HOW TO ASK YOUR CLIENTS FOR TESTIMONIALS (Without Feeling Gross About It)

HOW TO ASK YOUR CLIENTS FOR TESTIMONIALS (Without Feeling Gross About It)

You’re at the end of a client engagement. Your client has done incredible things… 

…and you’re humbled by the impact of coaching on this person!

And… you’d LOVE to tell the world about it so they, too, can enroll in life coaching.

Except… ew. It feels gross to do that and to ask for a “testimonial”. What are you, a service-based, heart-lead business owner supposed to do?

In this blog, I’m sharing a coach-approach sequence of questions you can ask your clients when they exit your coaching engagement.

This sequence of questions was designed to meet 3 objectives:

  1. Help the client reflect on how far they’ve come during the course of the coaching engagement. What could feel better for a client that to look at their progress?!
  2. Help you understand what the client loved about coaching, and how you can serve future clients even better (we should never stop being self-reflective!)
  3. Collect testimonials with the client’s permission
  4. Gather information in client language about what their problems and visions are, so you can have an even more in depth understanding of your market

Notice that the LAST objective is to get client testimonials. If the client does not want you to share their words, then you don’t share their words! If they give you permission to do so, then you can knit together their survey to create a beautiful piece of social proof for your website.

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THE COACH-APPROACH EXIT SURVEY

Hi [fill in their name]!  Coaching with you has been an incredible experience. Everyone is our student and teacher, and I have learned so much from the opportunity to know you on this deep level. I’m looking forward to seeing how our coaching work will unfold for you in the future!

I’d like to ask you a couple of questions to help you reflect on your incredible progress during our coaching engagement. Your answers will also help me become a better coach, as I’m always seeking to improve. So please be thoughtful + honest!  Finally, at the end I’ll ask you if I may use any of your feedback on my website, to help others understand how coaching can help them. This is TOTALLY OPTIONAL and I will not share ANYTHING without your permission.

Thank you again for the opportunity to know you. 

  1. What made you seek out a life coach or say “YES” when you heart about coaching?? I’m curious about everything that was on your mind, in your heart, and also what was going on for you in your day to day life!
  2. What was the turning point when you realized you wanted support instead of going it alone anymore?

    What were the biggest changes for you in your life as a result of coaching?

  3. What’s different about your day to day life now?
  4. What did you like best about working with me?
  5. What could I have done to provide an even MORE outstanding experience for you?
  6. OPTIONAL: May I use any of your feedback on my website, either anonymously or using your name, to show other people how powerful coaching can be for them, too? If so, please let me know what information I may have permission to share (e.g. first name only, first + last name, website, photo)

Thank you again for taking the time to reflect on your experience!
Love, 
[Your Name]

ONCE YOU’VE COLLECTED THEIR RESPONSES, HERE’S WHAT TO DO WITH THEM:

1) Make sure you’ve gotten PERMISSION to use their words!
2) Knit together the responses from the difference questions to create a testimonial. Focus on the outcomes they got from coaching, and what was great about YOU to work with!
3) Send them the paragraph with a heart-felt thank you, and ask if you can post their responses as shown.
4) And… voila! A testimonial that wasn’t gross to get!

HOW TO STRUCTURE A GROUP COACHING SESSION

HOW TO STRUCTURE A GROUP COACHING SESSION

Congratulations! You’ve decided that you want to create a group coaching program.

You know it will expand your impact and help you fulfill your purpose in a bigger way.

And, it doesn’t hurt that you can create affordable coaching options for potential clients while still making a good living!

Except… what do you DO with your clients once they’re in your group!

In today’s blog, I’ll share a simple, traditional group coaching structure with you. It’s simple and traditional because IT WORKS! It’s a structure that helps people focus on the work they’re doing.

Try this simple structure in your first group coaching programs.

KICKOFF SESSION:

The first session is designed to achieve 3 goals:
Establish trust
Review the guidelines of the group
Help everyone get to know each other and start bonding

This kickoff session can be a little longer than the rest of the sessions.  If your sessions are planned for 60 minutes, you might make this one 90 minutes.

Here’s a recommended agenda for the kick off session. You can also grab this and all the session agendas by popping your email in below.

  1. Share the agenda for the session
  2. Welcome + introduce yourself as the coach (share a story!)
  3. Group introductions + icebreaker
  4. Review “What is Coaching”
  5. Review group guidelines
  6. Have everyone share their intention for the program
  7. Wrap up with an easy assignment for next session (something they can do to prepare, or to get in the group mindset)

SUBSEQUENT SESSIONS:

I recommend following a consistent structure for each of the subsequent sessions. We want people focused on the work, not anxious about what’s coming up in the group. Unpredictable structures take the attention off the clients and the work they’re doing. So keep it simple and keep it the same, week after week.

An agenda for subsequent sessions might fill 60 minutes as follows:

  1. Share the agenda for the session (people like to know what’s coming up, so give them a quick “Here’s what we’re going to do today”
  2. Give everyone an opportunity to share about what’s come up for them in the time between sessions
  3. OPTIONAL: Introduce a topic, exercise, tool, or bit of teaching.
  4. Give the group time to work through the tool or exercise (it is OK to have quiet time while people work through this, or you can break them into pairs)
  5. Coaching time!
    1. Hotseat coaching: Each participant will get X amount of minutes on a rotating basis. Mary + Joe get coached in session 1; John + Matilda in session 2, and so forth
    2. Open coaching: Whoever wants to speak up, speaks up and gets coached. The coach uses time management to make sure whoever wants to speak up gets a turn
    3. Laser Coaching: Each group member gets 5-7 minutes or so to be coached around something specific
  6. Wrap up: Review major themes or takeaways + co-create, or give an assignment
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FINAL SESSION:

Like the kick off session, the final session is an opportunity to seal up the container, so to speak. It’s like the final day of sleepaway camp! Everyone exchanges numbers, seals their bonds, talks about all the ways that camp has changed their lives forever. 

It’s the same in your group! This is a time to celebrate wins and ask the participants to talk about the ways their lives are now different, compared to when they enrolled in your group.

This can also be an opportunity to talk about next steps for individuals who want to enroll in a 1:1 coaching package with you.

There are infinite ways to seal up a container. Here’s one agenda to borrow:

  1. Share the agenda for the session
  2. Give everyone a chance to share what’s happened for them since last week
  3. Give everyone time to think about where they were when they joined the group (and share)
  4. Give everyone time to think about their Top 2 takeaways + ways that their lives have changed (and share)
  5. Optional: Have them create a specific action + accountability plan for keeping those changes alive, and give the group a fun way to reconnect in a month after the group has ended (e.g. a video conference or group phone call)
  6. End with reading a passage or poem that relates to your group or expresses the wins that your group has experienced
  7. Exchange contact information for those who wish to stay in touch

This traditional group coaching structure allows space for the group to dive deep into the topic around which you are coaching.  In no time, you’ll be creating transformative groups that fill your practice with clients who come back to you again and again!