Coffee With A Coach

If there’s one question I get asked most, it’s “How do I get more clients?” While the answer I give is succinct, that doesn’t mean it’s always achieved quickly: “Determine your niche and make yourself known as an expert within that community.”

While both parts of the process involve some research (both of the market and internal varieties), that doesn’t mean you need to stop being a coach or building your business while you’re working on them.

Building Your Business While You Work On Niche I.D.

In the article, Attracting More Clients (available from the Coaching Tree Resources Page), there are a number of ideas you can use to grow your client base. One of the easiest and most accessible is a “Coffee with a Coach” event.

The idea is simple: talk to the events coordinator or manager at your local bookstore, library, coffee shop or community center. Explain that you’d like to offer them an opportunity for their members to learn more about what you do by experiencing coaching.

Getting The Host On Board

The key to getting the host enthusiastic about your session is to frame your request in terms of “WIIFM” (“What’s In It For Me” – or “them,” in this case): they provide the space, a couple of chairs and a little publicity. In return, they get an increase in foot traffic, interest, and maybe even a boost in sales.

Help them understand that you won’t be a drag on their resources or staff, but that the format of your presentation (allowing participants to hang out, get coached, and browse through your materials) will encourage participants to spend more time in their establishment, most likely, spending more money during their visit.

Preparing For The Big Day

Once you’ve got the host on board, it’s time to get your own ducks in a row. Would it help if you brought your own sign? Would it be of benefit to be ready with brochures, cards, pens and a basket of candy? Sure! But when it comes down to it, the critical feature is the quality of your exchange. To make the most of each interaction, remember the following:

  • Begin with an enticing opening question, such as, “What’s your biggest challenge right now?” You won’t have much time, especially if demand is high.
  • Be sure to end with a “call to action.” If possible, schedule an initial consult (or maybe even their first coaching session!).
  • Be yourself. Share your humor, inspiration and feelings – the real you.

With very little preparation and minimal investment, “Coffee with a Coach” is a great way to hone your coaching skills and get exposure as a professional coach. Because of the potentially high volume of prospects, once you get comfortable with initiating these conversations, “Coffee with a Coach” may prove a staple marketing strategy – even after you’ve pinned down your niche!

Posted in: branching out