How To Determine If A Client Is Right For You
It doesn’t occur to many life coaches to be selective when they are accepting clients - especially if they are just starting out and may not have any clients at all this however is a mistake. It’s not a good idea to accept just any client that comes knocking and most clients shouldn’t be accepted without at least a trial phone session to determine if the coaching will be effective or helpful for them.
It’s important for a life coach to have an accurate system for client evaluation set up in advance so that they can determine the kinds of clients that not only work best for them but also benefit from their coaching the very most. This allows a coach to serve the people whose needs he can best fill while referring others to other coaches that they may be better suited for. Doing so can save everyone a lot of wasted time and money.
It's Okay to Say No!
Don’t be concerned about saying no to clients and losing money. If that is a source of worry for you then do more in the way of improving your coaching abilities and making sure that you are providing a genuine service with a lot of value you in it and that you’re reaching people that you can help. If you’re accomplishing that then you should have plenty of clients to pick from. Plus if you make a habit of staying in contact with other coaches in your area and evaluating their services you can recommend them to clients that you feel aren’t the best fit for your services.
This applies to the same theory of not trying to please everyone. Making your coaching super general so that it can fit the needs of everyone will only end up disappointing people and distracting you from appealing to clients that have specific needs. Be specific in your coaching and you’ll be much better off.
Choosing Your Client: Behavior
Pay attention to how your clients behave when you’re first talking to them on the phone or in messages they leave or emails they send.Pay attention to the following questions:
- Do they sound open, interested, and curious about your service?
- Have they already identified a way you might be able to help them?
- Have they looked at others, are they familiar with your competitors, and do they seem to have an idea of what they want when it comes to coaching?
These are all important things to take note of because they reflect the kind of experience you’re likely to have with that client. If a client has done some research, checked out some of your competition and is clear about what they want out of your coaching with them - they’ll be much more likely to be satisfied and happy with their results in the long run than someone who just stumbled onto your page, isn’t sure about life coaching, and doesn’t know what they’re looking for in the first place.
Method-Based Client Choosing
If you can find a method that allows you to evaluate your client as well you’ll be much better off. You don’t want to get into relationships with clients that are excessively needy, high maintenance, complainers, or people that will string you along without payment. By being very clear about the types of clients that you want you’ll be able to find the best sort of people to work with and those are the clients who need exactly what your coaching will provide them, will stick around for a long time, and who will recommend you to others. These are the types of clients that you can form really good, long lasting, working relationships with that will be beneficial to both of you.
If you waste your time getting involved with a client that isn’t going to be a good fit you just end up discouraged, disappointed, and a lot of the time - out of the money and resources you used to secure that potential client in the first place. This is a frustrating situation for everyone and does little good for either the client or the coach.
You and Your Client's Personality
It’s also important to make sure that your personality matches well with any clients you take on and that the client believes in your coaching. If you take on clients that aren’t sure about your service and don’t buy into it you’ll have a much more difficult time trying to coach them then you would if they were on board from the beginning. That’s not to say that you won’t have to work to earn their business and respect, but that if they are the type of person who can’t see the value you in any product or service, constantly feels like they’re being cheated, and is hesitant to pay the bill for anything, you’re wasting your own time by agreeing to work with them.
It doesn’t do any good to spend time trying to convince clients that your service is valuable and worth spending money on. Instead work on selling to the people that already recognize their need for what you are offering. Those are the people that will be more open and interested in the processes of your coaching and won’t constantly be looking for ways to be cheap or devalue your service.
Life Coaching and Goals
Clients with measurable goals or results are much easier to work with as well. A client that can say before they started working with you they were making X amount of dollars a year and now (since having worked with you) they are making Y amount (hopefully a greater amount) is going to be a lot happier than a client that isn’t sure about the results they want.
Measurable results are much easier to get excited over and if a client works with you for a while without achieving any tangible goals they may have a hard time seeing why they were paying you which makes them less likely to come back. Confront the problem head on - require your clients to have a specified number of goals they want to achieve that are specific and measurable before you begin your paid coaching sessions.
Choosing clients that will work best for you is a great way to improve your coaching business and definitely not one to be looked over. Get in the habit of doing this type of screening with all your clients and you’ll be much better off.