My former coach just sent me a message – and it pissed me off.
A few weeks ago, I received a LinkedIn message from a former coach of mine.
At first I was excited. I’d spent 14 months with this coach and he helped me make transformational change in myself and my business. So much so, that he probably wouldn’t recognize me today.
Then I read the email closer and realized it was a generic “copy and paste” message saying something to the effect of “if you are in the process of starting a new habit”…yada yada yada…go here and download my fancy new article.
Can you sense the sarcasm?
Frankly, I was pissed.
It didn’t feel like a genuine outreach from someone who had pushed me, supported me, and challenged me to move toward my own vision (instead someone else’s). It wasn’t personalized to me – to someone he knew after having worked together with for so long. And, it was the first communication that we had in well over a year since our last coaching session.
Then I began to ask myself better questions.
Where am I doing the same with my clients?
Who haven’t I reached out to in a while with whom I’ve had the same level of relationship?
Where have I generically sent “copy and paste” messages to people that I intimately know?
How can I add more value to my clients even though our engagements are completed?
I realized that I too had fallen into the same trap of “one and done” as my former coach had.
Stay in Touch
Of course staying in touch with our former clients is critical to our businesses in so many ways.
Over the years, I’ve had some remarkable reconnections with clients;
- Just last week a former client from over 7 years ago found me on LinkedIn to ask if one of my team members could facilitate a strategic planning process.
- Two months ago, a former client endorsed my new book Unite! The 4 Mindset Shifts for Senior Leaders. Then he made an introduction to another executive with whom I’ve started an executive coaching engagement. And, he brought me back into his new company as an executive coach.
- Today, I have an onsite meeting with his coaching coordinator.
- Last year a former client brought me into a book project and I helped co-author a book with several other authors in his industry.
- In a few cases I’ve developed genuine friendships with former clients who are now in advisory roles in my businesses.
The Keys To Staying in Touch
The opportunities are endless, and the relationships can blossom way beyond the scope of a coaching engagement. I’ve found that the key to staying in touch is making it a regular part of my coaching practice. Here are some ideas that might help you do the same.
Reach out regularly. Find time on a weekly basis for working ON your business, instead of getting caught up IN your business. Mondays and Fridays are my time for marketing and business development.
Personalize your message. You know your clients. Add value to their lives by tailoring your message to what they may need. Perhaps they are in a new role and you have a resource you can share. Or, maybe they have a unique challenge and you have a book summary or article that will help.
Use Coachmetrix. Several Coachmetrix features were built with this issue in mind to add stickiness in your business. For example, you can extend the pulse feedback process beyond the end of your coaching engagement to add additional reinforcement. You can use the discussion feature to efficiently “check in.” You can share tools and tips directly from your pre-built Coachmetrix library of Resources and Collections.
How to Apply These Tools in Your Coaching Business
Staying in touch with your clients will only help you build your business and your brand.
Where do you see gaps in staying connected with your clients?
What strategies might work for you to add more value?
What would the impact be if you had a system to stay connected?
Let me know how it goes, and please share your ideas so that collectively we can make a bigger impact.