How to Become a Business Coach

8 Questions to Build Rapport with Business Coaching Prospects

By on April 1, 2019

The first 30-minute appointment you get with business coaching prospects–what we call a Complimentary Coaching Session–is a make-or-break conversation for you. Do it right, and you’ll be one step closer to landing a lucrative new business coaching client. Do it wrong, and you’ll be back to square one, searching for the next potential prospect to meet with.

That’s not to say everyone’s going to sign up for coaching with you. There’s an old sales adage I like to remember to keep my spirits up: Some will, some won’t, so what, NEXT!

Still, the best opportunity to close new business is the one that’s sitting right in front of you. The higher your conversion rates on Complimentary Coaching Sessions are, the more profitable and time-effective you’ll be.

And one of the most important aspects of the Complimentary Coaching Session is building rapport–a sense of camaraderie and trust that helps the business coaching prospect feel as if you understand them, are on their side, and can help them. The Complimentary Coaching Session represents the most important 30 minutes you’ll spend with prospective clients, and the first five minutes are the most important of the rest of the half hour!

So how do you do build rapport? Here are eight excellent questions you can ask to get the conversation flowing.

So, what exactly do you do?

This is a great way to begin to get to know your business coaching prospect. Listen carefully for pain points: they might struggle to articulate their core business, talk about being overwhelmed, or complain about managing different team members. All of these can help you gain insight into the struggles they’re facing.

The Complimentary Coaching Session represents the most important 30 minutes you'll spend with prospective clients, and the first five minutes are the most important of the rest of the half hour!

How long have you been in business?

This gives you a chance to get a feel for where they might be in their business’ lifecycle and what they’ll need from you to move to the next level.

What sets you apart from your competitors; what makes you the best at what you do?

If they don’t know how to answer this question, or if their answer is generic, you know they need marketing help. On the other hand, a clear and passionate response to this question tells you that you’re talking to someone who has a good understanding of the market and their place within it–so they’ll need your help elsewhere.

What do you love the most about your business?

Here’s a chance to get the good news. Affirm them in what they’re doing. Assure them that you’re there to help them do more of that and less of what drives them crazy.

I usually work with businesses doing at least ____ per year in revenue. Does your business fall in that range?

This might seem like a strange question to ask in the beginning of a conversation, but it’s actually quite critical! If they fall outside your target range, you might want to move onto the next prospect before spending a lot of time attempting to close a deal that doesn’t fit your sweet spot.

What kind of business issues or challenges are you working on in your business right now?

At this point in the conversation, hopefully you’ve established enough of a trusting connection that they’ll be open and honest with you. This allows you use your Silver Bullets to show them exactly how you’ll help them overcome their challenges.

If I could help you overcome the number one challenge in your business right now, what would that be?

This is a way to more precisely pinpoint their priorities, so that you can tailor the rest of your conversation to addressing this key issue.

Tell me more about that…

Use this whenever you need more clarification–or you’re not sure what to ask next! It’s a great way to dig deeper into what they just said and more clearly understand how you can help.

Looking for more great sales techniques and strategies to turn your business coaching prospects into clients? Check out our FREE ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star!

 

Eric Dombach

About Eric Dombach

Eric Dombach is the Founder of Coaches’ Coach. In 2001, he founded a business coaching firm that, by 2005, was generating more than $1 million USD in revenue, 23% operating profit, and average annual growth rate of 140% per year. In 2005, he sold the firm to 4 of his employees for $1 million U.S. dollars, generating a return on capital of more than 800%. Since then he has trained more than 1,300 independent and franchise business coaches in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australasian markets.

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