Whether you’re working in person, online or a combination of both you’ll need an effective process to secure and onboard new coaching clients. Unless you have a working history, there will be some work required to build deep rapport and connection which are the foundations of a good coaching relationship.
Whatever you choose to call the initial session, in this post we’ll refer to it as the ‘Discovery Session’. It’s the first opportunity you’ll have to coach a prospective client and a chance for you to really get to know how you may structure an engagement with them.
Many coaches choose to offer their first session for free to encourage more people to schedule a session. If you’re just starting your coaching business this may be the best option, as you’ll get the best chance to have more coaching conversations. You can always change this later, and add a fee (full or reduced) for the discovery session if you choose.
We have listed some important factors below to help you get the most value from hosting coaching discovery sessions.
The Right Environment
As with all of your coaching sessions, the discovery session should take place in a safe and comfortable environment. Whether it’s hosted on Zoom or in a physical place, the prospective client should be able to speak freely for the most value.
The discovery session is a place to get curious and ask questions, it therefore needs to be facilitated in a way which encourages the prospective client to share what’s on their mind. It’s important to remind the client that you’re there to support them without judgement, this often helps to relax barriers and dissolve some of the ego.
Ask powerful questions which give permission for depth and introspection. Some example questions may include…
What brought you here today?
How do you see a coach supporting you right now?
If you could imagine your ideal life, what would it look like?
What’s your biggest challenge right now?
Who do you have to become in this chapter of your life?
Although the discovery session is about building rapport, it’s also important to clarify what sort of investment the prospective client may be looking to make. You may wish to break down the investment into the following -
- Resources & Reading
Finding a Match
It’s important to note that not everyone who joins a discovery session will become a coaching client right now and that’s okay. Some people won’t be ready to invest in coaching right now, some may not be a good match for you and some may just be curious. All of these are okay and it’s one of the reasons having an initial discovery session has so many benefits.
Playing the Long Game
After each discovery session connect with the prospective clients and stay in touch. If they're not ready to work with you right now, play the long game and you may establish a coaching relationship in the future. You may also receive referrals if you delivered value and made an impact in the discovery session.
Try to automate the scheduling of discovery sessions so prospective clients can easily see your live availability and make a booking. This will save you time having to reply to emails and make bookings manually. There are a variety of scheduling tools available, such as the one built right into practice which you can add to your website.
At Practice, we’ve created the essential tools you need to operate your coaching business.
Our platform gives you powerful tools and takes care of the scheduling, client management, invoicing and so much more. Automate your workflow and wake up to new discovery sessions getting booked. To learn more and try Practice click here.