Coach Joe Lukacs here and welcome to this episode of The Magellan Network Show. What I want to do today is dissect my world, the coaching world. I’ll give you all the reasons why you need to hire the right coach or fire the wrong coach.
Let’s face it. In our industry today, there is a plethora of coaches. When I started back in 1993, I could think of maybe four or five of us who pioneered this industry.
Now, there are probably up to 500 to a thousand business coaches that specialize with advisors. Now, why is that? I think it’s for two reasons.
Number one, you all make a lot of money. Number two, you’re all insecure in your own way. I think maybe the third reason is that the bigger firms downsized their training programs.
So, a lot of people out there in the corporate world are very linear in thinking and they come out hanging their shield and that’s cool. Initially, when people came into my world to retain me, I was by far, the first coach they ever worked with.
They had no experience to draw upon. They may have gotten other training programs or conferences, but they never really had a one on one in-depth relationship.
Today what I found is that, they’re searching. Why I spend time with this person or this program. Just for the context of this episode, I’m not going to get into names as that’s not the relevant part here.
The point being, I get people that tell me why they got into this or that program or why they hired this person. I always ask them how’d it go or what they liked or didn’t like.
There will always be some part of things that you’ll pull away from. But the bottom line is if they were really satisfied, they would still be with that person. See, my clients were with me for an average of 12-13 years.
It doesn’t mean that everybody’s like that. Again that’s an average. In fact, some clients have been with me for 23-24 years.
Some stay from 6 months to a year to get some things done. The funny part about that is, I would say about 2/3 of that, at some point later in time, they come back. They want more because they couldn’t find what I offer.
So, let’s talk about the different kinds of coaches. I’ll put them into three areas perhaps and tell you why each one is important to a certain degree.
There are all sorts of practice management people. They get you organized, book segmentation, workflow all that stuff. Maybe they’d even give you an employee manual.
Which is great. You need it. Is it important for you to have structure, systems, and functionality around your business. No question about it. Absolutely!
The question is, can you find the right one who sees you for what you are? So, here’s the one thing I will say. You’ve got to connect and resonate with the person.
It’s their voice. Their psychology, belief system and methodology. If you can’t buy into the coach, don’t do the program. Now, how does that work in other areas?
A lot of big coaching companies will have their leader or figurehead who does the talking, the speaking or webinars. But you don’t get along with that person but you get along with the one under that person. Then the one under that person is the one that matters.
Not the first person because they’re not working with you. But this next person is. So, you better be able to ask some hard questions whenever they give you sub-coaches or level two coaches. You’d better be able to build rapport.
It’s like a duality. You have to trust the program AND the person. So, the first kind of coach is practice-management people.
A lot of big companies are built on practice management because they can coach around the systems. You’re not achieving results? Oh, we have a system for that. What I do is coach around that person. Difference right?
Somebody asked me what my system is and I told them I don’t yet know because I don’t know you. It’s because my system is predicated upon what you tell me that you’re missing or lacking.
I refer clients to practice management people because I don’t do detailed workflows or employee manuals. Not a problem for me.
The next kind of coach you’re going to find is your marketing people. Some are better than others and some promise a lot if you deliver. I have a couple of that too. So if you want to find out, reach out and I’ll be happy to make that recommendation to you.
Here’s the thing. If you think you’re going to stroke a check and fix your stuff, you’re sorely mistaken, my friend. It does not work that way. It just does not.
Most advisors are so desperate for an answer that they’ll literally try anything. That’s the reason why marketing people get your money.
Let me give you an analogy. It may not be the best one but that’s what’s on my mind right now. It’s almost like you have a loved one who’s ill and there’s no cure.
You go online and you hear this weird stuff that goes on in some third world country and you’re tempted to get that person there because you’re so desperate for a solution. See, a lot of the marketing companies play on that.
If you’re not doing that but your competitor is, then you’re losing. Here’s the problem with that. And by the way, some programs are really good.
If you want to talk to me about a seminar system, direct mail program, an internet program or lead program, I have clients that have done every one of them successfully. Podcast, videocasts. I’ve got clients who are rockstars at that and I’m going to tell why they are in a moment.
The marketing people have this thing. They sell it to you and you got one. Do you think that’s going to solve your problem? Not true.
The practice management and marketing people add value but they don’t solve your problem. They’re important but they don’t solve your problem. Now, why is that?
Here’s the real work, coaching or evolution. You. There was this person who went to this $20-25K “We’re going to teach you how to work with centers of influence” program.
What’s nice about my world is, I get briefed on what’s going on. I don’t view these people as my competitors. I view them as colleagues and some are just better than others. It’s a great system so I endorsed it.
When I asked about their morning ritual, their business plan, daily gameplan, 5-year vision, psychology, fears, concerns, issues or their strengths and weaknesses, it just got real.
See here’s the reality. Now here’s a good analogy. The practice management and the marketing people work on a “car”. We have a race team here.
Doesn’t matter if your thinking F1, NASCAR, Kart, INDY or even BMX. There are two components to success. The vehicle, which is part of the deal and “The Driver”.
Here’s what the practice management and marketing people do. They work on the car. The chassis, the systems. I watch F1 and I love it because it’s the most expensive and elite motorsport in the world.
I’m telling you right know that if you have a great car but a reckless driver, you’re guaranteed to fail. A great driver can overcome a mediocre car in all cases.
What a lot of you are trying to do is work on your car because it’s a “safe place”. I don’t need to own up on my flaws, bad habits or laziness. People complain about their team.
Now, this is a true story. I’m teaching this leadership course this July 2019. I’ve done it before and affirmed that it is the elite leadership program in the industry. It’s because there aren’t too many leadership programs in this industry.
I’ve had a couple of clients who want to bring their team and I asked them why. The answer I get is they want me to work on their team because they’re not getting “IT”.
Here’s exactly what I told them, “You want me to be you? Instead of you stepping up and leading your team, in which by the way, I will not be there every day but you will be. You seriously want to abdicate that responsibility to a third party because you don’t want to deal with it? Then why the hell are you in business?“.
I’m not like any other coach. I don’t have time for shenanigans. If I see it, I’m going to call you on it. You have to decide and be honest with yourself. It’s a formula.
Yes, you’ve got to have a great car. But if you ignore the driver, you’re making a fatal error. My work is driver-oriented. I teach clients how to do their morning ritual which I call the Magellan Morning 8. There’s also the Magellan Morning 5.
I have a system or protocol to make people better people. To make advisors better advisors. Then you could actually operate the “car”.
You have to take advantage of all that practice management and marketing stuff. I’ve got plenty of clients wherein I do one thing in their world and another coach for other things. I’m totally cool with that because I’m all about the client. I know what I’m great at.
There’s no one better than what I do than me. Do I know how to practice management? No. Do I know how to put up an employee manual? Like I said before, hell no.
So you want to find that in other places. Do you want technology integrations? I’m good with the iPhone. But if you want to tie your systems together and connect to XYZ, that isn’t me.
But I’ll get you motivated, inspired, and organized to get the right person. That’s what I’m saying. You want a coach. But what kind of coach do you want?
This is what you need clear with yourself. What’s your true challenge? What should be first? In my experience, it’s the driver first car second.
If you put the car first, you’re just going to get frustrated because you’ve invested all this money but you’re not getting the maximum ROI because you haven’t realized the maximum you. That’s what it really is all about.
It’s easy to stroke a check and then look at something outside of the mirror. The bottom line is, it’s all about the mirror.
I’ve built two coaching companies. 10 years ago I hired a bunch of coaches. I had a partner wherein he did the marketing while we did the coaching. I hated it.
You know why? Because there’s nobody who could do what I could do. Nobody can dig in like I can dig in. Standards.
After a year and a half with them, I blew it all up. I woke up one day because I’ve become a manager of coaches. They’ve become whiny and needy. I don’t have time for that.
Four years ago, I tried to have another “bite at the apple”. I did it again and hire another batch of coaches. Trained them and did it for a year and a half.
Again, I hated it. Why? It’s because I had to market it. I had to get people into my funnel to “feed” my coaches and had less time to do what I love and which I was born to do. Coaching.
So I blew it all off and fired them and told them to bring all their clients with them. They were very pissed at me. But it had to be done.
You have to know what you’re excellent at and what your calling is. So, when you’re hiring a coach, do they talk about their systems or themselves.
Do you resonate with that person? Because when done properly, you’re just not making an economic or time investment but most importantly an emotional investment.
You don’t want to get it wrong. So, here are a few key things to take a look at. Number one, how do they onboard you.
Do they sell you on signing up and pressure you on takeaways and you have to do this or that by this date and stuff like that? If they sell you on saying “Yes” and they have a dedicated sales people “twist your arm” to say yes to something, does that really make a lot of sense?
The second thing is, how much time do they give you to decide? What’s their process? I’m going to use myself as a comparison because I know how I want to be treated.
I only take down a client after 30-days of evaluation. There are steps. you have to qualify. You have to apply personally to work with me.
Magellan Network, my group game, my movement? You get 30-days in there. We just ask for your name and email address and you’re in the game.
If you want to stay, you can stay. If you don’t, no harm no foul. Best of luck to you. It’s because I know that I’m not right for everybody.
If there’s a coach that tells you they can work with anybody, then that’s a load of snake oil. They’ll take everybody’s money but it doesn’t mean that they’ll be successful.
Next, how long is the engagement? After the onboarding salesmanship, do they have mandatory timelines? A year, six months? Do they ask you to pay upfront? No matter what? Or is it pay as you go? It matters.
Some of you will say that it’s all about the commitment. The thing is, it’s not. They can walk away. If money commits somebody then they’re committing for the wrong reason.
They’re committed because they don’t want to lose money and not because they want to change. One last thing and I’ll let you off to do your thing today. This is really important.
You should, under no circumstances, ever hire a coach who does not have a long history in this business. I’ve seen it over and over again and more recently.
I’ve got advisors in my space where they met some dude at their local chamber of commerce. They’re an executive coach or a leadership coach and they don’t know one thing about our business. They don’t understand what compliance means or what an ADV is.
They don’t know our space. What you’re doing is pay them to learn on you. You do not have the time for that. It doesn’t matter to me who you hire.
Just make sure that they understand so you better interview them back. How many advisors have they been working with? How long they have they been working with them?
What percentage of their client base are advisors? Mine is 100%. I do nothing but advisors and have done so for nearly 25 years. I’ve done it for 25 plus years but honed it after a year or two.
I know this space inside and out. I evolved with it. Just make sure you have someone like that. Next is, don’t be cheap.
I’m saying this respectfully. You may say, “Well, this dude only wants 300 bucks a month but this one wants 1000. I’m going to do the cheaper one”. Think about this.
You need your head cut open. One doctor is one year out of medical school and they’ve got a $20,000 rate for the surgery. Then, there’s this person who’s 25 years out of medical school and had done 5000 different craniotomies but they’re $100,000.
Forget the insurance scenario. Which one would you want operating on your head? The cheap one or the one that’s been there, done that countless times?
Experience of the coach matters. It’s because coaching is all about transference of experience. Just make sure that when you’re picking a coach, you vet them well. You vet them over time. You ask questions.
I love it when people ask me questions about how many clients I have or how long I’ve been doing this or what does the situation look like. What’s my average length of engagement?
When I say about 13 years they go, “What!?”. I want questions because I can answer them. Don’t get seduced in some speaker with a program and sign up because it’ll leave a bad look.
I literally started this industry and this space. Do not sit and make the wrong choice. It will give you a bad experience and makes our profession look bad. I want that to stop.
Thanks for listening and watching this episode of the Magellan Network Show. Love to get comments and reviews on iTunes. We’re a little bit of a startup here as far as podcasts and video blogs go.
You could go to iTunes and if you’re listening there, give us five stars and some comments. We’d love to get them and we’ll see you in the next episode!