Archives for July 2011

Responsibility vs. Accountability in Coaching Programs (Which One Really Works)

Accountability vs. ResponsibilityI have successfully mentored and coached thousands of entrepreneurs over the years. And over that time, I have offered different programs for different levels of entrepreneurship. I am a rarity in the mindset and business coaching community in that I have the majority of my clients in my practice stay with me for years.

And here is something that I learned, that will help you get improved results and benefits of whatever program you join. And coaches and consultants, this will help fill your practice and improve your client retention dramatically, like I have.

When joining a coaching program, most entrepreneurs are looking for a high level of accountability in doing or not doing certain things in your business. In your business coaching program, most of you know specifically what you are accountable for. That is, those things that you have agreed to have power over and to manage for certainoutcomes, benefits and results. But how many of you know exactly what you are responsible for?

In your business coaching program, many of you have become masters of accountability, yet weaklings in responsibility. If you have joined a business coaching program, you may want to take a look to see if there is an imbalance and to emphasize the remarkable empowerment that comes from being in a program where YOU are 100% accountable and responsible for having exceptional outcomes and benefits from what is being offered in your current program.

Responsibility comes from the root “to respond.” It simply means “ability to respond.”

Accountability, at its origin means “related to accounting.”  That is, balancing the books. In a business coaching program for instance, an entrepreneur might be accountable for the number and quality of leads that you convert to clients. But responsible for ensuring that you do what you say you are going to do, and when you say you are going to do it.

I have busted new clients who come from other programs, who are used to doing more talking about what they will do or not do, rather than actually rolling up their sleeves and getting down to work.

You may be an entrepreneur who’s currently in a business coaching program. You are impeccably accountable, in that you repeatedly share and defend your actions. You are exceptional at accountability and will frequently tell your coach again and again what you have done, how completely you’ve done it and show very little flexibility to circumstances that contain your agreed-upon actions. You find relief in your word, and a level of involvement limited to that which you have agreed upon as “your business.”

Entrepreneurs who are masters of accountability in business coaching programs frequently use words and phrases like “should,” “supposed to,” “didn’t I” and “promise”. You’re inclined to take yourself very seriously or at least your actions. You keep a running “total” of what has been done. Keeping your promises is frequently flaunted as the highest virtue, in spite of what has been agreed to have worked toward any larger objectives. If an entrepreneur has the goal of converting numbers and quality of leads into clients, carrying out their duties in a competent way would be the main concern, even if not making a sale would be a better option in a particular situation.

Then there are entrepreneurs who are masters of responsibility in business coaching programs. These types of entrepreneurs are rare breed, or more likely, less detectable and visible.

Entrepreneurs who are masters of responsibility know that in their business coaching programs results and outcomes, they are ultimately responsible. That is, they are able to respond. Masters of responsibility often act in erratic or unpredictable ways. These entrepreneurs know and trust that at a deep level anything that crosses into their awareness is something they can do something about. Period. Excuses aren’t in their vocabulary. Entrepreneurs who are responsibility masters make fewer agreements because they may get in the way of doing something that works toward a bigger and better objective and purpose.

You lean towards taking yourself less seriously, and use terms like “freedom,” “I could,” “I can,” and “I will” more frequently than your accountability buddies in the coaching program. Your highest good quality is more likely to be fluid or indefinable, although your behaviour often leans toward service to a greater principal. You will not be indecisive in abandoning the less than ideal lead, if one of your current clients needs some immediate help right now, for example.

Now, consider how you are showing up in your business and in your coaching programs. Where do you see yourself? More importantly, where do you want to see yourself?

Here is the good news. There is a fantastic empowering balance of the two. It is possible for the bigger and bolder thinker who wants improved results in their coaching programs, and those who are willing to step it up in how they are approaching the way that they show up as clients in their current programs. Once you take 100% personal responsibility for that which crosses into your awareness, you can act creatively toward making any aspect of your business, or business coaching program better. Then you are free to be impeccable in your agreements, as you stay free to re-communicate and go way beyond them.

Online Engagement & Relationships Are Everything (And change everything)

Online EngagementWhat do successful entrepreneurs do differently to create online success and monetize their time?

They create a strong and solid foundation in their relationships which leads to big success.

If you haven’t heard about how online sales (and offline for that matter) and marketing has changed, then you may have been living under a rock. Today, to thrive and prosper online, you must have a mindset shift towards creating online engagement first. By using what’s termed “relationship selling.” It is the most effective and best strategy to improve your bottom line in any economy.

Your skill, mindset, ability to engage, connect, develop, and maintain enduring ideal client relationships is the foundation for your success as an entrepreneur and your success using client attraction online using social media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Changing your mindset to what is termed relationship selling calls for a clear understanding of the new selling process as it is experienced by your ideal potential client.

This calls for a mindset that involves long term thinking.

For your ideal potential client, a smart buying decision typically means a decision to go into a long-term relationship with you, your team, and your business. It is very much like a serious long term committed relationship, like you would have in your private life, with a partner or spouse. Prior to the potential ideal client deciding to buy your products, programs, or services, they have a lot of choices out there and can leave or choose to remain with you. They don’t really need you or your business.

Your competition is easy to find, they are all on social media just like you. They have lots of options, offers, and choices open to them and can involve not buying anything at all. But when your ideal potential client does make a decision to buy from you, and purchases your products, programs, or services, they heavily rely on you. Since they have most likely have had previous experiences that were bad, they are very uneasy and uncertain about relying on someone else and engaging in this relationship with you.

To create real and long term engagement do what you say you are going to do. What if you let the ideal potential client down? What if your products, programs, or services do not have the benefits or outcomes as you guaranteed and promised? These are real issues that go through the mind of every ideal potential client when it comes time to make the critical buying decision and lay out their money.

And if they have had a negative experience in the past it is even harder.

Smart entrepreneurs who want to thrive on line focus on the relationship. The relationship is actually more important than the product, program, or service that you sell. Your ideal potential client most likely doesn’t know or care about the components of your product, how your business functions, or how they will be treated after they spent their money with you. But they can make an evaluation about you, and the relationship between the two of you throughout the selling process. Your ideal potential client’s decision is based on the fact that they have come to know, like, and trust you.

What changes everything? Develop, grow, and build a solid trusting relationship. For the most part, the quality of your relationship with your ideal clients, (I sure know that the quality of my relationship is there, they stay with me for years.) is the competitive advantage that allows you to nudge out your competition offering similar products, programs, and services. The quality of the trust that is present between you and your ideal clients can be so resilient that no other competitor can ever come close to you.

Truly create a successful online entrepreneurs dream. Can you imagine really keeping your clients for life? What is one of the biggest and most common mistakes that I see after coaching and mentoring thousands of people? How you can lose money and sales fast? It is taking your clients for granted.

Just when you settle in, starting relaxing your efforts, and begin to ignore your clients, just like a relationship, after it happens some of them will start to look elsewhere. Once you have invested the time, money, and energy to engage potential clients online, you did necessary work to create a high-quality, trust-based relationship with your ideal potential client, you must continue working on that relationship and nurturing it for the life of your business. You need to be smart about it and never, ever take it for granted.

Focus on building a high quality relationship with each potential client by treating your clients so remarkably well that tell anyone and everyone about you. They will come back again and again, and buy everything that you sell.

Treat them like royalty and you will have their loyalty. They will also become the best ambassadors for your business, that no marketing online or money can buy. Let them know on a consistent basis that you appreciate them and value them and their business. Find creative ways to thank them, show your gratitude, and encourage them to come back to do business with you again.