Have you ever had a complimentary coaching call booked and then the person doesn't phone? Frustrating right? You may even find it disheartening. Either way, it's something you can do without as you do your best to attract clients and build your coaching practice.
Over the past 6 years of coaching I've had my fair share of ‘no shows’ but thankfully they are decreasing in frequency. I used to get disheartened and still find it frustrating whenever it happens. However, I realize it comes with the territory. Some phone and some don't.
I recently had my first ‘no show’ this year and, as always, I looked back to see what I could learn from the process and how to avoid a similar situation occurring in the future.
I had followed my pre-qualification process before scheduling the call - namely:
1. Ask the client for more details - After receiving the e-mail enquiry, I contacted the potential client via e-mail to request further details about their current situation and the type of assistance they were looking for. (Lots of detail came back - a good sign of serious intent).Do you have a pre-qualification process too? If not, consider implementing one as it will avoid a lot of unnecessary frustration in the future years of your coaching practice.
Note - This step is a great pre-qualifier. Some people will never get back to you - so how serious were they in the first place? If you had scheduled a call straight off the bat without pre-qualifying, you would have both been wasting your time.
So, please don't rush into scheduling complimentary calls willy-nilly with anyone and everyone. Make sure that you qualify people sufficiently well up front and then you'll be focusing your efforts on the people who have the greatest chance of becoming clients in your coaching practice.
2. Confirm the time of the call - I contacted the prospective client to confirm the time and date for the call together with the number to dial etc.
This ensures that people have the details required to give them the best chance of making the call.
However, despite passing the pre-qualification process above the person didn't phone. But why and what do you do next?
I always politely assume that I've got things wrong at my end and then e-mail the prospective client to check when they thought they had a session booked. My e-mail runs along the lines of:
Hi Mr Bloggs,I then wait to see if there's a response and particularly a misunderstanding. Depending upon the nature of the reply (if any), I may reschedule. Sometimes things get in the way such as forgetfulness or more pressing matters.
According to my diary we had a complimentary consultation booked for today at 12noon. Was this your understanding also?
You may find that some people are just not sufficiently interested to even bother to get back to you afterwards - let alone take you on as their coach. It's time to move on to other prospective clients who are more deserving of your time, attention and skills.
Shaun O'Reilly is the founder of Authentic Practice and works exclusively with coaches to help them to build successful coaching practices.
He is also the author of The 5 Biggest Mistakes Coaches Make in Marketing and How You Can Avoid Them. To get your free copy just go to: