Enrolling Coaching Clients Requires Mindset Mastery

Recently, I posted 10 powerful questions for enrolling clients and it sparked excitement from some coaches that haven’t found sample coaching sessions effective and concerns from others about the potential for manipulating prospects with the questions. Thanks for the great discussion!

https://prosperouscoachblog.com/enroll-coaching-clients-mindsetSuccessful client enrollment is part competence with an enrollment process and part mastery of mindset. I explain in my previous post why, after more than a decade of coaching, I prefer the process of enrollment questions over giving a sample  session.

Are enrollment questions manipulative? No, not in themselves. But if the coach asking those questions is attached to the outcome of getting a client the questions could feel manipulative to the prospect. The coach’s attachment to outcome is the potentially troublesome factor.

Attachment starts with fear and pressure:

  • Fear about being good enough and pressure to prove it.
  • Fear about asking for money and pressure to earn.
  • Fear of failure and pressure to succeed.

For better results enrolling clients, focus on releasing any self imposed pressure and try these 3 mindset shifts:

Mindset Mastery for Better Enrollment

1. Engage Trust

Earning the trust of a potential new client, begins with trust.

  • Trust that you are enough. Own your intrinsic value and believe in your prospect’s intrinsic value too.
  • Trust that prospects know what’s best for them. You can never know the path of another person so don’t assume that working with you right now is best for them.
  • Trust that the most ideal clients for you will hire you. Plant a lot of seeds. Tend the garden well. Allow for natural selection.
  • Trust that your clients benefit by paying fees that pay you well. No one is helped by you playing small or “discounting” your value. Set fees that pay you well and stick to them.
  • Trust that “no” or “not now” is not about you or the way it will always be. Fit is crucial and that includes the right timing.

How can you develop trust?

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” Ernest Hemingway

In this case, you and your prospective clients are that somebody. Watch for moments of self-doubt and attachment and then positively reframe your thinking.

2. Act in Service

Here’s a flip in thinking that strips out unconscious manipulative intent. Market and enroll from a place of service. Imagine what it would be like if you invited friends to a party but weren’t attached to who showed up. Fear and pressure drop out. When you market and set up enrollment conversations extend your invitation without expectation or the need for reciprocity.

3. Bless and Be Blessed

When you connect with potential clients bless them and be blessed by any result. If they don’t hire you, reap the other gifts from your effort. You’ve served a fellow human being to the best of your ability in good faith. That positive energy is circulating in the world. (That’s true prosperity.) They now know about you and may come back at a better time or refer someone to you. And you practiced enrollment with detachment.

Keep setting up enrollment opportunities. Your next client is just a few conversations away.

What do you think about this? CLICK HERE to chime in with your wins or challenges and questions. Let’s keep the discussion about ethical enrollment going.

  • Rhonda,

    Excellent article!

    I admire the way you describe the initial phone conversation as an “enrollment” discussion rather than sample coaching. Much more honest.

    “Sample coaching” is a disservice both to the coach and the prospect. If you really solve the client’s problem, they don’t need longer-term coaching and were never a valid prospect. More likely, you relieve their tension temporarily so they don’t progress to paid coaching that would benefit them.

    An enrollment discussion is a sales discussion, it’s not coaching. Not that there’s anything wrong with sales. If it’s OK to charge money to coach (and it is!), it’s just as OK to have a sales conversation.

    Sample coaching is bait and switch. Set it up as a session to “help” the client. Encourage them to open up as much as possible, as they would with a psychotherapist. Then, it turns out no solution is offered other than a paid program. That’s sales, not coaching.

    It’s a tricky area. There’s a fine line between helping people get in touch with their issues and manipulation. Your mindset shifts are very helpful.


    • Thanks so much for your perspective, Diana. It always seemed to me that the recipient of the sample coaching session is put in a strangely vulnerable position.

      The main reason I chose to switch to enrollment questions and encourage other coaches to do that too had more to do with the positive feeling it left my prospect with and the fact that I learned what’s truly important to them. While the intent of the call is to close the sale if the fit is good, the questions themselves are of value to the potential client because it provides a time of reflection for them. The moment of closing the sale is a clear transparent moment.