We are well into six months of working through a global pandemic and everyone’s leadership and executive coaching model has been impacted in some way.
For many, coaching online was already the norm. For others, being onsite with clients is the preferred way to connect.
Regardless of how your coaching business model has changed, most clients’ business models have also changed. While many organizations have figured out how to remain productive, we’ve all heard about increased levels of frustration, silos, disengagement and even depression among employees.
From a business development perspective, walking around the office and building relationships with new clients is temporarily (or maybe permanently) gone, at least for the time being.
The question is, how do you nurture your new executive and leadership coaching client prospects in this online world?
Here are eight tips to help you continue to fill your coaching pipeline in our virtual coaching workplace.
Nurture Tip #1: Just Listen
Every coaching opportunity is a chance to add value. The more value you add, the more likely a client is to recommend your services to an internal or external contact.
Nurture Tip #2: Executive Sponsor Meetings
As a best practice, we should all be meeting with the executive sponsors of the leaders we are coaching. Meeting with your sponsors is a great opportunity to stay up-to-date on developments in the business, share observations and recommendations, and show behavioral change data (from Coachmetrix). More importantly, it’s an opportunity to build your relationship with senior and executive leaders in the organization who just may hold the purse strings for further work.
Nurture Tip #3: Create Lower Investment Levels
Today’s business environment contains a ton of uncertainty and unpredictability. More than ever, clients need our support navigating the complexities of the workplace. So, make it easy for them to buy your coaching services. You don’t have to reduce your fees, but you can change the scope of engagements by creating new coaching packages that are designed for these more volatile times.
Nurture Tip #4: Pour a Virtual Coffee or Beer
Even though it’s more difficult to meet in person, that doesn’t mean you can’t meet socially. I know many of us have experienced Zoom fatigue, but how about meeting on video without an agenda? Have a cup of great Italian coffee. Or a glass of wine or a beer. Let your guard down a bit and find virtual ways to show your clients your human side, and for you to see them in a different light as well.
Nurture Tip #5: Meet in Person. Go Fishing?
While the weather is nice, there may be an opportunity to actually meet in person, socially distanced, of course. Many restaurants and coffee shops make outdoor seating easy and safe. Alternatively, if food isn’t your thing given the pandemic, get creative. I’m meeting a client tonight for a hike. Next week, for flyfishing with another client.
Nurture Tip #6: Brown Bag, Round Table – Bring People Together
We are working in an environment where there isn’t necessarily a playbook on how to respond. So, why not facilitate group sessions where leaders from within the same company (or across companies) get together to help support each other? You’ll add value and help expand your clients’ thinking. In addition, you’ll also nurture existing, and maybe even new, relationships.
Nurture Tip #7: Team Up
Now is a great time to partner with other coaches who may have complementary skills. Put on a virtual brown bag or share your expertise across both of your client groups. Teaming up with another coach gives your executive coaching clients and prospects a more dynamic experience and shows that you can come to the table with a team.
Nurture Tip #8: Help Your Clients Expand
My coach starts every coaching session asking me about the “wins and celebrations” I’ve had since we last met. It’s a great positive psychology technique. While there are so many challenges impacting our society today, there is also so much good in this world. What we focus on expands. Help your coaching clients focus on the things that are actually working.
Online Coaching Software Can Help
Working in this online world is our new norm. Even if companies go back to the office, it is likely that a larger percentage of people will remain remote.
Online coaching software like Coachmetrix can help. You can efficiently and seamlessly create an online coaching experience that uses the best of your executive coaching skills and supplements it with online action planning, behavioral measurement, efficient communication tools and more.
Check it out – your first online coaching software engagement is free for the first 14 days.