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How to Hold Your Coaching Clients Accountable So They See Results

Posted on March 8th, 2018
Stay motivated

The first hurdle to overcome when you decide to add coaching to your business is actually signing on clients to coach. Sales activities will likely be taking up most of your energy in the beginning so you can increase your roster of clients.

Your job is far from over when you sign on those clients. You need to work with these people to get them to the place they want to be. The actual coaching stage is the most important part of the game because your client’s results are a reflection of your abilities. This is why you don’t want to go around signing up any and every prospective client.

Your ideal client is a subset of people who enjoy working with you the most and get the most benefit from your coaching service. When selecting your ideal client think about their gender, age, income, hobbies, household size, location, etc.

After you choose the right type of clients, here’s how to keep them accountable so they see results:

Set Markers for Success

Your client or your program should be clear on what skills or knowledge the client will gain at the end. Make sure you carefully explain to your client what results they should expect. 

Being clear on what you’re working towards helps you in a few key ways. It will help you set goals and suggest homework that steers the client in the right direction throughout your time together. At the end, success markers give you a metric to show your client that you’ve achieved what you both set out to do.

It manages their expectations as well. For example, a business coach who teaches you how to incorporate your business may not be teaching you how to make sales. A client could be dissatisfied if they needed sales coaching and didn’t know this in the beginning. Unclear expectations are a lose-lose for everyone involved.

For your own business, setting markers of success and reaching them means you can give yourself a huge pat on the back. You can also use accomplishments in testimonials and other sales copy.

Learn Their Accountability Love Language

My “accountability love language” is a firm hand. I need my coach to tell me straight up when I’m being lazy or not putting in enough effort to make my dreams come true.

I’m very coachable, but sometimes I do need a wake up call. I work well with coaches who ask me to turn specific tasks into them. Like an elementary school student, I hate disappointing my teacher and will get myself in gear if they’re forceful.

Some people do not respond well to direct instructions and a firm tone. Some prefer affirming words and handholding. It’s your job as a coach to choose the right clients for your teaching style and read situations to choose the best approach to accountability and motivation.

Understanding how to motivate your coaching clients will help you keep them engaged. You also have a better shot at getting them the results they want if you’re in tune with their learning style and coaching needs.

Keep Them in the Loop

Lastly, consider adding a deliverable to your coaching program. Send your client recaps of what you cover after every coaching session. A recap can remind the client of what progress you’ve made together and what should be done before the next time to keep the ball rolling. This also gives you a paper trail if your coaching client loses steam and doesn’t finish the program. You have proof that you were doing your part to help them succeed and they didn’t uphold their end of the bargain.

Final Word

Results — it’s an important word in the coaching business. As much as you try, you can’t get results for your client alone. They need to step up to the plate. Your approach to giving them accountability can be the secret sauce that inspires them to act. Set expectations and learn the accountability style that works for your client so they get results.

Taylor Gordon

Taylor Gordon

Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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