Coach VS Consultant, What’s The Difference Anyway? (Season 1, Episode 3)

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Getting clear about your role as a coach or consultant will help you show up for your clients more confidently. In this episode, ShawnQ breaks down the difference and cleans up the blurred lines between what a coach does and what a consultant does.



Hey ShawnQ here and in this episode, I want to show you the difference between a coach and a consultant. I say this all the time and I get this question quite frequently and I just, I want to make it so simple for you, and so easy for you to understand the difference. So you can identify as the right thing and communicate the right thing as well.

So when you think about the words, coach and consultant, those terms are thrown around the marketplace like crazy. I mean, I see them on Facebook groups, and I see them in social posts, and I see them in emails, and I see them being used the wrong way all the time, which creates a lot of confusion. It’s oftentimes the reason why so many people are afraid to put content out because they don’t know which role they’re functioning in.

And what’s really great is you can function in both, but getting very clear allows you to serve your clients 10 times better. So let’s start with the consultant. So what is a consultant?

Well, a consultant is somebody who gets hired by a company to come in, assess a problem, bring their experience into the process so that they can come up with a solution customized to them. They don’t do any of the fulfillment. They simply create plans. They consult. They say, this is from my experience, the best way to move forward.

Now, oftentimes consultants are attached to agencies. So for example, within our marketing agency, the first step is for me to be a consultant. Let me go in, let me assess the problem. Let me figure out what the plan and the road map is for you to succeed. Then let me present that to you. And then if you want to do it on your own, you can, or you can hire us to implement the road map moving forward.

So, at the bare minimum, a consultant is somebody who brings answers. They bring their experience. They look at a problem and they give an answer.

Now, on the other hand, a coach doesn’t bring answers. They believe the client in front of them already has the answers and it’s their job to pull out possibilities through the power of questions, and that’s one of the biggest distinctions is the consultant brings answers. A coach asks questions.

Now there’s power in a extraordinary question. I love it when I’m in front of a client and I ask an incredible question, oftentimes their eyes widen. They’re like, “oh my gosh, I have never considered that”, or “Nobody’s ever asked me that before.”

That question unlocks possibilities that were never considered and allows them to analyze, and assess themselves, the blind spots that they didn’t even realize existed. So a coach serves as someone who opens up perspective and a consultant serves as somebody who comes in and creates clarity.

So the question is, where does the clarity come from? Does the clarity come from you or does the clarity come from your client? If it comes from your client, your job is to coach them to that clarity. If the clarity comes from you, your job is to bring answers, to provide that clarity to the client.

So I want to ask you in the last conversation you had with a potential client or with your existing clients, were you the one being the expert? Were you the one showing up with the solution or were you creating a space for your client to be their own expert?

Neither is right. Neither is wrong. Different problems require different solutions and oftentimes I’ll function as both with the client. I’ll bring answers, sometimes they have mindset blocks that caused them not to be able to implement. So then I can then coach them to unlock possibilities. So you can function in both, but you want to make sure that you are functioning in the role that they pay you for.

That’s a big key. Go ahead and write that down. You want to make sure that you function in the role they pay you for. If they hire you as a consultant, then you are supposed to bring answers. If they hire you as a coach, don’t be the expert. Don’t feel the pressure of having to provide experience and expertise. Simply ask questions.

I hope this was helpful for you and as you recognize how you’re functioning, you’re able to serve even greater and create a message around what you do that deeply resonates with your clients. I’m ShawnQ, your high ticket sales coach. I’ll see you in the next episode.


There's power in a extraordinary question.

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I'm Shawn Q

The fun and inviting High-Ticket Sales Coach and creator of the “One Client Away” Challenge that believes in serving over selling. I’m a passionate Entrepreneur, Mentor, Keynote Speaker, Author, huge Star Wars fan and most importantly a loving husband to my wife Adeola.

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