How To Have An Awesome First Call With Your New Coaching Client
What do you do on your first call with a new coaching client?
Congratulations! If you’re asking this question it’s because you are making progress. You’ve either got a new client or your calendar will soon be filling up.
It is an exciting time when you welcome a new client into your practice and I have to tell you I am always thrilled to have a Discovery Call (that very first coaching call) and begin a new coaching relationship.
To begin, you need to start with a plan. It doesn’t need to be rigid, but you must decide beforehand the purpose of this first call and a few key points that you want to cover.
What do you want to accomplish and how can you best help your brand new client?
I call these first coaching calls, Discovery Calls. They are the first real coaching session after a new client has hired you. When you start your coaching relationship the right way it sets the stage for future success.
There is no “one size fits all” solution. Here are some ideas for you to consider while you decide the best approach for you and your business.
Length of Discovery Session
Your Discovery Call will probably be longer than your normal coaching calls. The length of the call depends on how much you want to cover and it’s up to you to decide how long you want the session to be.
Some coaches schedule one hour, others 90 minutes or even two hours. As you decide, ask yourself, what is in the best interest of the client and how can I manage my own energy best?
Tell the new client in advance how long the session will be and stay on track with your plan. Create an approximate schedule for what you want to cover and how many minutes you will allocate for each step.
Do a practice run with a friend or family member beforehand, then you will have the confidence that you have given yourself enough time and can stick to your schedule.
Send a Welcome Package before your Discovery Session
I suggest creating a Welcome Package its helps your clients begin thinking about what they want to achieve with the coaching. The appearance and content of your Welcome Package is a direct reflection on your business and it can create a great first impression if it’s well planned and delivered.
Your Welcome Package can include:
-A welcome letter
-A pre-coaching questionnaire filled with questions that will begin the process of self-discovery and shifts them into the mindset of coaching.
-Your coaching agreement that covers the specifics of the coaching engagement, your terms/conditions, policies and any other relevant information
-A goal setting template so they can begin thinking about what they want to achieve and how they will measure success
You will review at least some of this Welcome Package during your Discovery Call.
Structure of Discovery Session
Here are the topics I recommend you include in your Discovery Session. I’ve even added an approximate time for each point so you can get an idea of where you might start:
Step 1: Welcome them to coaching. Build rapport and help them to feel welcome and comfortable. (~5 minutes)
Step 2: Design your alliance i.e. set the framework for how you will work together. Include such topics as (~5 minutes):
- How you coach. Your approach and describe your style
- Tell them you expect them to bring a topic to each call
- Whether you recommend they use a coaching session preparation form
- How you will debrief any homework from the previous call.
Step 3: Review the Pre-coaching questionnaire. (~15 minutes)
Step 4: Explore what brings them to coaching and help to set their goals.
Discuss the goals they are keen to reach and fine-tune them so they are SMART goals (Specific/Satisfying, Measurable/Meaningful, Action-Oriented/Awe-Inspiring, Results Driven/ Refreshing within a specific Time frame /Thrilling). (~15 minutes)
Step 5: A short coaching session that includes accountability to take action in some area (~15 minutes)
Step 6: Set the schedule for your next coaching call(s) (~5 minutes)
I know some coaches like to spend time helping the client get more in touch with their values, their Inner Guidance or understand more about the Inner Critic / Saboteur during the Discovery Call.
Personally, I find this puts my new clients in overload and I save those topics for future sessions.
These six steps can comfortably be covered in 60 minutes and I’ve given you the approximate timing I use with my clients. However, you could easily extend the length of the time for any of the segments, this is your Discovery Session, so it’s completely up to you.
I know you are incredibly busy with all the things you have to do when you are building a coaching business, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. To help you I’ve created a package of the essential forms you need for your coaching business. This package includes a complete Welcome Package that you can use right out of the box or brand with your personal brand and logo. It’s available for immediate download here >>>>>> The 8 Must Have Forms To Start Your Coaching Business