How to Become a Business Coach
How to Become a Business Coach

Deliver Huge Value in the First Coaching Session

By on June 28, 2017
Wondering how to deliver huge value in the first coaching session with a new client? Master business coach Simon Meadows shows you how.

Recently, I’ve had several conversations with new and established coaches who want to know how to deliver huge value in the first coaching session–or handful of sessions–with a new client. In fact, they told me that they fear the first sessions, because they’re not always sure what to cover or how to plan, and they know that making a strong first impression is key to retaining clients long-term.

One coach even told me, “Whenever I start a first session with a new client, I feel nervous–I get sweaty palms and lack confidence in my voice. Even worse, I’m sure my new clients feel the same as they have no idea of what to expect!”

Sound familiar?

Fortunately, it’s not hard to deliver huge value in the first coaching session. You just need a little planning and preparation–and to keep these three tips in mind.

  1. Build Awareness.  Many businesses have little awareness of where they are right now–and next to no awareness of where they’re heading. For the most part, they’re flying by the seat of their pants. To help them become more aware, take the first session to fill out Verne Harnish’ One-Page Strategic Plan (you can download for free here).  This builds tremendous value into the first session, and it becomes a tool you can use on a regular basis to keep them focused and on track.
  2. Refer Back to the Problems You Addressed in Your Complimentary Session. It seems obvious, but many coaches miss this. They sit down in a complimentary session and identify pain points. They then agree that these are important to work on during the first few sessions. But, when the coaching starts they just plough ahead with their plan or framework, ignoring those tasks agreed as important. Use the notes from your complimentary session and work on those vital actions with the new client, as a priority. This will demonstrate your consistency and deliver what you promised.
  3. Identify One Action or Goal that Will Deliver the Biggest Bang for Your Client’s Buck. It’s best if this can also be a task that requires the least amount of effort from you. This goal must be an easy win–true low-hanging fruit–AND highly impactful. Many coaches define an easy win but forget that it has to add significant value. I usually do this by identifying the biggest result items first, then filter that list by how easy they are to achieve. When I find the sweet spot of ease of implementation and high level of impact, I choose that to focus on first. Set Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to monitor results.

Here are a few more tricks of the trade to make your first few sessions a slam dunk:

  • Tell your new clients what they should expect in their first coaching session at the point they sign up with you, or very shortly after.
  • Define your vital three actions for the first few sessions and have the tools prepared to deliver these.
  • Set 3-5 clear KPI’s and monitor them each session.
  • Set accountability levels and stick to them. Ask for feedback to ensure these are still acceptable after sessions 1 and 2.
  • Set that big, easy goal and do everything in your power to deliver results from it with your client.

With these strategies under your belt, you’ll go from feeling nervous to feeling confident during your first coaching sessions with a new client–and set yourself up for a long-term, highly profitable coaching relationship.

For more great strategies like these, check out our FREE ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star!

About Simon Meadows

Simon is the founder and owner of Sterling Business Coaching (, providing online and offline coaching programmes for business owners. He created and honed these programmes during more than 22 years of real entrepreneurial business experience. He has attained qualifications in performance coaching, life coaching, team performance management, and others over more than 30 years of coaching and mentoring over 400 managers and business owners. Was recognised in the Who’s Who of Professionals in 2001. Simon has coached over 180 privately and family owned businesses in the UK, Australia, Canada, USA and farther afield. Has achieved measurable results within the Retail, Financial, Construction, Medical, IT and Training Sectors. More than 80% of Simon Meadows' clients have achieved increases of 300% in revenue and profit within the first 18 months of coaching, with an industry leading average client retention period of 39 months.