In a Mastermind group I was paired with a Psychiatrist who had been very successfully coaching female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies for over 20 years. We each had 15 minutes to find and coach the other through a problem. Dr. E. went first. The next 25 minutes was her telling me how successful she has been coaching Fortune 500 female CEOs, naming the companies, and telling me of their breakthroughs. I was intimidated by her accomplishments. With 5 minutes left of the 30 minutes, she asked me how she could attract male Fortune 500 CEOs to her coaching business. I was silent for 30 seconds (felt like 30 minutes) and she was silent too.
I then said, “for 25 minutes you have talked steadily about your FEMALE clients, your successes and theirs. As a male, I never once thought that you would want or even be open to coaching male clients. Your question came to me as a shock”.
My answer? Continue you to tell your success stories but omit all reference to gender. That way you are open to both male and female prospective clients to approach you to learn more about how you could enhance their leadership, productivity, and life.
Our 30 minutes was over and we never had time for her to coach me. I knew the answer offered was right on the mark.
A few months later I received a note from Dr. E.
“Dick, thank you for your astute observation. I have been very successful coaching female Fortune 500 “C suite” clients for over 20 years. Your brilliant comment when I asked you why you thought I couldn’t attract male “C suite” clients to my business was like flipping the switch to turn on the bright light.
I tried what you suggested and have increased my business revenue by 30% in 4 months with male clients, and actually an increase of female clients too.
Thank you. You are my “Coach of the Year!” -Dr. E.”