Moving from Cognitive to Behavioural Approaches

This fourth of five movements is about taking action.  Some commentators on marketing talk about shipping.  They don’t just mean wrapping parcels and sending them to their customers.  Shipping is about getting an offer into the market.  Coaching is not just in the mind, you need to embody behavioural approaches. The best idea in the world is no use at all if it is not in the marketplace.

Not Just Courses

It’s true, especially for coaches, when you start in business, however good you are at what you offer, it is never enough.  The skills you need to get people to pay for your offer are completely different from the skills you need to deliver it!

Businesses that deliver products are lucky because all they need is packaging and a stamp.  They still need to market their offer, of course but they can focus on their marketing.

Mostly a coach’s offer is harder to deliver and their marketing is on top of that.  Marketing requires very different skills to coaching.

So, you have done your training and qualified in coaching.  Now you discover you need a lot of other skills to make clear what you offer your market.  You soon discover what works in theory rarely works in the real world.

Body, Mind and Spirit

The thing about getting your offer out there is it requires a completely different skill set to delivering coaching.  It engages the whole person; mind, body and spirit.

Of course, coaching itself may be equally all-embracing but by then the focus is on the paying customer.  When marketing your focus is on how you present yourself to prospective clients.

So, it involves your body and how you present yourself.  It is first impressions.  To a degree, marketing is showmanship – you need to look and play the part.

It involves the mind in the sense you need to show something more than your offer.  One thing I find very common is a focus on features.  You have a method, you know it works and you want to tell the world about it.  However the world is not even remotely interested in your method.  The world will take interest when you offer something they actually want!  They need to see potential benefits.

And the whole needs to be embodied through spirit.  You must show the way and lead by example.  This is more than an academic exercise, you offer something life changing and that needs to be embodied in your practice.

The extra you need to show is your common cause.  A new client does not merely recieve your wisdom, they become a participant in your vision.  Your spirit points beyond you and the client to some agreed goal, something you can work on together.


So, your offer at some level is an offer of yourself.  Perhaps this is less true if your offer is a thing.  But if you seek sales, you need customers who buy into your enterprise.

Whilst sometimes, you seek complete commitment from the customer, usually there are limits.  But the point is you need coherence between all aspects of your offer and it is this congruence your customer buys.

They expect complete commitment from you, even though they may not commit to you to the same extent.   You offer a service and so must show you can deliver it.  You take the initiative, seek a good match and share your customer’s values.

The promise to the client is always they can do so much more with your help.

This is the fifth post in a short sequence about intentional business development.  It’s all a part of Market Together.  Sign up below so you don’t miss a post and visit my new website by following the link.

Click to share this post!
  • Chris
  • December 18, 2017
  • IBD

About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.

Leave a Reply 0 comments

Leave a Reply: