Note to Coaches and Business Owners:

Make doing your priority.

Lisa Sears

I love to look back through my journals. They’re filled with technical information and reflection. They’re also filled with notes documenting my experiments as I was growing my business. As I build programs my journals have become an expansive resource for accessing hours of research and education, finding highlighted nuggets and advise, as well as a clear documentation of what worked and what didn’t.

I was putting together a “Intake Call for Coaches” 101 this week and pulled out a journal I knew would have everything I needed. There were notes from my certification for walking through a discovery call. There were also notes from fellow coaches, a great step by step from my own coach and additional outlines from a few of the coaches I really liked online.  There were similarities in all the approaches and noticeable differences too.

As I flipped through the pages of the journal I could see how I prepped for each call.  I also could see when I got “porched” (I am totally aging myself) that I moved on pretty quickly.  My favorite notes were from calls I ended up committing to some bizarre project or consulting support. I was getting a commitment to sessions but it felt like a transaction, not a value purchase or a client partnership.

As business owners we all need the Intake Call 101 foundation training.  It’s essential for building the confidence it takes to make that 1stcall and deal with whatever the outcome is.  The reality is it is only a tiny step towards attracting the right client and having them commit to a program.  And it gets easier the more you make it your own and the more you practice.

After a year of intake calls here’s my best advice:

Don’t go into every call wanting to make a “close”

Give people the assurance that this is a two person decision and that neither party should feel uncomfortable to say this isn’t a good fit.

Have your packaging and pricing nailed down.  Don’t leave the math to the actual call.  It gives your brain space to question all that work you did around valuing yourself.

Listen and be curious. Relate and mirror back.  Meet people where they are at.

In other words, be a coachin the first session.  Coaching can feel magical, but sometimes the mystery of coaching can be quite intimidating.  Take the time to explore what coaching is with your potential clients and be clear in the support your unique style of coaching can provide.

As business partners Colleen and I look back a lot and giggle.  Our first workshop is not like our current one.  The same goes for the look of our marketing and the feel of our business rhythm.  We grew, and so did everything else.

No one holds the less than polished versions against us.

I got better at intake calls.  I am attracting and helping people with my programs.  They are referring me with my value and style mind.  I am ok with someone saying that I am not the right fit for them.

Remember that looking perfect or doing it the “right way” is not what makes you successful when you start a business.  It’s actually doingthings (whether they work or not) that will ultimately give you the experience to become a successful entrepreneur.  Ask questions, get educated, take chances, and enjoy the experiments and experience of owning your own business…  sometimes the stuff that makes you giggle is actually the thing that got you here faster.