Business Questions

3 More Questions to Vet a Prospective Business Coach

Leo Manzione

Selecting a coach to partner with you and your business is a big decision. You want to go into the vetting conversation armed with the questions that really count.

With that in mind, we’re bringing you part 2 of our Business Coaching Questions series! (You can check out Part 1 here for 3 key questions prospective business coaches don’t want you to ask.)

Just a reminder that this series is not intended to be a major plug for my services. Rather, the contents of these posts can (and should) be used throughout the entire coaching industry to find your match, whether or not that match is me.

My goal is to try to help you find a coach who…

  • Strikes the right balance between mindset and systems-oriented coaching
  • Practices what they preach
  • Comes prepared for every session
  • Properly uses the word “unlimited” and doesn’t set unrealistic expectations

Choosing a business coach doesn’t need to feel like a blind leap of faith.

Check out the video below for part 2 of our business coach selection series to go into the vetting process armed with the right questions:

Choosing a business coach doesn’t need to feel like a blind leap of faith.

1. Find where they fall on the mindset vs. systems coaching spectrum

There are many factors that influence how business coaches operate and the services they deliver to their clients. In my time as a coach and my time partnering with other coaches, I’ve found most of us seem to land somewhere along the following spectrum:

  • On one side, you have the more mindset focused coaches – think life coaching, motivation, overcoming mental obstacles, etc.
  • On the other side you have the more systems-focused coaches – think actionable business strategies, tools, and systems to help you scale up and grow. 

These aren’t mutually exclusive or of different value – they’re just different components of the plan you’ll be seeing through.

The right fit often depends on what you’re trying to accomplish in your business and what’s holding back that progress. When selecting your coach, you want to be sure you know where they fall along the spectrum. I’ve noticed that some of the most versatile and effective coaches do both, but it’s possible that, for whatever reason, you may want someone with a more specialized focus one way or the other.

To explore the mindset-oriented skill set of this coach, consider asking this question:

  • What problems do they foresee you having ahead?

To explore the systems-oriented skill set of this coach, consider asking this question:

  • How do they measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of their services (including the ROI of time spent)?

In both cases, paying close attention to the thought process they use to answer either question can be just as revealing as their answer itself.
Do they consider the internal struggles ahead and have an adaptable approach to helping you through them? Can they estimate potential ROI using useful data while recognizing how unpredictable the future is?

2. What is their coaching capacity?

  • How many clients can they support at once?
  • Once they reach that point, do they have a waitlist?

The biggest red flag response here would be, “I have unlimited capacity!” This type of response should send alarm bells off because it simply isn’t true – no one’s capacity is unlimited.

Coaching is, by nature, a service-based business.
Anytime someone is trading time for money, there is an upper limit because no one has unlimited time at their disposal. If there is no point at which they would turn a new customer away and their policy is to always make room, the amount of time spent on each existing customer would inevitably decrease to accommodate the new addition. 

It’s possible, however, your coach has a more scalable element to their business – this could be a course, group webinars/classes, a book, etc. If your coach is branching out like this, it’s probably a good sign. It shows that they “
practice what they preach” and are growing their own business beyond the basic time=money model.

3. What do they do to prepare for your sessions and how much support can you expect outside those sessions?

  • Do they have a support team to help them?
  • Do they do research ahead of time?
  • How much time do they spend preparing?
  • How do they support clients outside their scheduled coaching sessions? 

With this last question, again look out for the word “unlimited” as some might profess to have an unlimited open door policy, unlimited email support, etc. Since we know nothing is truly unlimited, your coach would inevitably push back at a certain point. If you were to take up too much of their capacity, they would probably try to upgrade you to a larger investment or potentially off-load you to someone else. It’s nice to know what their actual upper limits are at the start of an engagement. So don’t fall for “unlimited” and instead demand the full picture.

So there you have it, 3 more powerful lines of questioning to bring into any conversation with a prospective coach.

Want to learn more about finding the right coach to partner with your business? Feel free to apply for one of my 
complimentary diagnostic sessions and we can review this concept and uncover anything else that might be holding your business back.

If I’m not the right coach for you, I will help you find the coach that is.


Talk soon,

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