5 Things You Need to Know About Sample Sessions & One Way to Get Better at Them | By Stephan Wiedner

Coach and Client having Sample Session

This article is dedicated to all the coaches and all the sample sessions that did not go according to plan. There is a way to get better results.

[Plus get a free form to help you track your sample sessions at the end of this article.]

Picture this: You're 30 minutes into a fabulous conversation with a new prospective client and then the conversation turns to money.

Like rapid fire, the questions come at you:

  • What do you charge?
  • What do I get for the money I pay?
  • How does it work?
  • Will this really help me?

"Uhm, well, I charge what I think I'm worth. I charge one-hundred-and [clearing throat], uhm, one-hundred-and [volume gets really low] fifty, uhm, dollars per hour but I can work on a sliding scale. What do you think you can afford? You don't need to give me an answer right away. What do you say?"

Alas, you don't get hired.

But you could have been hired. First, let's look at some key sample session facts and then I'll share one way you can get better at closing from the sample session.

Here are 5 Key Things You Need to Know About Giving a Sample Session

1) You need to master the sample session (it's okay to not be great at it right from the start)

No matter what form of lead generation you employ (blogging, public speaking, social media, getting listed on a coach listing site like Noomii, etc.), you'll have to get good at delivering sample sessions.

Some coaches have multiple streams of income (e.g. they sell books or e-courses) that don't require a human interaction before a purchase but to sell one-on-one coaching, you'll almost always have to speak to the client first.

So you need to get good at it and be okay making a few mistakes in the beginning.

2) Not all sample sessions will convert

No matter how good you are, your closing rate will not be 100%.

Even some of the best delivered sample sessions don't end in new client sign-ups. Clients get cold feet, hire someone else, get a gym pass instead, or decide to quit their job and live off the grid, thereby negating the need for a coach.

Remember that, unlike basic food and shelter, coaching is a nice-to-have and most people can live their entire lives without hiring a coach.

3) You need to find the strategy that works for you

There is not just one way to convert a sample session into paying clients.

I've spoken to hundreds of coaches and some offer 20 minute sample sessions, others offer 60 minutes, some just do a meet and greet, others jump right into coaching. Then at the end of the sample session, some coaches will sell single sessions by the hour, others will sell $10,000 programs.

Both can work, and the key is to find what works for you and always be asking for the business.

4) You need to get comfortable asking for the business

It's easy to think that the most successful coaches have swagger, that confidence that makes them magnetic to prospective clients.

Maybe that's true but I don't see it that way.

I see confidence as a byproduct of hard work and effort. You gain confidence by trying something, failing, and then trying again but in a slightly better way.

And that's what you need to do with your sample sessions.

5) The only way to get better is to practice

As coaches, you probably don't need to hear this but in order to get better at anything, you need to practice the thing.

And when it comes to delivering a rock-solid sample session that leads to customers hiring you, you need to get good at the coaching part. As well as the closing part - the part where you ask for the business.

  • So how do you practice delivering sample sessions? Easy. You just deliver more sample sessions.
  • How do you deliver more sample sessions? Again, easy. Invite more people to have a sample session.

Here's One Great Way to Get Better at Sample Sessions:

Friends and Family waiting to be asked!Ask 50 Family and Friends!

For most coaches, especially when they are just starting out, it's easy to hide behind a computer waiting for the phone to ring.

Yes, you need to build your online presence, tweak your logo or blog on a regular basis. But you also need to proactively ask people to have a sample session, and then you need to be asking those people for their business.

And the easiest way is to start with the people close to you.

All you need to do is deliver 50 sample sessions in 50 days to 50 of your friends and family. We call this "The Friends and Family 50 Challenge" (one of the modules included in Noomii's "Coach Marketing Bootcamp"). If you do this, it will create a wave of momentum that will grow over time.

It's a dead simple, why didn't I think of that? way to practice delivering sample sessions and get the client enrolment ball rolling.

And I can almost guarantee that your business will grow faster than it ever has when you take on this challenge.

Chase Jackson took the challenge and got three new clients in 14 days. Michelle Tascoe just emailed me to say "I gave away 50 free sessions at the end of last year as I worked through the bootcamp [the "Coach Marketing Bootcamp" program] and my coaching revenue has doubled. I could remember when I was so excited to make $2000 in one month. I have consistently been making $2000 week after week."

Friends & Family 50 Tracking Sheet (.pdf)

Friends & Family 50 Tracking Sheet (.pdf)

Here's how to take the The Friends and Family 50 Challenge:

  1. Make a list of all of the people that you know. Start with at least 100 people because not all of them will accept a sample session.
  2. Then, one by one, go down the list and invite each one of them to have a sample session. You can email or Facebook them, but a phone call will offer a bit more of a personal touch. When you make the offer, be transparent and honest about where you are in your journey. You can say something like "Hey cousin, I'm doing this 50 day challenge thing. I've decided to give away 50 free sample sessions as an opportunity for me to practice my coaching skills but to also give you the opportunity to experience it first hand. What do you say? How does Friday work for you?"
  3. If it makes sense, ask the recipient of the sample session for their business. If it's your cousin, you may not want to do business with them and that's okay. Then you can ask them for a referral instead. Either way, you're asking for something.
  4. Keep track of the results by downloading this complimentary Friends and Family 50 Tracking Sheet (.pdf). Tally up how many people you asked, how many accepted, and then how many hired you as a result. Your numbers are going to look something like this:
    - Invited to sample session: 29
    - Accepted sample session: 15
    - Sample Sessions Delivered: 12 (3 more scheduled for next week)
    - Hired: 3

It's that simple.

Are You Up for the Challenge?

Start your "Friend and Family 50 Challenge" now.

Not only will you get proficient at converting prospects from a sample session, you'll make more money, and impact way more lives as a result.

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Contributing Author:

Stephan Wiedner is the co-founder of Noomii.com, the web's largest company dedicated to matching coaches and clients. He holds an ACC credential with the International Coach Federation. As an Internet entrepreneur, Stephan works remotely and enjoys travelling the world with his young family.

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Image of coach and client having sample session by wavebreakmedia via Shutterstock

Image of Family and Friends saying Ask Us by Rawpixel.com via Shutterstock

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