MM #60 7 Steps to the Ideal Exploratory Session – Part II

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2. FEATURE: 7 Steps to the Ideal Exploratory Session – Part II

Last issue we gave the first four steps to the ideal exploratory session:

1) Set the context of the session
2) Locate their ‘Hot Button’
3) How a coach will make the difference
4) Commitment

Let’s continue our outline of the Ideal Exploratory Session, beginning with….

5) Objections

Find out their objections, fears, doubts – if any – to working with you. Allow them the time for this and really hear where they are coming from.

  • #1 objection: parting with the cash (see below for a counter).
  • #2 objection: not enough time to devote to this (so how important is this change really? Keep looking till you find one WORTH spending time on).
  • #3 objection: don’t think the change is really possible or that they really deserve it (they won’t say this though)
  • #4 objection: I can do it on my own; don’t need a coach (so why don’t you have this goal achieved already? What’s getting in the way?)
  • Some questions for bringing out objections: “How is all this feeling to you?” If you have a feeling they have an objection: “I sense a little hesitancy – is that right?”
  • If they’re uncertain about getting results, or concerned about the mon’ey, consider offering a month coaching trial, with the understanding that if results are happening, it will extend to three or six months.
  • If mon’ey is the issue, have them look at what they have spent similar dollars on in the past five years. Often the reason they are where they are, are that their priorities are a bit off. i.e. they will invest in a holiday but not in their relationship. They will invest in a car, but not in a new, fulfilling career.
  • One option if they ask ‘to think about it’, is to request that they give an answer now just so things can move forward and there can be some kind of action. That if they are leaning towards ‘no’ then they say ‘no’. If leaning towards ‘yes’, then they do a trial month. They can always contact you in a couple of weeks or a few months if they say ‘no’ now and they change their mind. (You’ll probably get more people saying ‘yes’ than if you leave them to think about it and breed doubt).

6) The Invitation

  • You don’t ask, you don’t get.
  • Sometimes all it takes for someone to say yes (and this applies to all areas of life) is to be invited.
  • Once you have found their hot button and inspired them, they are serious and committed to making a change, they realise working with a coach will make a difference, and any objections have been dealt with – what else is there to do but set them up as a client!
    At this stage I might ask something like: “How does it all feel?” and “Do you have any really pressing questions at this stage, or should I tell you how I set up new clients, and you can tell me if you like the sound of that?” (My BEST question. Works VERY well. Most say “Oh that’s fine – let me hear how you set up new clients”. But if you ask “Do you have any questions,” they’ll almost always come up with some as they feel they should). I give them a preview of ‘set up’ (see the next step) and then ask ‘How does that sound?’
    OK – so it’s not a direct invitation. If they say it sounds good, I often move straight to setting a coaching time, and then we’re in.
  • If necessary, I would ask: “Would you like to set up a coaching structure for your goals?” or “Would you like to give it a whirl?” or “Should we get moving on this?” But often the implied version works very well.

7) Setting Up Your Client!

  • Once a person has said yes, they can feel very uncertain over the next few minutes and days – unless YOU are certain.
  • Set up your next session, so they can already feel they are in a structure.
  • Let them know you will send an email or follow-up paperwork with guidelines, fees, homework, and any particulars.
  • Arrange their homework for the next 7 days.
  • Ensure they know the coaching time and schedule.
  • Go through one or two really important policies you may have. (An extensive list is included in The CoachStart Manual)
  • Acknowledge them for the courage they are showing in taking action.
  • I like to ask at the end how they are feeling about suddenly having a coach in their life. Always a great way to wrap up the call.
  • I tell them they’ll get the Welcome Pack within 24 hours, and usually send it within six.

Action: Schedule at Least 10 Exploratory Sessions

1. Schedule at least 10 Exploratory Sessions for the next two weeks- call, email, or see them in person and get the sessions set up
2. Role play with a friend to practice dealing with objections
3. Let us know at the blog how your exploratory sessions went

* * *
Hungry for more?

You can find a step by step outline of the exact trial session I used to build my successful global practice in The CoachStart Manual™.


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