Whether you’re in the process of becoming a business coach, or you’ve been in the business for a long time, one of the most important questions you can ask is how to keep business coaching clients longer.
When it comes right down to it, business coaching clients will never leave you–AS LONG AS you’re helping them make more money and improve their lifestyle. Here are four ways to make to happen:
Always be working on just one major initiative at a time.
A lot of coaches, especially new coaches, try to impress their clients by throwing all sorts of stuff at the client at once. What this ends up doing is creating a massive jumble of priorities and efforts that actually slow growth and frustrate the client. Better to take one major effort at a time–preferably cash flow improving.
Manage expectations using proper positioning.
Don’t fall into the trap of over servicing your client and doing things for them. You are a business coach. You are not a consultant. You are not a selling your time for money, you are not jumping at their every need. You are giving them education and awareness around what they need to do, and you are holding them accountable to do it. When you position yourself well, they will be happy to pay you for years to be the trusted advisor who doesn’t do it for them, but teaches them to do it themselves.
Always focus on bottom-line growth first.
Don’t let your client be the one to tell you what needs to happen in their business if it doesn’t relate to cash flow and profitability improvement. One of the classic mistakes of rookie coaches make is when the client says, “I’m so busy and just way to busy help me get more off my plate”–so then the business coach starts to help the client and change strategies about hiring, building in systems, etc. You’ll get in trouble that way. You need to earn your right to be there, and you do that by first improving their profits and cash flow. Otherwise, it’s going to be a short flight, believe me.
Remind them of their vision and dreams.
Remind your clients on a regular basis that your goal is to move them from where they are now into a place where they have a passive income producing asset.
I was on a call with a coach the other day who was worried he might lose an important client. I said to him, “Let me just ask you, when was the last time you reminded this client of how important this vision actually is to them? That they have a business that runs without them, a business that runs passively and becomes a business that they can sell so they can ride off into the sunset?”
He replied, “You know, it’s been a darn long time since we did that.”
“Yeah,” I said. “That’s the problem.”
One of the techniques that I use is to update the strategic plan with my clients every quarter. This means that on at least a quarterly basis, they’re reconnecting to their purpose, their vision, their values–the big picture plan of where they’re trying to go, not just this year but five, 15, 20 years from now. I know that if I bring them back to that every quarter, they’re going to be reminded of what they are trying to do and how important it is to have a coach to hold them accountable to get the things done.
When you do these four things well, you’ll keep business coaching clients longer–for years and years, in fact.
For more great tips on becoming a business coach, including a step-by-step plan for getting your business coaching practice off the ground, download our FREE ebook, How to Become a Business Coach.