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12 years of business coaching distilled into a weekly newsletter
Whether you're an agency owner, a coach, or a marketer, this weekly newsletter will be your secret to becoming the best you can be — and achieving greater results for your clients.

Why Can’t I Just Read 'They Ask, You Answer' and Become a Coach on My Own?

The fact is that only about 10% of the certification program focuses on what's in Marcus Sheridan's book.

By John Becker

Why Can’t I Just Read 'They Ask, You Answer' and Become a Coach on My Own?

Think about it like this: There is nothing stopping you, right now, from becoming a stock market expert. Or a real estate agent. Or a Shakespeare scholar. Depending on where you live, you can even become a lawyer without spending a single day in law school.

If you did choose to pursue one of these areas of expertise, you could find all the necessary learning materials online or at your local library. You could read everything, study up, and take an exam if necessary.

All you would need is a library card and some diligence.

But you won’t do it.

The reason so few people actually pursue these kinds of things on their own is simple: Learning is way more successful when you have a guide and a course of study.

And it’s not just the experience that’s better. The results are superior, too. You’re much more likely to pass the bar if you go to an accredited law school, for example.

According to Harvard professor Eric Mazur, the effectiveness of learning is doubled or tripled when that learning is interactive. In other words, when learners discuss, debate, and exchange feedback, the process is significantly more productive.

Becoming a certified They Ask, You Answer coach is an experience filled with rich learning opportunities that cannot be replicated by reading the book and trying to do it on your own.

If you’re interested in becoming a They Ask, You Answer coach so that you can revolutionize the way you work with clients, there is only one path forward: Work with IMPACT’s team to earn your certification.

The certification process has been carefully designed to deliver value you can’t get anywhere else.

Below, we’ll detail aspects of the program that contribute to the unique learning and growth that our coaching candidates experience, including:

  • Why They Ask, You Answer coaching is about much more than a marketing framework.
  • How our candidates benefit from IMPACT’s past mistakes.
  • The value of feedback, discussion, and role-playing.

Keep reading to see how our certification program offers more value than you could get on your own.

They Ask, You Answer Certified Coaching Program: What you actually learn

There’s a common misconception we’re going to get out of the way. Many of our applicants expect that becoming a certified They Ask, You Answer coach means an intense dive into all aspects of our They Ask, You Answer business framework, as it was developed by Marcus Sheridan.


Though knowledge of They Ask, You Answer is critical, it is not the major focus of the certification training.

In fact, you don’t spend very much time learning about They Ask, You Answer at all. According to Chris Duprey, certification program designer and lead coach, only about 10% of the curriculum focuses on the They Ask, You Answer framework.

The bulk of the program focuses on coaching skills.

When you become a certified coach, you’ll guide your clients to success with our They Ask, You Answer framework. To do so successfully, the most important thing you need is a coaching skill set.

This program is about becoming the best coach you can be — the exact mentor, listener, guide, and communicator your clients need.

As we like to say, They Ask, You Answer is simple, but it’s not easy. You can learn the essentials of the framework pretty quickly. But guiding clients to success requires the skills of a master coach.

When you’re a master coach, you can deliver incredible value to your clients — the kind of value that keeps them paying their retainer each month and referring you to their network.

The ability to communicate is what will set your services apart from your competitors.

You’ll benefit from IMPACT’s learning

At IMPACT, we began incorporating They Ask, You Answer into our work with clients back in 2017.

Up to that point, we’d been a successful inbound marketing agency, creating and delivering assets for our clients to bring in traffic and leads. But we struggled with the same challenges that many inbound agencies face: client churn, slim profit margins, and employee turnover.

They Ask, You Answer offered us a new model for our work with clients. We decided that we would stop writing content, filming videos, and compiling HubSpot reports for our clients. Instead, we would teach them how to do each task.

In 2019, we went all-in on coaching, shifting entirely away from the implementation model we had used for nearly a decade.

To date, we’ve worked with hundreds of clients, logged thousands of hours of coaching and training sessions, and pulled traffic data representing tens of millions of sessions. We’ve worked with hundreds of front-line marketers, salespeople, and business leaders.


Along the way, we’ve grown, pivoted, and refined our practice, always with the single goal in mind: How can we better coach our clients to They Ask, You Answer mastery?

When you work with IMPACT, you’re getting the sum of all of that learning. There is no equivalent process for learning to be a They Ask, You Answer coach.

In the coaching certification program, you’ll learn to deliver a They Ask, You Answer workshop — and you’ll learn this from experts who have already taught this workshop dozens and dozens of times. The complete program and curriculum will be handed to you in its entirety.

You’ll learn how to coach clients to They Ask, You Answer mastery, and you’ll learn this from master coaches who have already led many clients through this process.

We’ve learned these things the hard way — and you’ll be set up for success because of it.

The value of feedback, discussion, and role-playing

According to Bob Ruffolo, IMPACT founder and CEO, “For learning to stick, for growth to happen, it has to be active — and interactive.”

The hallmark of the They Ask, You Answer certified coaching program is its interactivity. From the very first meeting, candidates find that this is not a program to have on in the background and tune out. At every meeting, you will actively participate, discuss, debate, and role-play. they-ask-you-answer-role-play

This process builds and refines your skillset more effectively than anything else.

At IMPACT, we believe that the best way to learn a new skill is to practice it. Sure, everyone feels a little foolish when they’re doing their first role-play, but the learning opportunity is immense.

Marcus Sheridan, founder of They Ask, You Answer, puts it this way: “Practicing a new skill with role-plays makes each person more likely to use that skill in their actual work.”

When you get ready to put your new skills to use, we want them to feel familiar and comfortable.

The program is designed to give you skills you’ll use every day. We want to be sure you’re ready to do so.

The better your communication ability, the more valuable your skills are to your clients.

Mastering the coaching playbook

What you learn in the They Ask, You Answer Certified Coaching Program can’t be learned in a book. Marcus Sheridan’s now-classic business book is a jumping-off point.

The skillset necessary to be a good coach includes communication ability, emotional intelligence, and group dynamics. It’s knowing when to push and when to soften, when to prompt and when to be silent. These are the invaluable skills you attain when you become a certified They Ask, You Answer coach.

A member of one of our first cohorts explained his learning experience this way:

“Over the years I have done a lot of training of various types, but nothing even comes close to the power and effectiveness of the They Ask, You Answer certified coach training.”

“It has given me a set of skills that allow me to maintain much more stature and power in client relationships. It has also meant that team conversations and potentially tough one-on-one conversations are now so much more productive.”

When you apply to learn with us, you set yourself on the path to becoming a better coach and colleague. And the results will be worth much more than anything you could pick up on your own. These are the skills that truly make you valuable to your clients.

12 years of business coaching distilled into a weekly newsletter
Whether you're an agency owner, a coach, or a marketer, this weekly newsletter will be your secret to becoming the best you can be — and achieving greater results for your clients.


Coaches, Consultants & Strategists
Published on November 24, 2021

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