Make sure you set expectations before starting work with a client.
Picture this scenario. You've just signed up a coaching client for a flat fee of £200 per month. Then you start getting emails and calls from the client every day, often more than once a day. You end up having to tell the client that you can't spend so much time coaching. Before you know it there are nasty posts about you popping up in forums from your disgruntled client.
Is the client being unreasonable? Sure. But it was your responsibility to find out their expectations and set your own before you signed anything or received payment.
WHY SETTING EXPECTATIONS WITH YOUR CLIENTS IS SO CRITICAL TO YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Setting clear expectations with your coaching clients from the start involves finding out what they expect and letting them know exactly what you will be providing. It ensures that you can actually provide what they expect, and they understand what they'll be getting. You can clear up any misunderstandings before you start and avoid having an unhappy customer.
On the flip side of that, you get the opportunity to over-deliver if you want. There's nothing quite like giving a customer more than they expected. Those are the ones that give testimonials and refer you to everyone they know.
WHAT KIND OF EXPECTATIONS DO YOU NEED TO SET WITH YOUR CLIENTS?
Depending on the type of coaching you're providing, you'll need to set expectations on everything from price to number of email exchanges you provide and how long it will take you to respond. Here are a few suggested areas:
- Focus of the coaching. Make it clear what you can and can't help with. For example, maybe you can give advice on email marketing, but not on how to analyze your financials.
- How much one-on-one time vs. other interaction. You might want to set specific limits on your time, especially if the price is low. For example, you might say the coaching involves a 30 minute one-on-one session once a week and unlimited email access. Base it both on the price and the needs of your clients.
- Type of interaction and materials. How will you be doing the actual coaching? Through a membership site with instructional materials and email interchanges? Weekly webinars and Skype calls? A mix of media usually works best. Just make it clear what your clients will be getting.
- What happens if theyíre not happy? Particularly with high ticket coaching programs, prospects will want to know what happens if they're not satisfied with results. Is this a no refunds program? Is there a money-back guarantee? Establish the details and communicate any time limits and refund policies.
DON'T PROMISE WHAT YOU CAN'T DELIVER
Whatever you do, avoid guarantees of specific results. Everything that a client achieves in a coaching program will be dependent on the actions they actually take and the business model they are following. You can give all the advice in the world, but if your client doesn't act on it, theyíll never get anywhere. That ís why some coaches have a screening process before accepting a client.
Don't put yourself in the precarious position of having a client that expects more than you'd planned to offer. By providing complete details of what your coaching clients will get from your services, you will be far more likely to have happy, successful customers who recommend you to their friends.