Getting people to go from 'hello' to 'let me sign up as your client' can be a big ask - especially when they don't know what coaching is! So I always suggest you do an 'Introductory' or 'Exploratory' session first - no cost and no obligation.

But how do you offer this so that they say 'yes'? In this article I'll explain exactly how to get plenty of trial sessions, which is the first step to plenty of clients.

Change Your Perspective

Are you trying too hard? It can be useful to make a shift from: "I need to get people as ongoing clients", to "Let's see how many introductory sessions I can provide this year". Just remember to come from a place of service. The sessions should be very fulfilling, and great fun!

Prospect has asked what you do, or what coaching is - now what?

Most of these tips assume you're at some kind of party or networking function, but they can work for anywhere:

1) Keep your answer short and let them drive it e.g. "I'm a coach". They'll usually ask follow up questions.

2) Speak of what you do for people, not about what coaching is e.g. "I move people forward" "I work with professionals to grow their business" "I help women expand their community of friends" "I do A, B and C for people."

3) They've asked 'How does it work?' Great. You might like to use Peyton Manning or Tiger Woods as an example. They have coaches. It's not about fixing their game, it's about being even better - or having even more in life.

4) Another answer to this question might be: "I look for what's missing. Some people come to me for direction; some want accountability, so that stuff gets done. Others can simply use support or a sounding board. Some people need focus, inspiration and challenge."

5) Another great answer is: "If you could do anything, what's the number one thing you would change in your life?" Put it back on them - after all, that's what coaching is.

6) Many people will say "that's interesting". Don't let this pass. Ask them "What about it do you find interesting?" and go from there.

7) Other great questions: "Have you ever considered working with a coach?" "If you had your own coach, what would you get started on first?"

The Invitation

Sometimes all it takes to set up the session is for you to invite them to have one! (I know - rocket science, right?)

Sample: "What I usually do for people who are interested in coaching is set up a 20-30 minute chat to talk about their goals, and give them an experience of being coached. I don't mind if they become clients or not; it helps me develop my skills, and it's one way I develop referrals. No charge. Would you be interested that?"

OK - time to set up some introductory sessions!


Author's Bio: 

David Wood is an IFC certified coach who has been coaching since 1998. During that time he has coached clients in 15 countries and mentored 90 other coaches. He currently focuses on helping others start or build coaching practices. You can learn more about David and the help he provides at