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30 Sep, 2008

Fiona Challis – TCA Licensed Trainer

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Licensed Client-Winning System

Fiona Challis - Coaching Academy Licensed TrainerFrustrated with the slow start and the amount of time she’d need to spend on marketing, she booked her place on The Coaching Academy’s original 3-day programme – a training event designed to help Coaches attract new clients, now extended and improved to the 6-day ‘Licensed Client-Winning System’ to give you more tools and greater confidence to build your business quicker. Personal Success Magazine catches up with Fiona to see how she’s doing now, 18 months on.

Good morning Fiona. So can you cast your mind back to the Licensed Programme you attended with us last year?

I don’t need to cast my mind back at all – the Licensed Programme is something I think about almost every day! It’s become my main marketing tool and I would say it has probably given me most of the clients I have today.

Wow! What was it about the Programme that was so helpful?

The Licensed Programme gives me a way to get in front of lots of potential clients at the same time. It gives me a way to demonstrate my coaching skills and showcase the benefits of hiring me as a Coach! Essentially going on the Programme gives you a lifetime licence to deliver a workshop called “The Seven Steps to Understanding Coaching” – a mini-taster workshop that you use to introduce people to the concepts of coaching and ‘woo’ your own clients.

It’s great because it shows people how coaching can benefit them as individuals or their business as a whole. Every time I run the workshop it sparks off an ‘a-ha’ moment for many delegates and at the end there’s a queue of people wanting to discuss their coaching needs. The Licensed Programme teaches you how to deal with these enquiries after the workshop and convert as many leads as possible into real business.

Fiona Challis - Coaching Academy Licensed TrainerSo the Licensed Programme gives you a sort of ‘client-winning’ toolkit?

Exactly. The Programme gave me everything I needed to market and deliver the taster workshop: a fantastic PowerPoint presentation to use, training on how to deliver it, tips on effective facilitation, workshop materials, exercises, personalised marketing leaflets to hand out at the end and even help building my website. It would have taken me months to create it all myself, even if I knew how! After attending the Programme, I was just up and running straight away.

What made you go on the Licensed Programme to start with?

It’s much easier to persuade people to attend a short taster workshop than it is to sell coaching outright. People prefer to use Coaches they know or Coaches they’ve seen in action. So traditional advertising and marketing weren’t really helping me get my foot in the door with new clients; it was too slow. I’ll give you an example: I did an email campaign promoting the “Seven Steps” workshop as opposed to my usual corporate coaching promotion. Within a day of the email going out, I had eight interested companies calling me!

Fiona Challis - Coaching Academy Licensed TrainerHow do you go about selling the “Seven Steps” workshop?

One of the things I learned from the Licensed Programme was to think strategically about sales and to focus on the important minority of potential clients who actually have the budget to buy your coaching services. I learned not to play the ‘numbers game’ that marketing can often get you into. I once ran a “Seven Steps” workshop with only five delegates and had come very close to cancelling it. After the workshop, one of the delegates came up to me and booked me for £25K worth of coaching!

So how many times have you run the “Seven Steps” workshop now?

I’ve stopped counting! The workshop is so easily repeatable and almost every time I run it I get a new client or a new lead. The Licensed Programme paid for itself in the first workshop I ran, so I’ve seen a fantastic return on my investment over 18 months. If I knew that when I’d booked, I’d probably have paid double!

I also really enjoy it. The taster workshop is everything great workshops should be: lively, interactive, fun, memorable and packed with exercises you can get clients to do. I always add my own little twist to the presentation but I never really need to change it. It’s such a great introduction to coaching and it allows your own coaching skills to really shine out.

Fiona Challis - Coaching Academy Licensed TrainerWould you recommend the Licensed Programme to other Coaches?

Absolutely. Any Coach who is just starting out in the personal or corporate coaching sector, or moving into a new sector would find the Programme a great kick-start. Or anyone who finds they’re spending too great a proportion of their time on marketing themselves, this Programme takes a lot of the distractions away and simply let you focus on what you’re good at – coaching!

To book your place or for more information on The Coaching Academy Licensed Client-Winning Course call 0208 4399 440 or visit

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