How Can a Financial Advisor Make Sure That They Hire the Right Coach?

How to hire the right coach as a financial advisor?

For financial professionals hiring a professional coach can be a good move…or, your worst nightmare.  This is because of how much impact improving your performance, whether as an individual advisor or someone leading a large team, can have on your bottom line.

For example, what would it be worth, gross revenue and net income for you, if you doubled the value of your appointments per year? 

What if, after you led on this, all of your team did the same? Do the math right is exciting.

Coaching is one of the levers you can pull to go after goals like above as opposed to working harder.  At a certain point, whether you like it or not, the game switches from effort to leverage…sound like investing?

Let’s start with some rules about hiring and/or working with a coach:

First rule:  no coach is right for every client!

On my website ( I have a pricing page that embodies this belief of mine.  I explicitly state what type of client I would be disastrous for and explain why.

The truth is that all coaches aren’t right for all clients. 

You will find coaches that say that they can coach anyone because of their ‘system’ or their process.  This is a huge error.  While I have a system and process for coaching…it isn’t about me.  It’s about you.  After decades of work as a professional coach and trainer I have learned that my skill and talents are only beneficial if they help the client create performance improvement that is within their goals and values.  

This is why I, for example, focus on and specialize in coaching with independent #financialadvisors and #financialplanners that love #referrals.  Does that mean I don’t/won’t coach with other professionals?  No…it just means that I will be very methodical and careful before making any commitment to do so.  Remember, it is about YOU getting better…not me.

Second rule:  you must know what you are looking to be coached on!

This is so critical for your return on investment from the expenditure of hiring a professional coach.  If you haven’t been coached before this is a subject that has to be covered before you hire a coach.  You must know what outcomes you are looking for from the coaching engagement and you must be confident that whomever you hire is going to (a) understand that and (b) have a plan that you believe in to achieve that.

If you aren’t sure it is almost always better for you to hire a consultant that is an expert in your field to help you define, from your industry's standards, where you ARE right now vs. other professionals in your field.  This can help you get very specific about areas of your business that you want to focus on.

I require all new clients to go through a consulting process with me ($1500 for 4hrs) to help define this step clearly for myself and my client.  Whenever I get asked why I do this I almost always answer with a statement like this:  “Why should you commit to a monthly retainer with me to figure out if we like each other and are confident that the coaching process will work for you?

Third rule:  you must be intentionally coachable!

This is a little harder to define so please work with me here.  Coaches aren’t dictators and never should be intolerant of feedback from their clients.

At the same time, the coaching process only works for both the coach and the client if they are both committed to improvement via disciplined and focused work.  There is a universal formula for performance improvement in the strength training world and it is just as applicable when it comes to professional coaching for financial professionals.

Stress + Recovery = Adaptation

Your mind is a physical organ.  Just like with your legs in the barbell squat exercise, improving cognitive performance at work requires not only stress (increased intensity and/or volume) also requires recovery to make sure that we have a favorable adaptation.

The number one problem I have witnessed with clients over the years is that they always ignore me when it comes to the recovery component of performance improvement.  They want to alleviate the regret or guilt from not improving in the past in as little time as possible in the present.

This means that they start off very intense and inevitably burn out.  My focus in the first three months is to keep putting the brakes on if you can believe it. 

Your focus for your own coaching experience in your practice needs to have sustained and ‘recoverable’ performance growth as the number one objective.  

I am far more intent on helping clients develop practices and habits that they are going to find emotionally and rationally to be highly likely to succeed vs. shooting for ideal/optimal results.  In my experience, small changes over time result in extremely confident and happy clients.  The reverse almost always leads to a burnt out and frustrated client and a coach that is unemployed.

Was this helpful for you?  Are you considering hiring a coach for the first time, or are you frustrated with your current coaching experience.  Take a look through the ‘3 Rules’ and see if you can find some clarity and direction to move forward with.

Related: Why Should Financial Advisors Share Personal Posts on Social Media?