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3 Questions to Help Connect Your Values With Your Sales & Marketing

By Toku

Most people get into coaching because of some bigger purpose or mission for their lives. Usually, they come from jobs they don’t feel very passionate about, inspired to make a change by the possibility of helping people. 

What’s interesting is that once people get into the minutiae of coaching—the business, marketing, or selling—they feel that in order to be successful, they have to set aside the measure of meaning and fulfillment. But I think the opposite is true: as you get into sales, marketing, and business, it’s more important to hold close to your values and why you are doing it. 

Often, when I ask coaches why they want to get more clients, the answer is based more on the practical aspects of the business—i.e. they feel the need to make more money—rather than on the why of their coaching. 

Now, the practical aspects of business are important, but without the connection to your values, it will feel empty and dissatisfying. If you can tie what you are creating to your sense of meaning and fulfillment, then you will automatically be more successful because you’re better aligned with your business and vision. 

Here are the three questions that will help you do that:

1. Why are you here? 

A lot of the great spiritual literature talks about the idea that in our life, we have a purpose, a meaning, a path, a calling—there is a gift we are here to give. So what is the gift you are here to give? It might change over time, but there is no doubt a gift you already demonstrate in your coaching. 

For example, I’m very direct and tell people what they need to hear—part of my gift is that I am a truth-teller. When I think about raising my rates, part of why I do that is that I want to be honest about the kind of commitment it will take to change people’s lives. It’s in alignment with my gift of telling the truth. This is how I connect my purpose to what I charge and what I ask for. 

So the question is, what are you here to give? What are your gifts? Come up with a list by first answering these questions yourself and then asking others to answer them about you. 

2. Why are you coaching?

Once you understand your unique gifts, it’s important to consider how this profession helps you give them or enables you to have a certain impact on the world. Being clear about your potential impact helps you create the business you want to build and attract the clients you want to work with. 

For example, part of my work is to help people awaken to the preciousness of life. I can do this in many different ways—by living as a zen monk, and by teaching—but there is something potent about the coaching conversation. 

After inquiring into my own “why”, I discovered that coaching allowed me to help people awaken to the preciousness of life in a fiercely intimate way. I also realized that I loved doing it, and I’m good at it. These three realizations are what made—and continue to make—coaching the perfect vehicle for my purpose right now. 

So if you choose to coach, you should be able to answer why. Most of the time we have an intuition, and that can certainly be helpful, but it’s also important to come up with concrete answers.

3. Why are you talking to this person? 

As you start enrolling people in your practice, it’s important to understand why you are talking to those specific people. Talking to people just because you need to make money is not a powerful reason. I know that my gift to the world is not to simply make money, so I can’t talk to people in that context. 

Move away from the money conversation and instead start to look at your own unique context. There is an existing, underlying context behind why you are talking to anyone—you just need to figure out what it is.

For example, I work with executives and leaders because:

  1. I have a history in leadership positions and therefore have empathy and appreciation for their challenges because I have been there myself
  2. They run teams and therefore have a huge impact. I want to maximize my potential for impact as much as possible 
  3. 3) I’ve had many great and terrible bosses in my life. If I can help create good leaders, I can help create better workplaces, which will help create better worlds

With each person you speak with, it’s also good to answer the question specifically — what is it about this person that compels me, or that’s inspiring? What is it that I can bring to this conversation that will create something different for them? 

You don’t need to answer these questions in some ultimate guru sort of way, you just need to have an idea! It’s also ok if this idea changes over time or doesn’t feel perfect. The point isn’t to answer life’s deepest questions at this moment, it’s to create a context and container for your own work as you work to create one for theirs. 

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