The 3 Step Process for Getting Coaching Clients

by Christian Mickelsen

Are you making it easy for clients to hire
you, or are you making it hard? Many coaches
find it hard to get clients because they
make it hard for potential clients to hire
them. What ends up happening could be something
like this:

You put a lot of hours into your coaching
business, learning and improving your coaching
skills as well as implementing new marketing
ideas, creating new programs that you hope
people will be hot for and you keep at it.
Until, eventually you might start to feel
a little—or a lot—burned out.

This thing you love and have been so excited
about becomes something you might be thinking
about giving up! But, it may not be entirely
your fault. You see, most coaches haven’t
been told the right things to do to get
clients. Let me shed some light on this
for you with a three step process for getting

Clients Who Hire You Follow These

  1. They somehow hear about you and what
    you do.

  2. They have a sample coaching session
    with you.

  3. They give you their credit card info.
    Or write you a check.

That seems simple! But, let me elaborate
a little further.

People can “hear about you and what
you do” from networking events,
from articles you write that appear in newsletters
or online, from presentations you give in
person or via tele-classes. People can be
introduced to you by a strategic alliance
partner—someone who works with the same
clients you do, but helps them with something
other than coaching. For example, if you
coach small business owners, an accountant
might be a great strategic alliance partner
for you. These relationships can be a valuable
source of referrals.

All of these initial pieces of the marketing
puzzle are designed to move the prospective
client to the next step: the sample session.

The sample coaching session is the place
to make the real connection. Use this session
to find out about your potential clients—about
what they want, why they want it, what's
not working, why it's not working and the
impact these challenges are having on them.
This is the key to moving them to the next
step; these are the reasons a client will
hire you. If you don’t surface this
stuff, they’ll have very little reason
to start paying you hundreds of dollars
every month for your coaching. Good clients
want help achieving their goals and overcoming
their challenges. A painful or frustrating
situation is what leads people to hire you,
not some fantastical dream life that many
coaches are trying to sell.

payment is the third step to getting hired.
If a client doesn’t pay you on the
spot, it’s rare that they’ll
come back and hire you later. So at the end of the sample session, ask if a
client wants to work with you. Say thank you and then, “Let me get you entered
into the system.” Be sure to get all of their information—including their credit
card payment information.

With credit cards, people will sometimes
pay for the full contracted amount—like six months worth of coaching—right up front.
It's always fun to get a few thousand dollars
all at once. And if you give them incentives
for doing so clients, will love it, too!
At the very least get the client’s
permission to charge their card on the appointed
day each month with no fuss. Accepting credit
cards is essential. If you haven’t
already, get set up with a way to accept
credit cards. I use the system associated
with my online shopping cart,

Here’s the bottom line: Let your
coaching business follow this basic three-step
process. Make it easy for clients to figure
out what to do. Remember, more sample sessions,
more clients!

Resource Box:
Get your Free Report: "How to Get a
Rush of Potential Clients Lining Up to Have
a Free Session With You." Go to
and you'll also get access to more great
articles on how to get coaching clients.

Christian Mickelsen has been seen in Forbes,
Yahoo Finance, MSN
and the Boston Globe.
He served two years on the Board of Governors
for the IAC. He is the author of the book
How To Quickly Get Started In Professional
, available at
and has developed several programs to help
coaches be more successful. Christian can
be contacted through his website:

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