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Archive for February, 2013

Exquisite Client Support… Extending the Ripple Effect of Your Coaching

Impact.
We are seeking greater and greater ways everyday to extend the ripple effects of our skills, strengths and services that we provide to our clients.

But, have you ever struggled with how to provide more, give more, and do more without falling prey to exhaustion and overwhelm?

Ever wondered how you can accomplish even more when your time is already exhausted?

Savvy business owners know a little secret.
They’ve integrated what I call Exquisite Client Support to help facilitate the optimal coaching experience.

The impact that we make on this world is directly related to the level of service that we provide to our clients.  With the thousands of coaches that I’ve worked with over the years, I’ve observed that a coach who supports their client only at the time of the actual coaching session is only somewhat successful, and it takes a lot of effort to keep that level of success maintained.  But when a coach can provide exquisite support to their clients before, during, after and in-between the coaching sessions, their level of impact is increased and the ripple effect is expanded.  So how does a coach provide more without working harder and putting in more hours?

Support Before The Coaching Session

A coach can provide support to the client before the coaching session even begins through what is often called a “Call Strategy Form.”  In this form, the client is able to collect their thoughts, challenges, and questions and provide them to the coach prior to the coaching session. This helps the client to cultivate focus and consistency not only within their coaching, but in their life overall; for how we do one thing is how we do everything.  This also helps the coach prepare for the best way to support and guide the client to their desired goal.  When preparation can be done before the coaching session even begins, the time during the actual coaching appointment can be leveraged and a sense of laser-focused coaching is accomplished in a short amount of time.  I have known coaches that utilize this type of form to accomplish more in a 20 minute session than a coach who works with their clients for 60 minute sessions.

While this Call Strategy form aides in the increased level of impact your coaching can have with your clients, automation of this form can ensure that you are not tied to your computer sending emails, reminders and forms to your clients every minute of everyday.  Discover how you can automate the sending of this form prior to the appointments and even integrate it into an automated appointment reminder.  As your client is prompted about the reminder notification, they are also prompted with direct access to this form so they can quickly and easily complete the information prior to their session.

Support During The Coaching Session

During the coaching session, it is often helpful for a coach to take notes. Not write out every word that the client says (although I had been known to do that early in my coaching business), but comments, thoughts, observations, statements by the client that triggered a certain response, etc.  You want to be sure that not only do you have a secure place to capture these notes, but more importantly that you have an organized way of saving these notes for future reference and access.

Did you know that on average, Americans waste 55 minutes each day; 27.5 hours each month; 2 months each year trying to find stuff they know they have, but can’t find?

Many coaches will attempt to be in the moment, be present and not take notes or reference past sessions, while this can be effective, the jotting down of important nuggets can equip you with insight as to the best way to support the client.  It will also shed light on what is NOT being said in the coaching sessions, which can also be a great source of coaching.

Support After The Coaching Session

Our clients hire us because they believe we can help them get to where they want to be.  During the coaching sessions there is great learning that is experienced by the client and it is the art of our coaching skills that provide them with the best support during the actual session.  Another key component to exquisite support, that cultivates what Ken Blanchard calls “raving fans,” is to provide accountability after the coaching session is complete.

It has been our experience when we talk with clients, that when a coach provides support after the coaching session in the form of quick and simple follow up, that the client feels heard, stood for and they have a deeper sense that their coach is really supporting them in accomplishing their goals.  This increases the trust factor between coach and client and therefore results in deeper levels of coaching, additional topics that the client desires coaching around as well as extended coaching agreements with the client.  By creating raving fans through the simple act of follow up after a coaching session, the client is also more likely to refer the coach to their colleagues, friends and family.

The exquisite level of support that is offered after the coaching session can make a huge impact on the success of your business. You can increase your revenue from the same, existing clients by discovering additional topics of coaching.  You can make more money through the added referrals that are generated as a result of the raving fan referrals.  And you can deepen the impact of your coaching by supporting the clients to strengthen their learning.

Support In-Between The Coaching Sessions

While providing support to your clients before, during and after the coaching session cultivates a high-level of client support, what really takes you to the exquisite level of client support is through the offering of support in-between the coaching sessions.  This exquisite level of support also becomes a value-added benefit that you can offer prospects in your marketing. Most coaches only provide support during the actual coaching session. But when you make the offer to your prospects and you tell them that their investment for coaching will get them the coaching package PLUS, support and preparation before each session, PLUS support and interaction in-between each coaching session, now the client feels like they have access to your skills, strengths and wisdom on an on-going basis and make their investment much more lucrative.  It will be easier for your clients to see that you not only provide the service they are purchasing, but they are also getting so much more as well.

The key to providing support in-between each coaching session is to leverage tools and technology so that you can also leverage your time.  For example, at The Coaches Console, we saw the huge benefit for this level of service and integrated a feature we call the “Client Log.”  A client can log in to a private and secure place of the coach’s website and access a place where they can post questions to their coach, journal their Aha’s and “light-bulb” moments that occur after the coaching session is over and even upload documents to share with their coach.  And in this Client Log, the coach can also post replies, comments and share documents/materials with their client as well.

As coaches we know that while there are often huge “light-bulb” moments that occur within the actual coaching session itself, it is when the client takes that learning and integrates it into their life that the biggest shift occurs and the greatest learning happens.  Providing support to your client in-between coaching sessions through a tool such as the Client Log is a way to facilitate that level of learning with your clients.  Through this level of exquisite support you are teaching your clients to fish, rather than giving them a fish.

Remember the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins?  That is exactly what you are doing in your coaching practice when you offer support before, during, after and in-between the coaching session.  You are offering exquisite level of client support and therefore are taking your business from good to great.  So what type of coaching experience do you desire for your clients to have:  Good or Great?  Integrate these levels of support to help facilitate the optimal coaching experience for your clients and you will deepen the impact and extend the ripple effect that your coaching has on this world.

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