Ingrid Thompson shares practical tips to help you be a better business coach and keep your clients coming back for more!
Do you ever wonder how to maintain your coaching clients?
For many business coaches it can be a bit of a struggle.
Every now and then it’s good to think about what it is you do that’s working and what’s not working and make any adjustments to your coaching practice and style. After almost 20 years of coaching business owners here are seven tips that I have found work for me and will help make sure that clients come to you and stay.
When I first started coaching business owners, I truly wondered what I could offer to help them in business. I came from a large corporate background and wasn’t quite sure how ‘big business’ practices would work for small business.
Guess what? All the things I’d learned and mastered in the corporate world applied and worked even better in the small business world! I was amazed! Clients came to me for help with all manner of issues and we worked through step by step and the businesses grew and thrived.
Clients come for a while and then they take a break and always come back. I’ve asked my clients “What is it I do that keeps you coming back?” and here are the seven most common reasons clients keep coming back.
1. It’s coaching not coffee!
What clients tell me is that they appreciate a bit of ‘small talk’ and ‘getting to know you’ and at the same time totally value that the session is about them and their business.
It is really easy to fall into the habit to spend time on chatting and run out of time to truly delve into what the client needs in this session.
Keep that boundary of coach and client.
2. Keep track of progress
My clients told me they love to feel like they are making progress. They appreciate that I’m helping track that with them.
It’s really easy for the coaching session to create lots of ‘Actions’ and a list of ‘To Do’ and while this helps make progress, it can mask that overall feeling of progress for your client.
Help your clients keep track of their overall progress, deliberately draw attention to their achievements and success.
3. Be prepared and on time
Your client might show up late or may not be as prepared as they could be. It’s their session. As the coach it is our role to be the role models.
If a client and coach have been working together over a period of time, it can be tempting to show up and ‘wing it’ on the day.
It’s super respectful to your client to be prepared for their session and to be there on the call or in the Zoom room minutes before the start time. That says “I’m ready and I care”.
4. Text or email to confirm
This may feel like Coaching Bookings 101. In a world of extreme automation, it can be easy to miss the mark with this aspect.
All my clients have their own Zoom link and it is in their calendar invite as well as their confirmation email.
Clients are busy running their business and finding that Zoom link, or Skype login is probably not top of mind as they come to the coaching session.
Make it easy for them to access their session – send an extra text or specific email with ‘Your Zoom link’ in the subject line 5-10 minutes before start time.
5. Be yourself and have a unique offer
Clients are looking for that unique perspective that you can bring to their business. What exactly is your area of expertise and how does that help your clients? And just as important – what is it you do not offer?
Authenticity, genuine interest and understanding go a long way towards building the relationship between coach and client and keep your clients coming back to you.
Bring your unique self to your coaching, clients appreciate it.
6. Provide total focus in every session
The truth is that in a week or over a month, you may be the only person this client speaks to about their business issues.
Being in business can be very lonely for a small business owner. When a client hires you it could be that client’s only opportunity to talk about business matters.
Be laser focused to the coaching session.
7. Be a security vault!
Whatever the client tells you is for your information only. Unless you have permission to share their case study, the information in a coaching session is between the coach and the client.
Today it can be tempting to want to share client case studies on social or with other clients.
It’s super important to be exemplary in maintaining client confidentiality.
There you go. Seven practical tips to help you be a better business coach and keep your clients coming back for more!