When To Toss That Signature System Out the Window

I am a huge fan of signature system – all my coaching clients benefit tremendously through the process of putting theirs together. It helps them clarify their niche, claim their expertise, and increase their confidence as a coach. It also helps them boost their expert status and confidently raise their fees.

But yesterday, during a coaching session, I practically told my client to toss her signature system out the window.

Here is the scoop:

P. has just designed her signature system and was in the process of creating her high-end program. She was trying to determine how long her program needs to be. As the conversation went, she raised a very fair question – “what if I can’t deliver all 8 steps of my system to a client within the program’s timeframe because certain step takes longer than I planned?”

My answer was – you don’t have to deliver all the steps in one program package! Your clients pay you to lose weight, not for the 8 steps.

The main purpose of your signature system, in my opinion, is to communicate and market your work. It allows your potential clients to wrap their heads around what you do (and see the value) and helps you boost your expert status so you can charge a premium with confidence.

After you sold your private program and start working with a client, use your system as a structure BUT don’t push your agenda to your client. Your top priority is to help you client take the most impactful actions to achieve her goals.

If someone wants to be spoon-fed information until she pukes,
she can go to (THE) google.

A few months back, I was taking a client through my signature system and she came into a session telling me that she had an opportunity to pitch a 90-day challenge to the mayor’s office! What were we to do? Of course we focused on how she could get the gig! What was going to benefit her most and get her business – pushing through the next step in the signature system or getting the gig? Of course, get the gig! So the signature system went out the window for a couple of sessions until we got the pitch sorted.

Instead of pushing your agenda and rushing clients through a “system”, look at the big picture. Why are you a coach? You are here to help clients make changes, take actions and get results. RESULTS is the operative word.

It’s not about what you do, it is about what results you help your clients achieve. If something is beneficial for a client, yet lies outside your “system”, would you do it? Of course!!

Your clients pay you for results, not a pile of handouts.

It is out of integrity to push a client through your process without regard to her best interest- just because you spent hours writing it up.

I like to think about coaching as half-art, half-science. Probably 70/30, more art.

As a powerful coach, you are creating an experience for your clients. You are not a technician (or robo-coach) who sticks to a standard process without questioning if the steps are appropriate for the circumstances.

Of course, there are crazy clients who expect you to detour to meet her every need AND plough through every step in your system. No worries, because you can pre-frame your program and set expectations.

First, understand your signature system is NOT your signature program. Your signature system is the process your take people through to achieve results – it doesn’t have a time frame around it. On the other hand, your signature program is kind of like a “scope of work” and involves a time frame and amount of access to you.

You want to make clear that even though your program is structured around your signature system, how much of the system any individual client will be taken through is dependent upon her progress (which means she has to put in the work) and her needs. One client may spend more sessions working through one step if that’s where she needs the most support, and one client may skip one step altogether if it’s not relevant to achieving her goals.

Your signature program does not make the promise to take a client through the signature system in its entirety if it’s not for the best interest of that client. Even if the client can use every single step in the signature system, she may or may not be able to complete it within the timeframe of one “round” of the program, because every person integrate and implement action steps at different pace.

Ultimately, your job, as a coach, is to help your clients get the most out of your signature system and achieve their goals.

It is not about the signature system that you spent hours crafting. (Ego, suck it up!)

That said, losing the ego is ultimately good for your big picture and your business. If I assume correctly, you are coaching because this is your calling. Fulfillment in doing this work comes from clients getting RESULTS. Plus, what happens when clients get results? They are happy, they re-up with you, they tell their friends and their friends sign up too! Good for the soul, good for the pocket book.


Ready to take your biz to the soul-fulfilling level? Let’s chat  over a complimentary My Biz My Way Breakthrough Session and we will do some soul-storming for you.

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