If you’re like many of the prospects we speak to, before signing up, you want to know how the program helps you, your agency, and its staff get better at what you do — be it consulting businesses, coaching sales teams, or developing marketing strategies for your client.
Here’s the thing: Like most marketing agencies out there, we know how it feels to operate at a thin profit margin, putting in long hours to please clients and trying our best to avoid frequent client churn. And even though our marketing agency is thriving today, we haven’t always felt confident we were on the right path.
In this article, we explain how the They Ask, You Answer Certified Coaching Program uses what we’ve learned over the past decade to help you and your team:
Develop communication skills for building better relationships with clients.
Get buy-in from your clients’ leadership, sales, and service teams.
Offer service differentiators with higher efficiencies and better profit margins.
Network with other solopreneurs, small business owners, coaches, and consultants.
Master role-playing and navigating tricky scenarios before they happen with clients.
We’ve come a long way in our inbound marketing journey — and here’s how the program will help you and your team grow your agency too.
1. Develop communication skills for building better relationships with clients
To operate a successful agency or coaching business, your entire team needs to be clear, concise, and direct communicators. In fact, 46% of businesses polled by Project.com admitted they’d lost a customer as the result of poor communication, which is why communication training represents the bulk of what the program offers. (It’s that important.)
Not only do strong communication skills make you a better professional, but they help you build trust with your clients. Without it, your ideas aren’t heard, your intentions are misunderstood, and your goals fall by the wayside.
The They Ask, You Answer Certified Coaching Program will teach you how to improve the following communications strategies.
Help clients self-discover
When you help clients come to an answer or solution on their own, they are more committed to following through on the solution because it represents their own idea rather than something you told them to do, as Marcus Sheridan explains in this video:
In the program, you will learn how to help your clients discover solutions for their primary pain points, such as:
Finding gaps in their marketing strategies.
Getting marketing and sales teams to work as one.
Shortening and improving their sales cycle.
Your goal as their coach isn’t to tell your clients how to solve their problems, but to lead them to discover the solution on their own.
We help you learn how to ask the right questions that will get your clients to this moment of self-discovery every time, which ultimately makes it easier for you to get your client to understand the benefit of taking the actions you want them to.
Ask better, deeper questions
As a business coach, you always want to come to a conversation from a place of genuine curiosity. This means you never take what your clients say at face value.
For example, if your client’s sales team is struggling to adopt using video or assignment selling in the sales process, ask what they’re struggling with specifically. Keep digging deeper, and ask them to rate the difficulty they’re experiencing on a scale of one to 10.
While your client might initially think Problem A is the main reason for their struggle, you might lead them toward the understanding that they need to instead address Problem B.
But again, we teach you how to lead your client there rather than make the leap for them, so they will feel accountable for orchestrating a positive outcome.
Help clients overcome fears, worries, and concerns before they arise in conversation
When you anticipate your clients’ concerns and address them first, it shows you’re willing to discuss the elephant in the room.
For example, perhaps your prospective client is hesitant to sign on with you because your price is higher than your competitors. You might open the conversation by saying something like, “As you’re considering your options, you may have noticed that we cost a little more than our competitors. We do, and it’s for a good reason. Here’s why.”
This communication skill helps you disarm your clients when there’s a roadblock, and it saves them from having to ask you an uncomfortable question.
Hold clients accountable and lead with authority
In every coaching relationship, there is someone on their toes (giving direction as a leader) and someone on their heels (taking direction as a follower). In a healthy coach-client relationship, your client values your insight and listens to your direction as their leader.
We teach you skills you need to establish yourself as an authoritative peer, such as how to:
Know exactly what you need from your client. This way, you can lead them definitively in that direction instead of taking recommendations. If they are counseling you, they don’t need you!
Run meetings on your terms. Tell your client when you are available, and set the ground rules and agenda for each meeting. Don’t meet unless key decision-makers can be there. Set ground rules often and early to ensure meetings go smoothly.
Avoid small talk. When you dive right into each meeting, this shows your client you are able to provide their team with immediate value.
Don’t thank your client for their time; congratulate them on bringing their A-game. Set the tone that you have the advice and direction they need to make things work — and if they follow your direction, they’ll see incredible results.
Although these might sound obvious, it’s been our experience that most coaching and consulting professionals need to develop these skills more than they might think.
Give honest feedback and challenge directly
One of the most difficult coaching skills to master is to provide feedback to your clients as directly and honestly as possible.
This means that when you have clear direction for your client, you need to say it — even if you might be fired.
Successful coaches don’t aim to please their clients; they lead them. You need to communicate how to get from point A to point B in a way your client can follow. If there is something your clients lack or a blind spot they have that is impeding their progress, you need to be real without fear.
As They Ask, You Answer Coach Chris Duprey says:
“You need to be one of the few humans in your clients’ lives who is willing to challenge them and tell them when they are wrong. It’s saying, ‘I don't care if you like me or not. I'm going to tell you what you need to hear.’ And what blooms from that is nothing but love and stronger relationships.”
This doesn’t mean you need to be forceful with your clients. We help you give feedback from a place of caring, as Kim Scott explains in Radical Candor, which is far more effective.
2. Get buy-in from your client’s leadership, sales, and service teams
When you join the Certified Coaching Program, you will learn how to run an effective alignment workshop. These workshops get everyone in the same room and agreeing to a single strategy and direction forward as a company so there are fewer surprises that could bottleneck the process along the way.
Before a client signs an agreement to work with your agency, their leadership needs to “catch the vision” and understand how working with you will benefit them.
The only way to get those leaders to buy in is to help them understand the what, how, and why of working with you.
If you’re able to deliver the workshop in a way that makes everyone in the room want to work with your team and understand the value your agency provides, you’ll be winning better clients regularly.
3. Offer service differentiators with higher efficiencies and better profit margins
Most marketing agencies try to be everything to all of their clients at once, which means the agency is not only strategizing but also implementing their clients’ marketing initiatives.
This can wear your team down quickly and lead to burnout.
In the program, we teach you how to shift your mindset from an agency of doing to an agency of teaching. When your clients have more at stake and are motivated to succeed because they’re doing the work and their success is in their hands, something interesting happens: Your client brings their work to you with pride, eager to please you.
Not only do we teach you how to benefit from this new marketing agency model of coaching rather than doing, but we also teach you how to diversify your services and offer clear differentiation from the competition.
Our program equips your agency to sell your clients three distinct services:
They Ask, You Answer Alignment Workshops. Early in your coaching training, you’ll learn everything you need to know to give your own They Ask, You Answer workshops. These workshops will get your clients' leaders bought into the framework and align on the value of implementing it for their businesses.
They Ask, You Answer Executive Coaching. Teach your clients how to implement the They Ask, You Answer framework on their own.
They Ask, You Answer Mastery. Coach your clients with supplemental, one-on-one training, such as HubSpot training, content training, etc.
These extra services add a layer to your approach that makes it more targeted and efficient. Not only is this a great way to set yourself apart from the competition, but it also means you have the opportunity to serve your clients according to their needs.
4. Network with other solopreneurs, small business owners, coaches, and consultants.
When you join the program, you get instant access to a community of coaches who are always there to share insight — including our own coaches here at IMPACT. They will be learning alongside you and contribute to your learning as well.
Once you complete the training, you will become a member of our certified coaching directory which will help you find opportunities for lead generation, such as:
Referrals from IMPACT. IMPACT isn’t the best fit for everyone. Sometimes clients need our services but don’t sign on for any number of reasons (budget, location, language spoken, etc.), which means there are lots of opportunities to snag clients that already understand what the program offers and are ready to go.
Referrals from other coaches. For the same reasons as above, sometimes certain coaches will be a better fit for one client than they are for another. Maybe you serve a specific industry or don’t fit in well with a certain team. Building a network with other coaches in this way can grow into a mutually beneficial collaboration.
Marketing opportunities from IMPACT. IMPACT has a large platform and reaches tens of thousands of readers per day. We are constantly hosting events our certified coaches can be part of.
With greater exposure to different perspectives and other people experiencing the same challenges, the program serves to help you expand your horizons, overcome these challenges, and grow professionally within a community of other coaches, leaders, and entrepreneurs.
5. Master role-play and navigating tricky scenarios before they happen with clients
The They Ask, You Answer Certified Coaching Program is designed to help you develop new skills — then take those skills and perfect them with lots of practice. So, while you’ll be learning a lot you can use in your day-to-day interaction with clients, you will also role-play these scenarios so that by the time they happen with clients, you know exactly what to do and say.
The better your ability to communicate — especially when conversations turn difficult — the more your clients value your insight.
We will encourage you to bring real-life scenarios to the table. This will prepare your team to overcome client objections or major challenges during planning sessions, team meetings, or any interaction.
It helps your team solve major communications issues at the moment — but instead of practicing with your clients where mistakes can be costly, you’re practicing with your peers.
Grow your agency with better communication and leadership skills today
IMPACT is helping hundreds of coaches and consultants learn effective communication skills that make it possible to lead their clients toward incredible growth faster.
Not only does the They Ask, You Answer Certified Coaching Program train you to shift your agency model from doing all the work for your clients to teaching your clients how to do the work for you — but we also teach your team how to master our signature World Class Communication approach to scaling your agency.
We provide you with the skills and practice you need to be the agency your clients deserve: an agency that not only cares about its clients' success — but also has the necessary skills to lead them there.