For our clients, working with a coach involves a commitment of time, money and energy – and for some it also takes a great deal of courage. A good client enrollment process should leave your client feeling they’ve made a wise choice hiring a coach and that YOU were the right choice.
So when your clients sign-up with you, how do you make your clients feel good about their decision? What do they have to show for it when they sign up? What’s your client enrollment process?
Well, here’s what I do – 7 suggestions for a client enrollment process that rocks!:
- Make your Client feel Super-Welcome! Specifically tell your client that you’re excited to work with them. A welcome email is a great way to do this AND I would also recommend that you send a physical “Welcome Pack” or similar in the “‘snail mail”. Include a hand-signed welcome letter and make the packet attractive. Include a small gift to surprise and delight them – something relevant to the coaching process is good – some post-its, a pen (I sent a pack of 10 multi-coloured pens), a book, an inspiring fridge magnet. You get the idea.
- Get Personal! Personalize your initial client communications – include a quote, tool or exercise that’s relevant to their situation. Show that you’ve seen and heard them and of course, be warm and friendly. Have a newsletter? Why not include an article from your archives that’s relevant to them and their situation?
- Tell them what’s going to happen next. In your email and physical welcome letter let them know the next steps: when their first session with you is, how to pay (if they haven’t already), what number to call, that they should call you, to complete and return the coaching agreement if you have one, any actions or homework they may have from a consultation with you and anything else you consider relevant. Spell it out. Make it clear and simple. This will make you look professional – and allay any fears or uncertainty the client may have.
- Get them started! Make sure they begin the coaching process right away – keep them in a coaching frame of mind. One way to do this is to give them some homework (I like to call it homefun!). In the “Welcome Pack” include at least one coaching exercise – this could be as little as a simple set of “Powerful Questions” or you could like me also include a “Life Map” and/or “Wheel of Life”. You could also include something specific to their situation for that extra personal touch.
- (This one’s for YOU) Standardize as much as possible. Create a checklist for yourself and list the steps you will follow. Create templates for your Welcome Email and Welcome Letter. Then, just like a cover letter when you apply for a job, simply customize for each client with little touches here and there. By creating a template for your communications you save yourself tons of time – and it’s less stress too because you won’t have to think each time what you need to include. TIP: Another thing I did was to print 10 copies of the Coaching Agreement and welcome packet coaching exercises at a time, so when it was time to put a welcome packet together it was much quicker!
- Help them to feel good about their financial investment in coaching! Hiring a coach is no small investment – so help your clients feel they’ve spent wisely. Everything we’ve talked about so far will help with this. AND I also suggest you find some way to RATE how your clients are doing ‘out of 10′. You could use a Coaching Goals Sheet (ask how close they are to each goal out of 10) or a Wheel of Life (the scoring system is built into this exercise). Then when you’ve been coaching for a little while, review the scores and you can show them how far they’ve come! (We’ll talk about this a bit more in another article).
- Make it easy for them to remember – and refer you. Put your branding on all the materials you include – whether it’s an electronic or paper-based welcome. The great thing about a physical welcome packet is that you can include extra business cards for them to hand to friends and even a voucher for a free session for their friends. TIP: You could also include a referral program where your client gets a reward when a new client they refer signs up with you.
- (OK, so it’s 8 suggestions really) Make sure you get their contact details AT ENROLLMENT. So, here’s my cautionary tale: After coaching for 8 years it was the first time I didn’t fill out the client info/contact form at client enrollment. I thought, “Oh well, I’ll do it at our first session”. Two weeks later, I had an internet and power-cut for 3 days – right before and during our first session. I had no contact details for my client and I couldn’t even look her up online because I didn’t have her home address. It got worse – because I have an ‘internet phone’ – they would have called me and got no answer! Then I remembered that I had set the internet phone to forward to my cellphone in emergencies. Very luckily, this worked. I spoke to her at the appointed time and we rescheduled. But it was nearly disaster – because my cellphone battery was almost flat too! I felt very unprofessional – and learned my lesson…
Have a tip you’d like to share? What’s your client enrollment process? We’d love to hear and I’m sure everyone else would too – just comment below!
If you liked this article about client enrollment, you may also like:
- Vision Boards – A Great Tool to Help Your Clients Start the New Year Focused and Excited! Because Vision Boards are also a great too to use at the START of a coaching relationship…
- How to Identify a Client’s Values – A 3 Step Process for this Essential Coaching Tool!
- Coaching Tools 101: Wrap-up Questions – What to Ask in that Final Session!
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