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Client Clincher, by Marcie Thomas

Jun 10th, 2009 | By | Category: Web Marketing Guest Posts

This is a guest post by Marcie Thomas, President of

What makes a good client clincher? In other words, how can you increase the odds of closing the sale in your favor when you are talking to a somewhat uncommitted potential client? I’ll break down this process a bit and then provide a sample client/coach conversation.

Let’s assume you’ve had a somewhat interested person connecting with you about coaching. They’ve toyed with the subject and engaged you in a brief conversation. You know they have an “interest” in the topic, but that’s all you know at this point. How can you deliver a client clincher conversation that moves them from “somewhat interested” to taking action steps?

First, let’s break down what’s happening from the potential client’s perspective. They are intrigued about coaching. They do want results; but most likely they are skeptical about the results and looking for reasons not to add one more thing to their plate. At this point in the process, it won’t take much of a reason to dissuade them from moving forward. The simple fact that they have unanswered questions will be enough of a deterrent; never mind the fact that they failed to tell you they had unanswered questions.

This is the one area where coaches need to be directive in the conversation and lead the client through to a decision making process.

  • identify one of their passions/pains (that holds value for them)
  • do your best to identify the obstacles
  • paint a picture of their success in reaching their goal (ROI)
  • remove the obstacles
  • offer to schedule the free session

Here’s a conversational script between client and coach that illuminates how a coach can be directive and yet still be effective in speaking to the needs of the potential client:

Co: I’m glad we were able to connect today.

Cl: I’ve been thinking; I don’t think this coaching thing is for me. I’m not sure I have time for it.

Co: I know life is crazy these days. It seems that one day blends into the next and then before you know it years pass and we look back to see what we’ve done that’s worthwhile. From what you understand about coaching, what attracts you to it?

Cl: I really liked what you said about life balance, but I’m already overcommitted to everything. How could I have time to add one more thing? And I don’t want it to be a waste of time or money.

Co:       Wow, I hear you. It sounds like you want life balance, but you can’t see how coaching could help you obtain that goal? Is that right?

Cl: Yeah! And my wife really is nervous about how this will impact our budget.

Co: Okay, let me explain a bit more about how powerful of an impact coaching can make in your life. You are the expert in your life right? No one else can tell you what’s right for you. But even as the expert, sometimes we get to places where we’re not where we’d like to be. We’re not operating at optimum. Like you said earlier, you want life balance, but you can’t see how to make it happen. A coach is specially trained to come along side you, to help you achieve what you’ve not been able to accomplish on your own.  Coaching doesn’t dictate your life; the coaching relationship is a resource to accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself. It’s a catalyst for the changes you want to make happen. Imagine for a moment having a balanced life. What would that look like for you? Would there be more peace in your life? Would there be less pressure?

Cl: Yeah!

Co: Life balance is a worthwhile, very realistic goal. I bet you have other goals that have been sitting on the backburner of life, too. You may have even given up on some of those things.

Cl: Doesn’t everyone?

Co: At times; the trick is to not stay living on the backburner.

Co: Now you mentioned that your wife is a little bit worried about the financial commitment.

Cl: Yes, she is. It’s a chunk of money.

Co: Let me make a suggestion. I’m so convinced that coaching is going to make such a positive impact for you that I’m willing to invite your wife to your session too. Your first session is free and she can be a “fly on the wall”. That way you begin to make traction in the area of life balance and your wife can begin to see the results for herself. The results will speak for themselves. At this rate, you’ve got nothing to lose; the session is free, you start moving towards life balance and your wife get’s to come along side of you in the decision making process. What do you say? Let’s schedule that free session.

Hopefully your potential client won’t be able to resist this approach. However, if they still lag in commitment, you can continue this conversation:

Cl: Well, I’m still not sure.

Co: Totally understand. Until you experience something firsthand it’s hard to make an informed decision. I just know that coaching is the key you’ve been looking for; it’s the leverage you need to make the changes you’ve been thinking about. I know this because I’ve seen the proof; I’ve seen the quality of life improve for dozens of my clients and I believe this is possible for you too. That’s why I’m offering you the initial session. After the initial session, you’ll have all the information you need to say, “Yes, this is for me,” or “No, I think I need to pass at this time.” In fact, there is no commitment after the initial session.

Co: Can I ask you a pointed question?

Cl: Sure.

Co: What will happen if things don’t change?

Cl: Then I still will feel like I do today; rushed and pressured by everybody and everything.

Co: Then change has to happen at some point in time. So, let’s schedule that No Obligation, You’ve Got Nothing to Lose Initial Session and at least see what gets moving in your favor.

The key is helping them see the value in the coaching and you do that by tapping into what they want to change–either a passion or a pain–and helping them to envision it becoming a reality.


marcieMarcie L Thomas is the owner of COACHINGshift: the life coach’s marketing resource. Her motivation is ensuring her client’s success in marketing their life coaching businesses.  She’s also the Marketing Director at the Professional Christian Coach Training Program, a contributing writer at the Christian Coaching Center, is the author of upcoming Coaches’ Successful Guide to Marketing ebook , and is a guest speaker on the topics of marketing mindset, developing a marketing plan, e-marketing success, and developing a unique, content-rich marketing message. Marcie draws on over 20 years combined experience in training, human resource development, marketing, coaching, and business startup. Having launched marketing projects for coaches and solopreneurs for several years, Marcie is keenly aware of what it takes to succeed in launching and growing a new coaching business. She has taken that experience and combined it with her training and coaching skills to develop her own unique approach to helping coaches overcome the challenges and maximize the rewards of becoming a solopreneur. She is a member of the International Coach Federation, the Christian Coaches Network and is current taking advanced coaching classes with the Professional Christian Coaching Program.

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One Response to “Client Clincher, by Marcie Thomas”

  1. SusanFleming says:

    Hi Marcie,

    This was very helpful, particularly the sample conversation. I KNOW what to say (well, sort of…), but guiding the conversation to that point, and making those critical transitions are where I get stuck. And I especially like seeing how to get them to articulate what will happen if they do not choose change.

    This is a skill that has such broad application, too — personally as well as professionally. Maybe I’ll make a little card to set by my phone that has:

    Identify Passion/Pain –> Imagine Results of Change –> Recognize the Consequences of No Change –> Ask to be the Change Agent

    Thanks again for bringing that into focus for me!

    All the best,

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