I was browsing one of my favorite linkedin coaching groups the other day, and I found it highly interesting to see that many potential-clients and soon-to-be-coaches were asking all sorts of insightful and earnest questions, and even though their questions were clear as day - just about every coach who gave an answer, refused to answer the question directly. On one particular thread, a in a small country where coaching is scarce, a person asked how they might help themselves define the industry of life coaching in their own native lands. The person clearly stated that there were no accredited colleges, schools or teachers in their area, nor was their any need for a regulating agency. This person also had plenty of years of amateur experience, and really didn't have a big need for anything formal. What this person most directly wanted to know, was how they could get started as a life coach WITHOUT getting a formal education. Basically, this person wanted to know how to bootstrap it.
Would you believe it, but just about all the "coaches" who replied to this thread, made sure they all left the querrent with plenty of links to accredited online colleges that didn't not work with people in the querrents native country. Those that didn't commit the obvious fallacy of not reading the whole question, each left their email or other contact info, clearly ceasing the opportunity to hopefully gain an international client in need of setting herself up.
Now, maybe I really am that different, or maybe I'm just weird, but in my reality, when a person asks a question in a social group, the best way you can attract them is to ANSWER THEIR QUESTION. Not only does it show that you fully listened to and understood their query, but it has the added bonus of not being overly salesy.
And I know that everyone is hurting for more clients, that is evident. However, one of the best skills I ever acquired in my life, both as a coach and just a good person, is the ability to LISTEN ACTIVELY. That means that I listen to what questions are placed before me and I take the time to fully consider the questioners position before coming up with all sorts of replies in my mind.
Active listening is a skill that every client should examine their coaches for intensely. Especially since it's the coaches job to make sure they are in tune with you, and they won't be able to do that if they can't do something as simple as answer your question without trying to sell you more services.
A Coaches knowledge, experience and personality is all that's needed to win over any potential clients. Nuff Said.