9 min read
7 top scheduling practices for successful coaches or consultants
May 9, 2020
How does your organization compare to the most successful coaches and consultants in the industry?
At the end of the day, your drive, expertise, and ability to communicate with clients make a substantial difference. However, in helping tens of thousands of coaches and consultants, we’ve found multiple easily replicated trends in how they provide services to their clients, from the most basic offerings to extensive commitments that span months and longer.
This article details the services more successful coaches and consultants provide their clients while balancing their priorities and focusing their clients’ attention on the services most relevant to them.
Top practices include:
- Separate offerings among three categories
- New, current, and VIP clients
- Webinars and lectures for multiple attendees
- Session packages for current clients
- All-day workshops, both one-on-one and for multiple attendees
- Taking payment up-front
- Video meetings are here to stay
- Top methods for offering scheduling
1. Separate offerings among categories: New, current, and VIP
New and current clients
The majority of coaches and consultants prefer to organize their event offerings into at least two primary categories: those for new clients and those for current clients.
Some coaches prefer to offer their clients a choice, where the visitor selects between ‘New clients’ or ‘Current clients' (see Figure 1).
Others prefer to create entirely separate booking pages, accessed through different scheduling links. This reduces the number of choices their visitors need to make and guarantees they immediately find the events only relevant to them (see Figure 2).
New clients are nearly always offered a free discovery session or another free consultation, allowing them to become acquainted with the coach or consultant and determine whether they’re a good match and how much the coach or consultant can support them with their challenges.
They may also be provided the opportunity to schedule a current webinar or another lecture where multiple attendees will be present.
The listing for current clients usually has at least two or three options, including a standard consultation and a deeper dive that lasts multiple sessions and goes further into their needs. This also provides the opportunity to sell a session package at a discount (see more in step 3 below).
At times, they’ll also provide an option for a quick call in-between sessions, if they have a particularly brief issue that won’t take long to address.
Current clients are often given the chance to sign up for limited-availability lectures and workshops before new clientele. They may be contacted by mailing list and provided with a link to reserve their spot.
Once you start growing your client list, you can provide VIP clients with special services. We recommend creating a third category of offerings, giving access to custom sessions with expanded availability only for top clientele.
You can create one-off events for your VIPs to schedule, based on their needs and preferences.
Sometimes, more successful coaches and consultants will create an additional page for those they’d like to offer prioritized service and availability. They often see the same services as standard current clients, but with more expanded availability set aside for the most VIP clients.
For instance, you may want to offer specific services on a Saturday, but only to top clients. The majority will schedule during your usual work week, while VIPs are given more time slots on more days or perhaps earlier and later in the day than the standard client.
2. Successful coaches and consultants give webinars constantly
No matter the type of client, coaches and consultants often like to provide webinars and lectures on a regular basis.
Sometimes, they have a new webinar once or twice a month and give their current clientele access to past webinar recordings. This can be a significant benefit for them and a draw attracting new or prospective clients to commit with you further.
It also allows prospective clients a sample into your consulting style and raises their confidence in your expertise. You can build your video library and expand your brand’s reach.
Webinars and lectures can be offered via mailing list both to current and prospective clients.
3. Session packages for current clients
One of the most popular methods of scheduling current clients is to offer multiple sessions at a discounted rate.
For instance, if you want them to schedule with you multiple times for a specific journey you can help them take, you can cater the session package to this journey and raise the likelihood of their committing to you long-term.
4. All-day workshops
You may want to offer all-day workshops to clients. Some offer these one-on-one and others schedule a specific date for multiple clients to book with them together in a long group session.
This would be an intensive, all-day conversation with multiple points of focus. Throughout the day, your clients would be offered a transformative experience with many resources and tools at their disposal to level up in their daily lifestyle and professional competency.
The most successful coaches and consultants have many clients committing to all-day workshops throughout the year. It's a high-value interaction that provides them with immediate value and skills to implement in their day-to-day lives.
5. Taking payment up-front
Increase sales, save time for the right clients, and reduce confusion by taking payment up-front when your clients book with you. Everything is straightforward and seamless when you display prices clearly, take payment at time of booking, and send an invoice immediately upon booking confirmation.
Make sure your clients understand you're a professional whose time is valuable. All customer cancellation and rescheduling activities should be subject to your cancel/reschedule policy, which you can tie to the payment. Your policy sets the fees and refund rates for canceling or rescheduling a booking, based on how late they cancel or reschedule with you.
For instance, you may offer canceling or rescheduling at no charge up until two days before their scheduled meeting, at which point you charge a specific percentage.
6. Video meetings are here to stay
The most successful coaches and consultants have long offered video meetings to clients across the world, understanding it expands their reach and client base. A phone meeting can take you global but that's no comparison to looking into someone's eyes and observing their expressions, especially for such key conversations as clients expect you to provide.
You can reduce confusion and effort by integrating your video conferencing app with your scheduler, whether it's Zoom, GoToMeeting, WebEx, or another provider. This way, there's no need to create a session in the video conferencing app after the meeting is booked; instead, it's booked on their behalf through the integration. With all conferencing information provided in notifications and in the calendar event, there's no need to worry about dropping the ball or confusing clients.
Any cancellations and rescheduled meetings are also handled automatically through the integration, saving them valuable time and their clients the confusion of receiving too many notifications at once or tracking which conferencing information is the right one for the rescheduled meeting.
7. Top methods for offering scheduling
We see coaches and consultants providing their clientele with multiple ways of scheduling.
New clients often are offered a session through every strategic campaign, including at the beginning and end of webinars, in social media and blog posts, and during strategic mailing campaigns to prospective clients who have voiced interest in the past by signing up for your mailing list. Many create a landing page specifically for a certain campaign, raising the likelihood of conversion.
It’s also important to provide new, prospective, and current clients an opportunity to book with you on your website.
New and prospective clients can be given an opportunity to book with you through a page featured prominently on your website.
Current clients may have access to a special client area with login, where they can book their latest session or session package.
VIP clients may have access to a different page in this client area, with expanded availability.