Your Initial Coaching Session Can Make You Or Break You!

There are a lot of misconceptions in the coaching industry about the value of an Initial Coaching Session (ICS). Far too many coaches consider their first encounter with a new client of such limited value that they will do the initial session for free!

I often have coaches tell me that the purpose of their initial session is to find out if it is “a good fit” for coach and client! Whenever I hear that comment, I cringe! Are they coaching or dating their clients?

Few coaches truly appreciate the real value of the ICS and why it should NEVER be given out for free! Here’s what an ICS is NOT:

– It is NOT a social call
– It is NOT a coaching call

Your ICS is a skillfully crafted and structured first encounter with a client that has only one purpose in mind! It is designed to take your clients to the next step.

Unfortunately, for many coaches the ICS goes nowhere and the potential client simply disappears!

If this happens in your coaching practice, here are the 5 elements of an effective ICS that will result in the retention of the client and the cultivation of a long-term coach/client relationship!

First, you should allow 30 minutes (approx.) for your Initial Coaching Session (ICS). The 30 minute ICS is structured in such a way that it validates you as the coach that the client needs to achieve their Desired Outcome. There are 5 components to the ICS call that will accomplish this objective:

1. Issue (5 minutes)
Have the client communicate in their own words how they would describe the issue or challenge they’re dealing with. This could be a personal issue, such as a relationship or a weight loss problem, or a professional issue dealing with a career or business.

2. Impact (5 minutes)
Have the client communicate in their own words how this issue is impacting their personal and/or professional life. Key elements of this component will be the emotional impact on their daily routine or their quality of life.

3. Resolve (5 minutes)
In order for you to work with a client and achieve a Desired Result, the resolve needs to be an absolute MUST. You are a results-driven coach and not a “dream weaver”!

4. Solution (5 minutes)
Up to this point, the client has done most of the talking. Now it’s time for you to take the helm! This is your moment to shine… and deliver!

• You understand the issue(s) for which your client seeks your help.
• You appreciate the impact this has on your client’s personal and/or professional life!
• You feel inspired and motivated by your client’s determination to achieve their Desired Outcome.
• You have decided that you want to work with this client and you are going to spend the next 10 minutes explaining how your coaching program is going to deliver the desired results!

Then it’s time for the…

5. Assumptive Close (10 minutes)
It’s time to introduce your Coaching Program! This is your coaching “piece de resistance”. This is how you’re going to deliver the desired results your client is looking for. How to deliver the details of your Coaching Program and reveal your Coaching FEES is the topic of my next article.