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Coaching or Consulting, is There Really a Difference?

Coaches, as I define them, are those who guide us through the process of personal discovery.  They typically use a question and answer technique.  The dictionary tells us “A person who instructs and trains athletes, competing teams, dramatic groups, etc.  To instruct a person in a subject or prepare a person for an examination, by private tutoring.”

Consultant, as I see them, are those who can provide methods and systems that can deliver proven results.  The dictionary definition is “A person who gives professional or technical advice, as a doctor, lawyer, engineer, editor, etc.”

At first review, both seem very similar.  Let’s further investigate.  Comparing the dictionary definitions, a coach deals with persons as does the consultant.  However, professional persons (doctors, lawyers, engineers, editors) are the people doing the consulting.  These are people who are trained to give specific answers to problems.  It appears that the coach trains the professionals (athletes, competing teams, and dramatic groups).

So how does this apply to you as a business professional?  The answer is in the question, “Are you looking to become more professional at what you already offer (coach) or do you need specific direction from a professional in their field of expertise (consultant)?”

Now understanding that there truly is a difference gives you more information as to what you need provided in your business.

A great example in evaluating the need for a coach or consultant is looking at two real estate professionals.  The first realtor we will call Joe.  Joe is selling homes at a level of 30 to 50 per year.  Averaging 35 homes sold per year over the last 4 years, he wants to double his sales average over the next 5 years to 70 homes per year.  Does Joe need to hire a coach or consultant?

For those of you who said coach go to the back of the room.  Consultant is the answer.  Here is the reason why.  Joe has already seen success as a realtor.  Selling 35 homes on average over the last 4 years demonstrates that.  Joe needs proven techniques that a consultant can provide.  Joe wants to be specific, targeting techniques that only a professional with the proper background can deliver.  Hit and miss will not do for Joe.

Tom on the other hand has worked with a sales trainer on how to sell real estate.  He sells one home, on average, every third month.  In stated goals, Tom indicates that he wants to sell one home per month.  Tom needs a coach to find out what is stopping him from selling more homes.

I have known business owners who have invested thousands of dollars on coaches and consultants not being clear on what outcomes they were looking for.  Because they do not evaluate their goals, their investment is wasted.

When interviewing a prospective coach or consultant get clear on the results you are looking for.  In every case, get a guarantee as to where you are going and what outcomes you expect.  You need to do your part, of course.  However, make certain that they will do theirs.  If you do you will clearly know who to hire, a coach or a consultant.

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with realtors who want to attract the right prospects and their affinity partners who want to generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His books, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, 101 Tips to Attract Prospects, 101 Tips to Generate Referrals and Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, Giving Your Clients What They WANT, So You Get What You WANT are currently availableUnlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, Using Your Time, Energy, and Creativity to Create Value, will be available in 2006.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started Integrity.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is an Accomplished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

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