In this interview (see the video below) with bestselling author of The Platinum Rule, Tony Alessandra, we discuss personality styles and using psychographic assessments in business coaching. I met Tony at a recent ICF Conference.
Watch this interview if:
- You are a business coach who would like to attract more business coaching clients…
- You’d like to create so much value in so little time with your current business clients that they’ll follow you anywhere…
- You want to more deeply understand your coaching clients and business teams that you’re working with so you can generate greater rapport and results…
The solution to all those goals is psychographic profiling tools and assessments. In this interview with world-renowned bestselling author Tony Alessandra, he’s going to share his secrets to using the same tools that I do to produce these kinds of results.
Tony Alessandra will also teach you:
- 3:43 Why a Coach Should Use a Variety of Assessments in Their Practice
- 4:22 What Types of Assessments Tony Uses And Why
- 5:30 About Emotional Intelligence Assessments
- 5:46 How to Use Assessments to Help Your Business Coaching Clients in Their Hiring Process
- 6:30 Why Coaches Don’t Use Assessments And How to Overcome Your Own Knowledge Limitations When it Comes to Assessments
- 9:29 What Assessment to Start With And The First Steps to Take
- 11:09 How You Can Use Your Assessments to Brand Yourself and Your Coaching Business
- 16:03 Tony’s Platinum Rule Philosophy That He Uses in His Business
If you want to skip forward to any of these topics, you can click on the (above) time codes to skip to that part of the video.
Before we start, as I mentioned, I connected with Tony at the recent ICF Conference.
What is the ICF (International Coach Federation)?
ICF, otherwise known as the International Coach Federation, is the world-recognized standard bearer and governing body for the personal and professional coaching world.
They provide internationally-accepted standards for coach credential levels as well as accreditation for coach training organizations, such as ours. Master Coach University is approved to provide training that fulfills ICF’s requirements for coach credentialing.
ICF holds international conferences annually to bring the coaching world together to collaborate with and learn from each other, and this is where I had a chance to interview Tony.
The full transcript of the interview is below…
Jeffrey Sooey: I’m here at ICF Converge Conference with Tony Alessandra, and Tony and I are going to share a little bit about using assessment tools as a coach (and in coaching).
So what’s your perspective when it comes to how a coach would use assessments in their practice? What are the different things that you’ve seen have added the most value, or made the biggest difference for a coach in their business?
02:58 Tony Alessandra: Right. The key is… why would a coach even use an assessment?
Jeffrey Sooey: Yeah.
Tony Alessandra: Why would a doctor, for instance, use an MRI? I mean, would you allow a doctor (if something was wrong with you) to operate on you without doing an MRI or something like that?
Jeffrey Sooey: No way.
03:15 Tony Alessandra: So what assessments are, at least in my opinion, are an “MRI of the mind”.
Assessments allow the coach to get a better picture about what motivates their client… so that if they’re trying to move a client from Point A to Point B, they need to know what might work better with Client A, B, or C.
However, you don’t know that until you know more about the client.
Why a Coach Should Use a Variety of Assessments in Their Practice
3:43 We have a variety of assessments, not just one… because one assessment limits you in terms of what you are able to do.
So, we have the DiSC assessment, which is a classic behavioral assessment. It measures four basic patterns (or combinations of the patterns). There are a lot of combinations, and that measures how people do what they do.
These two assessments together (DISC & Motivators) are incredibly powerful, covering why people behave the way they do, and how people behave the way they do.”Tony Alessandra
The Motivators Assessment measures seven basic motivations in people like:
- Economic motivation
- Theoretical motivation
- Altruistic motivation
These motivations explain why people do what they do.
What Types of Assessments Tony Uses And Why
4:22 These two assessments together (DISC & Motivators) are incredibly powerful, covering why people behave the way they do, and how people behave the way they do.
Hartman Value Profile:
04:29 We also have a Hartman Value Profile, which we call the HVP. The HVP measures a person’s judgment ability, how they go about making decisions… their thinking style.
We have two other core assessments that measure different things.
Learning Styles Assessment:
We have the Learning Styles Assessment, which measures how people best learn material. This is especially useful if a coach is imparting new information to a client.
What’s the best way?
Most people when they think of learning style, they think of what they call the VAC model (Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic).
05:11 But our learning styles get into three other measures, not just those… whether somebody takes a “broad view”, or “focused view”, and so on.
These are ways of getting to know the client better, so that you can achieve whatever goal.
Emotional Intelligence Assessment
5:30 The last one is the Emotional Intelligence Assessment, which is a really big issue, and has been for several years.
So, those are our five core assessments:
We have a lot of other assessments.
How to Use Assessments to Help Your Business Coaching Clients in Their Hiring Process
5:46 Let’s say you’re working with a client, and the client is in a hiring mode.
05:52 We have hiring assessments. We have some for entry-level people that are less expensive, and some for higher level people (if you’re going to hire a salesperson or an executive, you want a different kind of assessment that measures at a higher level).
We have a Sales IQ, which is actually a test.
06:15 In the Sales IQ, we have a database of 100+ sales scenarios, and each sales scenario has four possible ways to deal with that situation. All four could be correct.
Why Coaches Don’t Use Assessments – How to Overcome Your Own Knowledge Limitations When it Comes to Assessments
06:30 Jeffrey Sooey: Right.
For a new coach who has either dabbled in assessments before, or someone who hasn’t touched them yet (and they’re interested), but maybe they’ve got some reservations about it…
…For instance, one of my reservations was… I don’t want anything between me and my client.
I want to make sure that I’m not going to be overly clinical, just read some assessment, and tell them some impersonal results.
What is the first step that you would suggest a new coach (who is considering diving into this as a way to add more value) should do first?
07:09 Tony Alessandra: First, let me say that on assessment platform, we probably have 1,500 coaches all over the world.
In talking to the coaches, one of the reasons they don’t want to use assessments (or a particular assessment) is that they don’t want to give an assessment to somebody, and then have their coaching client asking questions that they don’t know how to answer. It makes them look stupid.
So we created certifications.
I really think to get a coach comfortable, I would start them off with the most widely used assessment in the world, which is DiSC.”TONY ALESSANDRA
In any of our DiSC, Motivators, or Hartman assessments, we can do an assessment certification.
We certify the coach. We give them a badge that they can use in their signature file (their email signature, etc.) that says, “I’ve been certified.”
Once the coach has been certified, they’ll know how to debrief an assessment report and to answer all their client’s questions. We give them (powerpoint) slides if they want to do a one-hour presentation, or a three-hour or full-day program.
With any of the assessments, we give them a leader’s guide that tells them how to do all that.
Jeffrey Sooey: Oh, beautiful.
08:09 Tony Alessandra: We give them support materials to help them dig even deeper into any one of the assessments, and all of those additional materials: the slides, the leader’s guide, et cetera… are all free.
We only charge for the assessments.
In fact, to open an account with us, there’s basically no charge.
You only have to buy ten assessments, but we do have a plan, and I’ll tell this to you (I really don’t tell this to a lot of people.).
Jeffrey Sooey: Oh, great.
08:38 Tony Alessandra: For your coaches, we can do an “unlimited”.
The most expensive “unlimited” we have is $495 a month, but the coach has access to:
- HVP (Hartman Value Profile)
- Learning Styles
- Emotional Intelligence
- Sales IQ
- Combined Reports
- Team Reports
- Collaboration Reports (which measures two people together on the DiSC assessment)
With the “unlimited” plan, all these reports are free.
Jeffrey Sooey: Oh, wow, okay.
09:07 Tony Alessandra: They’re all free.
We also have the DiSC Fitness System, where you can take a candidate for a specific job and a “job benchmark” (that you can create in our system automatically) and it compares the candidate to the benchmark… giving you a percentage match for that job candidate. That’s great if you’re doing any kind of selection or hiring work with clients.
What Assessment to Start With And The First Steps to Take
9:29 I really think to get a coach comfortable, I would start them off with the most widely used assessment in the world, which is DiSC.
Go through certification, get comfortable with it, and then start using DISC. Then add the Motivators Assessment right after that.
Once coaches start using this, it’s just… I won’t say “life changing”… but it’s “practice changing”.Tony Alessandra
The reason is, that the DiSC measures how you do what you do, and the Motivators measure why you do what you do.
10:13 Once coaches start using this, it’s just…
I won’t say “life changing”…
…but it’s “practice changing”.
Now, I said that the big whole enchilada, so to speak, is $495, we can go all the way down to $295 if all they want to use is DiSC… unlimited.
10:33 So they can go into a client company and run assessments for everybody in the company.
I’ll tell you what some of our coaches do. Some of our coaches typically average between 10 and 20 clients at a time, so they get the $495 package and they go to two of their business coaching clients and say…
“I’ll give you unlimited assessments for $250 a month,” and they get two paying clients, which now pays for 100% of their assessment costs…
…and then all of the other clients they get are profit.
How You Can Use Your Assessments to Brand Yourself and Your Coaching Business
11:09 Then they can use their assessment license for prospecting.
For instance, let’s say they want to do a one-hour free program to the business community…
so they say…
“If you come to this program, you will get a free DiSC assessment, and I’ll explain in the program (for free), what it means, and how to use it within your company.”
So, in that way, these assessments could be a prospecting tool.
You wouldn’t send somebody out to do construction without the proper tools. The same thing goes for the coach… they need the proper tools.”Tony Alessandra
So there’s a lot of things that can be done…
But, I think that any coach (especially a new coach) needs to have the proper tools.
You wouldn’t send somebody out to do construction without the proper tools. The same thing goes for the coach… they need the proper tools.
It’s not just what you teach them (which is sort of the base), although that’s very important.
But let’s build upon that a little…
They need some of these assessment tools to help them in various situations.
12:01 Jeffrey Sooey: When I think about using DiSC and Motivators alone with a business prospect…
Once they understand that you can read those assessments for them, and then they understand the applications of them, they’ll follow you anywhere.
Most coaches have a big problem…
- Who knows what they’re good at?
- Who knows what a coach really knows or doesn’t know?
Nobody has a clue how to size up whether or not you’re worth your coaching fee!
I mean, unless you have some background that proves that you’re so successful at whatever you’re providing to your client.
(And, a lot of coaches just don’t have that iconic ‘success story’ to sell themselves yet.)
But, when you leverage the validity and usefulness of these assessments, you don’t have to sell anymore… You don’t have to convince anyone to believe in what you’re advising.
Once they understand that you can read those assessments for them, and then they understand the applications of them, they’ll follow you anywhere.”Jeffrey T. Sooey
And, if you’re not ‘selling’ your services anymore…
…and you’re just making ‘recommendations’ using the validity, believability, or credibility that these assessments lend you as a coach…
…then clients will follow you anywhere.
My clients will follow me wherever my recommendation leads.
Of course, I want to be ethical and accurate as I possibly can about those recommendations!
But, if I have those tools at my disposal, I’m going to be accurate more often. So if I wanted to start a practice, that’s exactly where I would begin.
12:59 Tony Alessandra: Right.
13:00 Jeffrey Sooey: Anything else that you think coaches should know if they’re getting started… Anything else that you would share?
13:06 Tony Alessandra: When I started this company, there were three things that I wanted to focus on:
So the products that we have are incredible in terms of their descriptive and prescriptive capabilities. They describe the individual and give some suggestions on how to use the concepts with other people. We have a whole bunch of products, as I just mentioned.
Our pricing is incredible.
The most we charge for a core assessment, if you’re only buying five or ten at a time, it’s $26 each.
Jeffrey Sooey: Wow.
13:45 Tony Alessandra: But once you hit a certain quantity (a cumulative quantity) the price goes down to $14 each, or you can do unlimited DiSC for $295 all the way up to pretty much “all you can eat” of most of our assessments for $495.
14:07 Now, here’s the key…
The platform that we have (the dashboard that the coach uses) is incredible in its depth and breadth of capabilities.
- It’s totally automated.
- It’s ecommerce enabled.
- It’s white labeled for the coach (with the coach’s logo or whatever goes on the cover of the reports… all their contact information on the footers of the reports… You will not see anything of Assessments 24×7.)
14:39 Jeffrey Sooey: So the coach is branding themselves as they’re giving these assessments, and adding value to their prospective clients?
14:43 Tony Alessandra: Exactly.
14:46 Jeffrey Sooey: Wow.
14:47 Tony Alessandra: This is all the coach.
14:48 Jeffrey Sooey: That’s beautiful.
14:48 Tony Alessandra: Coaches can even customize some of the actual reports themselves.
A coach could look at the DiSC report and say, “You know what, this section of the DiSC report, I really don’t want to cover. We’ll pull it out.”
Or a coach says, “I’m really confident in the DiSC assessment” (or whatever, I am just using DiSC as an example) “and I want to add these static pages into the results which will differentiate my DiSC from the DiSC results that other competing coaches might be using.”
15:23 Jeffrey Sooey: Okay.
15:24 Tony Alessandra: But our platform is 24/7. Of course, with Assessments 24×7, you can set it up so that clients can order assessments without having to call the coach.
It’s all automated in the system. If the coach has a merchant credit card account and a gateway like Authorize.net, all the money goes into their account, we just bill them once a month on what’s been used, not what’s been bought.
So we’ve set this up so the 3Ps (the product, the price, and the platform) are absolutely unsurpassed.
Tony’s Platinum Rule Philosophy That He Uses in His Business
16:03 Because my background is marketing, and sales, and service, I’ve sort of imbued that into my staff, and my staff jumps through hoops.
My staff does not have to ask me, “Tony, can we do this?”. My staff only asks me when they have to say no to somebody. I tell my people, “You do whatever it takes to make the customer happy, even if we lose money.”
16:32 I’m looking for long-term relationships. I’m not looking to sell assessments or I’m not looking to be just an assessment company. I want to be a partner to your coaches.
16:41 Jeffrey Sooey: Wow, that’s such a beautiful philosophy to have, and, as coaches, we want to reflect that philosophy in what we do as well… but we also love to have it from a provider!
I know there are a lot of providers out there that do similar things that don’t have that mentality, so I can’t acknowledge enough how refreshing it is to see that.
It’s really been helpful, and I really appreciate your time clarifying how to get started with this and what the value is.
If you’re a coach, you really have to be using some kind of tools, some kind of assessment in your practice.
19:03 Jeffrey Sooey: So thank you again so much for your time in sharing this with our coaches and I appreciate everything you’ve done for the industry as well.
19:12 Tony Alessandra: It’s my pleasure. Thank you, everybody.
(…End of interview)
I hope that you took some great value out of my interview with Tony Alessandra, best selling author of The Platinum Rule, and founder of Assessments 24×7.
Do you currently use assessments in your coaching practice? Why or why not?
What kind of results do assessments help you to produce with your clients, or what do you envision could be possible with your clients (if you don’t yet use assessments)?
I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure that you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions.
If you want to check out Tony’s books, or website, or would like to discuss using their assessments, see the links to all the resources that we discussed below (along with Amazon listings of The Platinum Rule and all his other books):
It’ll only take ten minutes online to fill out the assessments and you will get over 50 pages of detailed graphs and results via email.
Again, here’s the link to take your FREE DISC & Motivators assessment:
You’ll not only learn a lot about yourself, but how you can use these tools to grow your practice, and change your client’s lives and businesses as well… and you can get access to everything… all for free.
Jeffrey T. Sooey
Dean, Master Coach University
Founder, Coaches Training Blog community