You know that feeling you get when you're ready to hop on a pre-client interview call?
Do you feel nervous or excited? Do you sometimes worry that you might come off too strong?
Do you get the “excitement jitters” before a pre-client call like me?
Maybe this has happened to you: You hang up and immediately feel like you were overzealous or you talked too much.
Don't freak out – this happens to ALL OF US!
When I need to slow my own thoughts, and to stay in “listen-mode” during a pre-client call, I create a few key interview questions that I keep written down. It helps me to stay on-focus, and stay in control of my listening.
It also allows me to ensure that the call does not go on for too long. Afterall, this is NOT A COACHING CALL. This is a pre-client interview.
The pre-client interview is not just an opportunity for the client to determine if you're a good fit for them. This is YOUR opportunity to determine if they are a good fit for you!
I know that as a self-employed professional, we're always working hard for that next client! But CAUTION!
You need to define what Michael Port, in his book, Book Yourself Solid, calls the Red Velvet Rope Policy.
What it boils down to is this: You need to maintain focus on your target audience.
Make sure that the potential client matches your very specific target audience/avatar. And if they don't, you politely stop them at your Red Velvet Rope.
It is so important that you stay focused and true to your target, because serving “everyone” really serves no one! And you'll end up outside of your BOLD GREATNESS trying to please somebody that cannot be pleased, and that your coaching will not help.
For instance, I have a bolder personality and I call it like I see it. If a person doesn't like a no-BS, hard-core attitude, or they prefer a softer approach, I'm happy to recommend them to another coach that I think might fit their personality more.
And you know what?
That person will respect for me so much more! And potentially refer other people my way because of that honesty.
They might like more sugar-coated approach, but their best friend may be a crazy, balls-to-the-wall, type-A go-getter that needs somebody exactly like me as their coach.
The pre-client interview is a connection – NOT A COMMITMENT.
Do not want to oversell yourself.
Do not want to make the person feel like they have to say YES, or give you an excuse if they want to say NO.
The coaching relationship requires open, HONEST feedback, and if they say to you, “I appreciate your time, but I don't think you're a good fit for me,” your best response is to show gratitude for their honesty, and ask if you can recommend somebody that may be a better.
Afterall, this is all about serving your target audience with your BOLD GREATNESS.
PRE-CLIENT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
What is the right approach to take before your pre-client interview?
Here's what I do:
- Send an informal email with a few of these questions the morning of an afternoon pre-client call or the night before a morning pre-client call
- Don't send a lengthy form or word doc or anything that feels too formal because they haven't made a commitment
- Ask a couple of questions related to your niche of coaching in the email
- Suggest that they think about the questions for your call
Since I serve coaches and service-based professionals, I generally ask business-related questions around goals, values, and outcomes. I've created a swipe file with my questions that you can use to help you get centered around your pre-client interview calls.
What is your process for connecting with a potential new client?
Do you have a regimented format you follow or are you “free flow” in your approach?
Please share your comments below for others.
Cheers to your success!