Consulting/ Coaching 101: Succeed With Planning & Structure
By: Sereda Aleta Dailey
Tags: abundance, best job, Boston Consulting Group, brainstorming, building, Business, client, Client (computing), Coaching, communication, Company, competence, Consultant, design, independent, learning, Listen, Management consulting, McKinsey & Company, opportunity, planning, professional, program design, requirement, research, sales, Small business, Strategic planning, structure, Thought, winning
Consulting/ Coaching work is a very important job for those who choose to do it.
Anytime you enjoy what you do a job can be equally rewarding in several ways. Connecting with a new client is always a treat. However, it’s important to communicate exactly what your parameters are before taking on a new client. Oh you could create a losing situation for your business and the client.
There are a few key points to include in your terms of service document before you take a new client in. Sure you want a new client but you can save time on the front end by laying your rules and expectations on the table.
I completely understand.. You think if you can just get a new client everything will work out perfectly right. Sure it will. Think about the last time you had a client right. Now, You get a new client, at first meeting every interaction is flowing and well, right! So then after about a week or less, your new client becomes unresponsive to you and stops keeping their appointments with you. You have no idea as to why. But that’s all you have to off of is their behavior. Well there are preventive measures you can put in place to keep situations like this to a minimum.
This is an example of why, PRE-QUALIFICATION is Very necessary. Some folks may not follow through with much of anything in life. Of course we are visualizing all clients doing everything it takes to stay focused and following through as well. Great let’s keep a positive outlook! Now..
It’s important to find out who your prime time clients are. Who can you best assist? Your ideal client may think like you, or they may be just the opposite of you. Here are some ideas to get you going. Before we get to number 1 on the list let’s start with the pre-qualification process. Yes, there is a match for all clients and a match for all coaches/consultants. First of all, Type up a document detailing what your ideal client is, here is an example:
You’re my ideal kind of client if you:
Take personal responsibility for your life experience
Want to live mind fully with greater meaning and purpose
Desire to serve and be as productive as possible at any age
Are open to letting go of unneeded baggage
Feel inspired by co-creative ventures with like-minded people
Have the ability (even if it’s not showing now) to be focused on tasks
Are ready to improve your present and future
Are not afraid of money
Hold high ethical values
Are not afraid of people
Enjoy brain storming
Seek open feed back and are open-minded
1. Make a list you and potential clients will discuss (assessment, requirements) before you will work with them. Save the list. This list will be part of your consulting program.
2. Write down what you expect from your ideal client during each session.
3. Make a record of how important is your time is? Put a dollar number on that, make it a 30 day paycheck in fact. Make a note of it for you. How much would you get paid if you worked with a client for 30 days. What’s your time worth? This is an important step so if you the (consultant/coach) will know just how important your time is. Remember structure is the key to enjoying a successful consulting practice. If you don’t organize, you might lose clients, time and money.
4. Begin a document with a list of what a client should expect from you. What can you offer them in the form of services for their hard-earned money? For example:
As Your Consultant My Job Is To:
- Model mindfulness, learning and growth
- Listen with focus and presence
- Maintain self-awareness
- Nurture the partnership with respect and compassion
- Establish and honor an explicit structure for the coaching relationship
- Make choices with you about the coaching process
- Ask questions that deepen your understanding of your situation
- Help you articulate desired outcomes
- Ask you to generate a course of action
- Provide direct and honest feedback
- Direct your attention toward your capabilities and potential
- Provide important information, tools, and language
- Energize and stimulate your thinking process
- Remind you of your potential and vision
- Encourage you to take action
- Offer opinions and/or recommend a course of action
- Provide an open space for communication
5. Write an affirmation that goes something like this..(by the way) this is specifically for you (the consultant) ! OK here it is:
I am an amazing consultant, i do my best each and every time with every client. I am here to listen and offer solutions! I strive to direct the client into the direction that will give them the results they spoke of during our first meeting. Together we can make a change. I am thankful for the opportunity to help someone again with building an awesome business, relationship and overall life! Repeat this affirmation before and after working with your clients.
6. Clients will take you seriously when you take your business and time seriously. Create solutions and plan options to compliment your time and your potential clients time as well and feel good about your choices, you can edit your program at anytime.
7. Detail your program process, include the abc’s of your consulting game plan and type it up in a document. For example:
What to Expect from Coaching/ Consulting-
Consulting is fully customized to your needs and goals. However, here is an example of what you can expect:
~ Explore and discover what you want in your life, while also acknowledging that what you ultimately want is Bliss.
~ Learn to manage your body & mind, responses to others and life, health and well-being.
~ Brainstorm, rejuvenate, create, meet your goals, build, explore, enjoy adventure, play and then..
~ Transform, relax and experience Bliss Returned.
The overall benefit of a consultant is to help you explore who you are, what you truly want and how to attain it. This is achieved as you and the consultant communicate through skillful questioning, listening, reflecting, clarification and suggestions.
8. Don’t beat yourself or your staff up if a client doesn’t follow through. Consulting takes at least two people. Often people will say they want to change, however they may decide during your program, to not elevate for a while. Client fall backs are not your fault. Smile and know one thing: If the structure of your coaching/consulting program is tight, you have done your job there. The other part is keeping appointments and holding people accountable or what they say they want to do. I know you can do that. You have it going on there. I know that! This process will be ( or is) a breeze for you. This is YOU we are talking about here. RiGHT!
So, go forth and Make it happen. There is no room to doubt your process or your skills. If you have questions or concerns please reach out to me. I can help. I love what I do and I do it well! Enjoy the planning process of your consulting practice. You have exactly what it takes to win. WORK IT!