MM #80: Tips and Tricks for Signing Up Clients

1. Announcements/Offers

What People are Saying About ’10 Super Coaches’

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“I’ve been doing the ‘invitation to an exploratory session’ or simply reconnecting with past clients, and it is definitely working for me. At first, I felt I was moving outside my comfort zone….but amazingly, things are really happening! I’ve had some great responses, I have doubled the size of my prospect list, and have arranged for three exploratory meetings already. This simple exercise has re-energised me. Fantastic – thank you!”
Christine Musson, United Kingdom

“Hearing the ideas of others who already have successful coaching businesses was very helpful. Some of my own ideas were reinforced, and I learned over and over what actually works. Your program has helped me tremendously to get myself moving toward my goal. Thank you David for sharing all your expertise!”
Eloise Becker, USA


2. FEATURE: Tips and Techniques for Signing Up Clients

Gaining confidence as a new coach is largely a matter of coaching as many people as you can.

After 50 sessions, regardless whether or not you sign up any clients, you will have learned much about yourself, your particular style of coaching and how best to have that conversation all new coaches dread: asking the prospective client if they’d be interested in continuing the coaching relationship on a paying basis. Here are a few pointers from the Explode Your Practice training series available on CD.

Tip #1. Fifty sessions can seem overwhelming to a beginning coach, so start by finding five people whom you would love to coach and invite them to do an exploratory session with you.

Tip #2. When asking someone if they might be interested in doing a session with you, be very clear in your mind why you want to do a session with that person and then communicate those reasons to him or her in an open, honest and authentic manner. For instance, if you know someone who is successful in business, let him or her know that through coaching, you’d like to help duplicate that success in other areas. This insight and concern for their well-being is sure to resonate with potential clients.

Tip #3. In order to conduct an exploratory session, you don’t need to have a bunch of paperwork prepared ahead of time. The objective here is to coach, not to perfect the forms you use during “intake” to learn more about your clients, their specific challenges and how you can best support them. That can come later once you are more confident in your own skills and abilities.

Tip #4. An easy way to conduct an exploratory session with someone is to simply spend 30 minutes to an hour identifying three goals he or she would like to set, but may lack the structure to actually implement. Out of those three, also really get firm with the client on which is the most important goal. Ask, “Which of your goals would make the biggest difference in your life if you were to take that first step towards achieving it?” If you try and handle all three in 30-60 minutes you’re likely to get bogged down and lose focus.

IMPORTANT: Have fun with the session! You won’t die – honestly!

Tip #5. In order to naturally segue into the conversation to convert prospects into paying clients at the end of the coaching session, ask how the session felt for them. Did they enjoy it? Did they feel supported during the session? Do they feel inspired to do something about their goals? If they do, follow-up by asking them if they would be interested in learning more about the coaching structure and how you can support them in the attainment of their goals.

Tip #6. Track your responses from each person you ask to commit to an ongoing coaching relationship with you. Include the yes’s, the nos and the reasons for both. This information can be invaluable in discovering what is working for you as well as how to combat the objections people may have to coaching. Armed with this data, you’ll be much better prepared for that conversation when the time comes to have it again.

Challenge them to commit

Tip #7. Sometimes the key to converting prospective clients is to identify the most pressing goal they are struggling with at the moment and then challenge them to “be bold” and take that first step towards fulfilling it – sign up for a month’s worth of coaching where they will have the opportunity to experience firsthand how the process truly supports what they are trying to accomplish in their lives. If you have to, really dig to find out what it’s going to take for them to commit to the process.

Tip #8. If money is at the root of the objection, don’t be quick to offer up alternative arrangements. Let them think about it a bit first before discussing possible options. Let them really take a look at what they value in their life, and where they spend money.

Then, you might offer options such as one month of coaching at half price and if they see the benefit and value of it in their lives, then subsequent months are at full price. Another idea is if they agree to commit to a three month contract, you will give them the third month free. Or, you could offer a “volume discount” of sorts, the longer the contract they commit to, the greater the discount they receive. For instance, for a three month contract, they would receive a 10% discount off the full coaching price, for a six month contract, they would receive a 20% discount off the full coaching price and for a nine month contract, they would receive a 30% discount off the full coaching price.

Tip #9. Perhaps most importantly though, assure prospective clients that coaching is a fun experience and can involve as little as a phone call once a week if they so choose, or 100% of their waking hours – they get to decide. If they would like action items and want to be held accountable to completing them, that’s their choice. The structure of the relationship and the role you are to provide for prospective clients is entirely up to them, providing you feel it’s in their best interest. How easy it that?

Signing up clients is at the heart of building your coaching practice. Keep these tips in mind as you conduct your exploratory sessions and you are sure to convert prospective clients to paying ones!

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Want more? This, and 100 other topics are covered in more detail in the full Explode Your Practice CD set, available now for shipping anywhere in the world.
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  1. Make a list of five people with whom you’d like to do an exploratory session.
  2. Contact these people, keeping Tip #2 in mind.
  3. When you’ve scheduled the sessions, post at the blog, and post again the results once the sessions are done!

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P.S. Got a comment on this article? Add it to the blog.

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