Archive for June, 2014

Breaking Through Coaching Business Myths & Techno Blocks: Myth #6: Using a coaching agreement causes me to loose potential clients & delay in getting paid.

In this 10-part series, we are exposing The 10 Myths that derail start-up coaches and keep them from fully realizing their passions and profits. In this series of articles we will dive into each myth and turn them around with the truth! By embracing the truths you can locate the courage to move through your fears and breakthrough the blocks in your coaching business!

MYTH #6:  Using a coaching agreement causes me to loose potential clients & delay getting paid.

Actually there are so many variations of the Myths around coaching agreements that we’re going to give you the Top 3 Myths that we’ve encountered when working with coaches.

These myths not only trigger fears about getting new clients, but also create a huge space for money gremlins to live and grow.  In this article we want to resolve those fears and gremlins and create clarity and confidence in your enrollment conversations.

After all, we’re pretty sure you hate it when your money gremlins pop up. We’re also pretty sure you get uber frustrated when you’re not confident in enrolling a new client.  And ultimately we know you want to be confident & professional in your business, right?  So, let’s put that to rest once and for all, shall we?

The Top 3 Client Agreement Myths:

MYTH #1: If I enforce/implement the agreement they won’t sign up.

MYTH #2:  If I require new clients to actually SIGN the coaching agreement before I invoice or schedule their first coaching session, it will delay me getting my money or delay them getting started.

MYTH #3:  If I require new clients to sign an agreement I might loose them because I give them another opportunity to say “no” and change their mind.

Do you encounter one or a combination of these myths?  We typically see this with start up coaches but more and more we see established coaches run into this as well.  As a result we see coaches using the coaching agreement document they receive either from their coach training school, their mentor or even through Coaches Console as a reference document, not a binding agreement.

It becomes more of a reference for a new client IF or when the client wants to look at it at a later date.  Why a later date?  Because of the myth’s listed above.  The coach fears that if a client were to review it in advance it would give them the opportunity for the potential client to say ‘no.’

In these situations the only thing a coach needs to get a new client started is a verbal “yes, let’s get started.”  Upon that verbal “yes” the coach schedules the coaching session(s) and THEN requests payment from the new client.

We think this is backwards thinking. The coach thinks to himself or herself, “if I get the client to pay me or to book their first session, then it’s official, they are my new client.  Once they’re my official client, they can see my agreement, but they won’t be able to get out of anything because I’ve already been paid.”

This causes the Speaking-Out-Of-Both-Sides-Of-Your-Mouth Syndrome.

If this is you, I’ll bet you’re feeling pretty defensive right now.

On the one hand, you want to be professional. So you use an agreement to convey that sense of professionalism.  But fears of scarcity cause you to use it only as a reference document and not as a way to truly have your client engage with you one professional to another.

Miriam-Webster dictionary defines “agreement” like this:

an arrangement, contract, etc., by which people agree about what is to be done

The client agreement is about setting clear expectations, up front, before anyone becomes a client.  With clear expectations you have solid, ideal clients.

Without those clear expectations and clear understandings from the beginning all you’ll end up with is spending time with whining clients, chasing money, fear they won’t stick around very long, and clients that are wobbly in their commitment that don’t show up for their sessions or cancel at the last minute. And that is exhausting to manage as a coach – exhausting on your time, your energy and your bank account.

TRUTH #6: Using the Client Agreement as an enrollment tool gets through the doubts and fears up front. So when a prospect agrees, they’re a solid YES!

Your client agreement makes the enrollment conversation easier, effortless and helps you feel more confident about signing up new, IDEAL clients (on the spot). PLUS you can have a client agree to (or sign) your coaching agreement and immediately get paid; all in the same action… before you ever leave your sample session

The point is not to get to a “yes.” The point is to get to a solid yes. We know, the fear of not making money creeps up and has you saying yes to anyone with a pulse.

Requiring a client to sign or electronically accept a coaching agreement doesn’t delay getting your money. The lack of solid, clear, consistent financial process delays you in getting your money.

And you’re right, if you don’t have a solid financial process in place and you’re not organized in how your clients pay you, then this could create a huge GAP in your business where potential clients and Hot Leads could change their mind.

When a person makes a verbal commitment there must also be a physical action they take to solidify that verbal ‘yes.”  Without this physical action, they remain ‘wobbly’ in their decision, they have only made ½ a commitment.  Words, or verbal agreements are one thing. Actions speak louder than words. The signing of the document, or in the case of those who use Coaches Console the act of clicking on the electronic “I accept” button, is more about the physical action that represents the new client’s commitment. Now they are 100% committed in their decision.

As a result of a solid “yes”:

  • You have an A+ client
  • You have a committed client that is ready to play full out so that, as the coach, you can push their boundaries and play with them to get the most value for your clients that they want and deserve.
  • You get to do your best coaching
  • You get to have fun doing what you love
  • They get the greatest value from you as their coach
  • You protect your time and your business from the whiners, wobblers and no-show-ers.

As a business owner and professional in the coaching industry you want to give your potential clients the same opportunity that you would want for yourself if you were selecting your coach.

Want to know how to do this?   With your Coaches Console here’s The 5 Easy Breezy Steps to Use Client Agreements to Enroll Your Next Ideal Client:

  1. Prior to any sample session, prepare the details of your agreement in advance.
  2. Review your online agreement with your prospect, using your tablet, laptop or smartphone during the sample session.
  3. Make any edits, changes to your agreement terms right on the spot until you have a solid agreement that everyone is clear on.
  4. Invite the client to click the “I Agree” button at the end of your sample session when they are a solid “YES!”
  5. Have the client purchase your coaching package online to conclude the sample session.

In this approach, before ever leaving the sample session, your prospect is (a) crystal clear, (b) has made a solid commitment, (c) has agreed to your expectations and (c) has paid for your package. This final step will automatically trigger the welcome packet or program content to be immediately delivered to your new client’s inbox. By the time they arrive back to their inbox they will be engaged as your new client. Now THAT’S professional (impressive too)!

Don’t have solid financial systems in place to use during the enrollment conversation? Click here to check out how Coaches Console make is easy breezy for you to implement these 5 steps today in your coaching business.

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