 12 months contract and have them pay for the package up front, or on a monthly payment plan, or payment at agreed milestones.
- Myth: You shouldn’t give away free sessions – Some will say giving away free sessions cheapens your service and you should charge for all the time you spend with your clients, including the introductory sessions. Do you like the way accountants and lawyers charge you in ten-minute chunks and for every phone call and a piece of paper? The truth is, doing a free session is where you actually sell your ongoing facilitation package, the most lucrative thing you can do for your facilitation business. The mistake a lot of facilitators make is that they give free sample sessions, where they try and address people’s problems during the first session, without having a way to let the client buy a complete ongoing program, in a way that’s comfortable for the client. Refer to ‘moving the free line’.
- Myth: Wishing and hoping clients will pay. Some facilitators offer to help people for free for a number of sessions, wishing and hoping that eventually the client will see the value and become a paying client. The truth is that most clients expect to have to pay but, will take all they can get for free and keep using you until you take control of the situation.
- Myth: You need a lot of clients – It may seem like you need lots of clients to be able to pay your bills and have some extra left over. However, when you do the sums you will find that you don’t need a large number of clients to achieve the income you want if you pick the right type of clients you like working with and set up assignments that will give fewer clients the outcomes they are looking for.
- Myth: You need the latest “whiz-bang” sales technique – The truth is that old sales techniques are dead. Even when coaches spend a lot of time and money on marketing and eventually get people to know that they exist, they still don’t win the clients, no matter how good they think they can sell. The reason is that clients today are in control of the process and if you are to win you must get to understand the clients ‘buying process’, not you ‘sales process’.
- Myth: You need the latest technology – There is an overabundance new technology to help you, some of it is effective, some of it a waste of time and money. Even when some facilitators spend a lot of time and money on technology they still miss the connect with clients. The cloud and mobile technologies have made it possible to access technology from anywhere when you need it. Use technology to enable you, but not to win clients in its own right, as the people aspects of a transaction are far more important than the technology.
- Myth: You should coach people for free while you are learning the ropes – Some people think they need to get a lot of practice at coaching before they can start charging for it. In reality, when you get in front of a potential client who doesn’t pay you, you can be sure they are not really committed to getting results. So, they don’t put much effort in, are unwilling to take any action and worst of all, you start thinking it’s because you’re not a good enough facilitator. This is a confidence killer and sets you up to fail.
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While there are more opportunities, the overriding trend is for all types of advisors to be judged more quickly and more harshly than in the past.
Because of that, there is little scope for you to develop your philosophy or your management style because customers might not get the results quickly enough, to want to continue on with you.