When that first conversation happens with a prospective client, how do you handle it?
Sometimes clients come prepared to interview a prospective coach. They may have read the suggested questions on ICF’s website or in other blogs. They may have read the white paper provided free from the Center for Coaching Certification.
Alternatively, some clients are unsure about coaching, how it works, or what to expect. They may have been “volun-told” to go to a coach or they may know someone with a coach and only have a vague sense of the possibilities.
In either scenario, as a coach it is smart to be ready both with answers to common questions and with questions to ask the prospective client. Look at the information they may have seen and prepare answers. Prepare success stories and failures you overcame while ensuring you protect confidentiality.
If a client starts with asking about you as a person, professional, and/or coach, provide a short answer and then ask about them and what they want. When you start to learn about them and what they want, you are better prepared to share the relevant information about yourself.
It is smart to ask about their understanding of coaching because it is essential to be on the same page with what coaching offers before starting.
A great best practice is to offer a free introductory session to get to know them and their objectives while also giving them a taste of your style as coach. In this way you both decide if your connection works and serves the client. Then you move into an agreement for the coaching engagement.