You’ve booked a new client- well done! You’ve done the hard part- found the client, sold your services, and booked them! Now, the real fun begins! The first meeting with a new client sets the tone for the rest of your relationship with the client. If you appear unprepared or unprofessional, that’s how your client will treat you too! If you want your business to be successful and professional, you have to prepare well. Don’t gloss over the prep work and skip straight to the fun part- the actual coaching! Prepare well so you can coach well.
So, where should you start? In this post, I am going to unpack some essential steps to preparing for your first coaching session with a new client so you are both set up for a win.
1. Set up your client portal through your chosen client management system.
You need a client system that is scalable, eliminates confusion for you and your client, enables easy communication, and is perfectly organized and efficient. Some questions to consider:
- What do you need from a client management system?
- What do your clients need from a client management system?
One great option is Basecamp. One of the benefits of joining The Coach School is a walk-through of how to use this incredible tool with your clients.
2. Send your pre-coaching questionnaire or the discovery document.
This document will help you gather information and tailor your services for each specific client. If you are enrolled in The Coach School you’ll have the format for how to create one the right way and know what mistakes to avoid.
- What are the most important 5-10 questions you want to include? I would definitely consider what their goal is.
- Where do they want to go? Where do they see themselves at the end of your coaching sessions? It’s hard to get where they want to be if you (and them!) don’t know where it is you’re going.
- What would be the most beneficial for you to know before going into your coaching session? A few things to consider might be enneagram number, spiritual gifts, or some other type of personality test to help you connect and coach each client individually.
3. Determine the logistics.
- How will you meet?
- Will it be in person or through a digital platform?
- What is the meeting length? How will you get in touch for the session?
- Make sure you are abundantly clear with your client on the logistics. The last thing you would want to happen is to start off on the wrong foot by not clearly communicating the logistical details.
4. Do your research!
In the age of social media, there is quite a bit of information that can be learned from a quick google search. You don’t have to become a full fledged stalker, but it can be helpful to get a precursory glance at your client’s background.
Checking into their social media accounts or website may help you to set the tone for your upcoming session. You can glean what their “style” is, which could help you know where to go in your session.
5. Clear your head.
Do some mental housekeeping to help erase any baggage you may be holding onto. You can’t be present and in the moment for your client when your mind is racing, thinking about a hundred other things that might be going on in your life.
Make a list of all the things you need to do, or are taking up mental energy-writing them down and acknowledging them can clear your head and give you the mindset to be able to focus fully on your client.
6. Prep with simplicity.
Know where you want to go, and have a few questions ready, but be able to adapt as your client needs. A few questions to consider starting with:
- What do you want? In your heart of hearts, what is it you actually want?
- What are your goals?
- Where do you see yourself in 1/5/10 years?
- Ask your client to start with the end in mind- meaning if X is the end goal, what will it take now to get to X?
You will have information beforehand from the discovery document on what the client’s goals are, so you can have an idea of where you’re headed. These questions are a good place to start, but be ready to adapt as you are actively listening to what your client is saying. You may think you’re headed one direction, but what your client is actually saying is infinitely more important than your plan.
Taking care to follow through on these simple steps will ensure you are prepared well to serve your client well. It will help you to go into your session calm and clear-minded, knowing you have prepared and are ready to do what you love- coaching!