Sales Clinic: Is Coaching Right for You?

Do you want to kick your career up a notch? Consider a coach.

December 1, 2003

Coaches help you crystallize your goals and give you practical help to accomplish them. They are mentors, teachers, and trainers who always will be in your professional corner. So how do you know if coaching is right for you? And, once you decide to try coaching, how do you select the coach that best suits your needs? Read on.

Are You Ready for Coaching?

Before you even begin investigating coaches, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will you make the commitment to coaching? Since there is only so much time in the day, you need to assess your time commitments and be willing to make growing your career a priority. You also need to be willing to put aside business and personal activities that are not parallel with your core values in order to commit at least one hour per week to coaching. You should consider starting a coaching program only if you don’t anticipate any major interruptions in your regular schedule.
  • Can you afford a coach? If you can afford the time that it takes to work with a coach, can you afford the cost? Some of the best coaches charge as much as $1,000 a month, with a one-year commitment. But you can find quality coaching programs for about $6,000 per year.
  • Do you already have a coach and just don’t know it? Why pay someone else to help you with stuff that your manager, broker, or office trainer can do for you for free? Also, there are some great speakers and seminar leaders whose products may guide you through the fundamental real estate activities. If you have these resources at your disposal, you may not need a coach, unless there’s an aspect of your career that these sources can’t help you with.

If you feel that your career can benefit from coaching, the next step is to find a coach who’s right for you.

Select the Right Coach

Coaches are everywhere, but as with hiring any professional, it’s important to do your homework before making a choice. Check the Internet, ask national trainers, check your company or franchise, or ask for references from other top producers. You could even approach someone you respect who has a style and business plan that you would like to emulate and ask this person to be your coach. Most top performers would consider it a compliment to be asked!

Once you have a short list, ask these questions.

  • Is the coach qualified to teach you what you want to learn? If you have a good referral-based business and an effective follow-up system, you don’t need a coach to generate more referrals. Consider one who can teach you how to generate leads through other proactive lead-generation systems. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and choose a coach who can help you with your weaknesses.
  • Does the coach’s schedule work with yours? Consider all your time commitments—work, family, volunteering, etc., and determine your availability. Can the coach be flexible enough to schedule different times and days as your time allows? Find out before you commit.
  • Is the cost worth it? Find out what the coaches provide for their fees. Talk to past (and a few current) clients of each coach, and interview them to see if they feel their money is well spent. Ask for client references that work in similar-size markets and income range and that have a similar experience level to your own. About five past (or current) coaching clients from each prospective coach will be enough for you to do your due diligence.
  • Who will you be interacting with—the coach or the staff? Make sure that you are getting the coach you’ve chosen instead of another employee in the company.

Most real estate professionals I know who have used coaching have reaped rewards in the form of a higher net income and more time to enjoy life. If you choose to hire a coach and set mutually agreeable goals for what you want to achieve, you probably will benefit, too.

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