Don't attract clients, Create them
Note the difference between the often used term 'attracting clients' and creating them. The former refers to classic 'techniques' of getting clients like pleasing others, rather than serving, or manipulating, rather than delivering a powerful coaching session.
Sell the Experience
In your first conversation with a prospective client, you want to start straight with coaching. That's because it's very hard to seel the 'concept' of coaching. People need to experience the power of your coaching. The client's decision should be: 'Do they continue with you vs do they start with you.'
It's all about relationships
In the coaching business, in ANYTHING you do, it's all about relationships. With any person you talk to, you build a relationship. The best way to understand this is by considering an example of what not to do: After you've had your initial conversation with a prospective client, yet it turns out they don't need coaching, some coaches will cut off ties abruptly, because if they don't want to be a client now, they don't matter anymore. However, you'll find that by approaching any conversation with people with the relationship mindset, you will create a lot more of the 'right' kind of clients and leave future possibilities open
Just be with who's next
Forget about your busy schedule. Just be with who's in front of you. That's how your business will grow.
When in a conversation with a prosective client, you might be tempted to try to 'prove' your worthiness as a coach and really try to be confident about what you say. Big mistake. Instead, speak from things that can't be disputed - like the way you've served others, or accomplishments from your past. Those are facts, there's nothing to prove.
Stories are a powerful way to deliver a message. In a story people can relate, and the conclussion (which is the message you really want to send across) is a natural consequence of the events in the story, rather than something they need to be convinced of.
Remember that the magic is with the person in front of you
Having skill as a coach isn't only about what you say, know, or do. But rather, it lies in how well you listen and see the person in front of you. It's them that hold the power to make magic happen.
Remember to look for the glimpse of genius in the person in front of you.
Similar to the above, you may see a lot of things in people, but what you're looking for most, is the seed you want to help them grow - the best of who they are.
All everyone really wants to know is 'Can you help me?'
How well you can act in response to that question is what matters.
You are not paid for 'hours' or 'months' of coaching, you are paid for changing their life.
This is what you want to keep in mind when presenting what you can offer. The schedule and number of hours is something that should only come at the end, after you've established a trust in the client that you can actually change their life. Because that's what they're paying for.
Keep some of your attention on the inside
They may be the highlight in coaching, but you also want to reserve some attention for yourself. This is so you can listen to your intuition and detect your biases among other factors.
If you don't have a question to ask, say nothing.
No talk is better than pointless talk.
Never factor in ability to pay
When they really want something, people find a way - the sense of possibility will trump affordability.
Leave the prospective in the highest context of possibility
When you close the conversation, make sure not to leave it in a closed context - like affordability. What you want is to leave them with the sense of openness towards the future.
If they have to go think about it, then the conversation was not complete.
Maintain your innocence in the yes/no. Do this in the sense of maintaining equanimity - don't force the yes. There can be no forcing in coaching. However, by the end of the conversation you want to have reached an answer, whether that is yes or no. Don't be afraid of the no. The no is simply an opportunity to move to the next client.
Direct all action
Direct the action, people are asking to be directed. This IS your job. You can't shy away from leading and directing. That DOESN'T mean pushing your beliefs on them, but leading them towards the actions which will help them test and create their own beliefs.
Lead - Gentle in what you do, firm in how you do it.
Again, your job is to lead, and you want to do this firmly, there should be no question that you are leading. However, you must remember that no one learns well under the feeling that they are secondary, inferior. Leadership in this context means TO DIRECT. Your purpose is to direct them, and as a consequence you can be called a leader. It is not an honorary title which gives you power, or which makes you superior. It is simply something to call one who is skilled in directing others. They must always know that you act with the highest care and consideration to their growth, they must feel it in the way you coach them for this to work.
Do not surrender your power, leadership and role in the conversation
Be constantly aware of role reversal. You should never lose sight of who you are in this conversation. You are the coach and it is imperative that you act that way.
Be like a waiter:
Remember that you are serving them. You do this in a different way than how people are used to be served, but in the end, you are there for them - to present a menu, and let them do the choosing.
First steps in coaching the client
Get a client to stop wanting and start doing
This is, basically, a coach's job. Your ability to get them from the sweet land of talking & desiring to the land of action is another founding stone of your practice.
Find the goal behind the goal
No client ever comes to you for the first reason they present to you. Question their motivations deeply, look for them in all areas of their life. Finding their true goal is the way to help them change.
If you can't help them find out why they are taking certain actions, they will never change.
One of the basis of changing, is understanding why you are the way you are. A base discipline of a coach is delving deep into the motives his clients can't see.
If you meet a client whose behaviour doesn't make sense at a surface level, you can be certain that at a deeper layer, it makes perfect sense.
What they are feeling, you are too.
Don't lose confidence in your ability to empathize. Remember that we all have the same emotions, you CAN understand what they are going through, because you feel the same things.
Learning points from the book: The Prosperous Coach by Rich Litvin and Steve Chandler
Needy is creepy. Stay with their wants vs your needs