What Do You Think?

In that article his March President’s message, Robb Garret asked:

Do prospective coaching clients need to talk to at least three coaches before they decide on a coach?

ACO member Rose Steele responded with her opinion:

Rose Steele
Good question Robb. I would say that sending people to ‘get 3 estimates’- because that’s how it seems to me – is not a useful approach in the world of coaching. When you’re talking about a plumber then I can see the point. But when you’re talking about coaching then you’re really taking about relationships and fit, in my opinion.

I tell potential clients who contact me that we need to talk first to see if there’s a fit – but it works both ways. So is the client comfortable with me? And do I think that there’s a fit between me and the client in terms of what they seem to need and my own skills?

If you were the potential client and found someone who seems like a good fit as a coach, why would you want to go talk to 2 or 3 more coaches ‘just to see’? It seems like a waste of time and energy; maybe also of money because a few coaches like me charge a fee for the initial talk – I charge $25 to show that the session is worth something, but if a client signs on with me within 30 days then I deduct that $25 from the 1st month’s fee. I think it works really well – but note that I also will do a free chat if circumstances warrant, e.g., someone who indicates on the questionnaire I send before booking an initial call that they will have financial difficulty paying for coaching.

I suspect that this ’3 coach rule’ is a remnant of a young profession that was trying to show legitimacy, while at the same time trying to ensure clients have choice. I’d rather trust myself and the potential client to see if there’s a fit – and if there is then it doesn’t matter if I’m the 1st or the 30th coach that the client has approached. But maybe that’s because I’ve been a nurse for almost 35 years and I trust myself even though I’m a fairly new coach.


Rose Steele, RN, PhD, Coach
Submitted on 2012/03/01 at 1:23 am