Many coaches are what we at the Center for Executive Coaching call "one and done." They do one gig with a client and are not asked to renew the engagements. Don't be a "one and done" coach.
Following are 10 reasons why your clients might not be renewing with you….
1. Fuzzy thinking. Many coaches don't think clearly, and clients get frustrated with their inability to get to the heart of a matter without relying on vague, fuzzy, "woo woo" thinking. A good coach cuts to the core of an issue so that the client has insights and improves performance, without any b.s or fluff. Our tools and frameworks help you do that.
2. Questions/coaching conversations that lack voltage. In some ways, coaching is like playing chess. In chess, you want to control the center of the board. It makes no sense to move your unimportant pieces along the sides, because that doesn't advance the game. In coaching, we "control the board" by asking great questions and sharing insights. Unfortunately, many coaches are like bad chess players, and ask questions that don't go anywhere. This wastes the client's time.
3. Having a "union mentality" about coaching. The best coaches are problem solvers who add value first, and think of themselves as coaches second. That way, they can think bigger than being only a coach. They can facilitate, train, teach, speak, write, and find many other creative ways to share their expertise with clients. If you have a union mentality that only do coaching, you will miss opportunities to serve your clients by playing different roles.
4. No metrics. If you don't set metrics up front with clients and track them, you have no way of documenting your value. You are just sitting with your client hoping they have an "a ha" moment. That's not enough to get rehired. Set metrics up front, track them, and get back on track as needed.
5. No metrics. This one is so important that it is worth repeating. If you can set metrics that, when achieved, are worth 5-10X your fees in value, you will almost always get re-hired.
6. Insecurity. Some coaches drive clients crazy by constantly asking, "How is this working for you?" If you have to ask, then something isn't working. A better question is, "What was the most valuable thing you got from today's session?" That way, you are assuming value is there, and don't come across as insecure.
7. Self-righteousness. If the client isn't coachable, there are two possible reasons. It could be something about them, or it could be something about you. The best coaches keep adjusting their style to create an environment where the client wants to be coached. They don't get self-righteous by quickly writing off the client as uncoachable or deficient. Self-righteousness makes you right, but costs you future work.
8. Not looking for the next opportunity to improve. In our 8-step coaching process, a key step is looking for the next opportunity to help the client continue to improve. That way, we bake in the idea of having a client for a long time. We are always listening for new ways to bring value.
9. Preaching. Some former executives and managers think they are coaching, when really they are preaching. We are all smart enough to figure out the right answer for our clients, assuming we were in the client's shoes. But each of our clients has a different set of skills, experiences, and ways of processing information than we do. It is exponentially more powerful to have clients figure out the right answer for them — even if it is not the one we might choose. That way, they are more likely to take action and implement their insights. We can certainly play Devil's Advocate and challenge or help to build on their insights. However, often our clients will resist if we act like we are the all-knowing guru, telling them what to do next. And that means they won't ask us back.
10. Failing to ask. You only get rehired if you ask, based on seeing a new way to bring value to your client. If you can't figure out a way (and with our program, we show you the questions to ask so that this doesn't happen), at least ask, "What do you want to do next to keep the momentum going and continue to get better?" Top executives and managers know that you can't stop improving; when most sharks stop swimming, they die.
Which of the above points was most valuable to you? Would you like to learn what it really takes to build a high six-figure
coaching practice? Visit our website and feel free to call me anytime at 941-539-9623. Only 3 spots available right now.
Founder and Director
Center for Executive Coaching
Co-Author: Guerrilla Marketing for Coaches
Personal Cell: 941-539-9623