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Are you looking for clients who will…

  • be committed to taking new chances
  • be comfortable with your gentle prodding
  • partner with you to identify their obstacles to success
  • have faith that you are just who they need to realize their ultimate vision?

The best way for both you and your client to enjoy the success of a positive, sustained outcome is to do a discovery interview.

What’s the point of a discovery interview?

Initial contact with a new client is commonly done over the phone. This interaction gives a quick snapshot of how your potential client can learn more about how you’ll work with them and your expectations of how they’ll work with you. You’ll also get a chance to discover their needs, what motivates them, and the outcomes they hope to get.

During the discovery session, the main objective is to get the prospective client to focus on their unique story. Give them an opportunity to describe what their vision of the future will be. Connect them to their vision emotionally by asking, “what would achieving your goal do for you?” You’ll then be able to assure that you can help them close the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. You’ll also be able to help them uncover upcoming obstacles.

Start with an introduction    

Greeting by handshakeThis is a great time to get a preview of your prospective client. Ask them to spend a couple of minutes telling you about themselves. Then share a little of yourself. This should be brief. It’s an ice-breaker moment, so make sure it‘s no more than a few minutes. Thank them for having the courage to reach out to you. Remember, for many clients, seeking out a coach is a huge, vulnerable step. It’s essential to keep an encouraging tone.

Find out why your prospective client is seeking your services

Ask them to briefly share their story. Then, ask them to describe their desired outcome. What is their vision for the future?  (As you’re listening, assess if this client is a good fit with your skillset).

Have your potential clients come up with 3 words that define the feelings they would have if they were able to achieve this outcome. Review these three words and say them exactly as your client does. If you need a little more definition of the client’s meaning of these words- ask them. It’s better not to assume their meaning. You’ll need to form a clear picture of where they want to end their journey, so you can guide them in plotting the most effective, efficient path.

Help your prospect develop a first action step

Woman hand writing action plan with chalk on black boardThis gives both you and the client a jump start on forming the clarity to move toward achieving the goal.  Make it clear that this is a tiny piece of the puzzle that will unfold. It’s only the beginning of the journey.

Quickly explore this initial action step. You already know how to do this from your professional coaching training. Use the words the prospective client uses, so they understand you’re really listening to them. Then repeat that first action step to get them started. You want to be able to demonstrate how you’ll work with them in future sessions during this call. Give your prospective client a quick example of a positive outcome you’ve had with a client who may be similar to them.

Explain how your services work

Now’s a good time to iron out some logistics. You’ll want to have the framework for your approach to coaching fairly well solidified. For instance, how often would you expect to see your client? For how long? Is there a specific program design you follow that has given your clients success? Is the program pay-as-you-go or a package deal?  If they hesitate on pricing – do you have a payment plan? Address these vital questions with confidence!!!! Because most of us who are in this professional arena are not salespeople, we frequently break out into a cold sweat and stumble when talking about money.

(We help coaches work through this process in our FitWit Professional membership.)

Explain whether and how the client will be able to get in touch with you if they have questions between sessions.

Summarize the phone visit

Woman Having Phone CallReview why the client sought you out, providing a quick summary of their story. Reiterate their desired vision for the future. How will they feel after achieving their desired outcome? What emotions will they experience? Connect the outcome – use their 3 words, to reinforce their desires and review the one starter action step discussed previously. Then explain to them that this is how you will work with them to reach their desired outcome from here.  You’ll help them close the gap between their current situation and their final vision. You’ll help them recognize and overcome the obstacles to success along the pathway.

It’s very important to take notes on this call to include

  • your prospective client’s desired outcome
  • their three words to describe how they will feel once they achieve their desired outcome
  • the introductory action step you agreed on
  • and any other personal information you can later relate back to them.

This is the best way to develop rapport as you move forward.

Schedule their first session

Start again by thanking the client for having the courage to step forward to work with you. Leave them with an uplifted, courageous mindset. If they’re not ready to sign up for your services on the spot, thank them for their time and leave the door open for communication. Ask them if you can call them back in 3 days, in case they have any further questions.Millennial Male Entrepreneur Talking On Cellphone And Taking Notes In Office

Make sure before you place that follow up call, you review your notes thoroughly. Start with a very brief summary of your discovery call, including those 3 words. If they haven’t gotten to “YES” yet, identify any barriers or fears, they may foresee in working with you.  Review the action step to see if they tried it or have any other questions. Then offer to sign them up as a client again, so they can feel their desired three words.

You’ll be able to convert more people into clients – clients with whom you’d love to work – by using the above steps. The more enrollment conversations you have, the easier it will become.

If this information was helpful for your coaching business, we’ve got more. We’ve created a four-part mini-course, “How to Attract Clients Who Will Rave About You.” You’ll get tips to enhance your coaching strategy, find out how to get the best clients who will have the best outcomes, and learn to form strong partnerships with your clients. Get the details HERE: