Not too long ago, I spoke about the big reason why I hate 3-12 month packages and why I prefer a month to month agreement in my coaching practice.
If you missed it, you can read it here.
I got a lot of emails saying things like, “but that means your client is in control of your end date instead of you!”
And that’s true.
In fact, just last week, I experienced exactly what so many of you were concerned about, and I wanted to share my experience.
Last Monday, a client who I’ve been working with for 11 months called me to say it was time for her to leave. Then, on Tuesday, a client I’ve been working with for just over 5 months sent me an email saying the same thing.
Over the course of 48 hours, my monthly income decreased by $3,000.
I know what you’re thinking…. #PanicMode!!!
But actually, it was quite the opposite.
In my 12 years of coaching, I’ve learned that there’s an ebb and a flow to my client roster. If you want to keep the flow, you have to embrace the ebbs.
Funny enough, both clients shared with me that they were surprised and delighted that I made leaving so easy for them; they were expecting me to argue their choice, or offer something to keep them.
But, that’s just not how I roll…
And not because I don’t love working with these two clients, but because I firmly believe that each client has a time to go. If my client thinks that time is now, I want to support them in that decision. Even when I believe there’s more work to do. If that’s true, they’ll come back.
Making it easy for your clients to graduate is valuable for you, as the coach, also.
In the same way you want to make it easy for them to move onto the next thing, you have to make it easy for YOU to move on, too.
Stay open to clients graduating so you can be open to clients enrolling.
And no, it doesn’t work the other way around.
You can’t be open to clients enrolling but terrified of clients leaving. That’s like putting a lid on your container to receive new clients and opportunities every time you try to hold onto a client who wants to leave. No ebb. No flow.
Instead, embrace every client’s decision to leave so you can simultaneously invite in your next opportunity. That allows the natural flow of energy to resume as it should so more good stuff can come.
And more will come. Trust that.
Plus, you’ll earn respect when you’re not that crazy coach who couldn’t let go… #JustSaying
Next up: Communication.
I keep a running list of previous clients, as well as a separate list of prospects (boy do I hate that word…) so that I can authentically stay in personal communication with all clients; present, past and future.
Here’s what that looks like…
A former client decided to join a year long group coaching program that starts in January. I’ve made a note in her file and on my calendar to reach out to her to see how she’s enjoying the program sometime in the spring.
A few months later, I might come across an article that speaks directly to the work she does. When I do, I’ll forward it to her letting her know the article reminded me of her and that I hope she’s doing well.
The idea is to nurture the connection that you, as a coach, worked so hard to build when this person was your client. Whether they come back and work with you, refer their friends, or just feel grateful for the connection — that part doesn’t matter.
When you keep that line of communication open and come from a place of authenticity, you’re open to new opportunities coming in. Whether that’s directly or indirectly.
I follow the same process with prospects who haven’t hired me yet.
Now, you might be wondering how the heck I keep track of all this communication…
You can use infusionsoft, or you could purchase another contact management database such as Salesforce. For me, I have a list on a Google Doc that I check at the end of every month to see if there’s anyone on there that I feel inspired to reach out to.
It’s old school… but it works. And it’s free.
What about you? Do you tend to move into panic mode when you lose a client…or two? How do you like to keep the doors open to your next opportunity?
Ida Jagaric says
I hate mutli-month packages too! I’m a personal trainer and know how hard it is to keep fitness in your life I’d hate to take massive pre-payments knowing most people quit, even if just for a short while. And I just recently had one of my really consistent clients quit and I was definitely bummed out 🙁 but have been trying to set her up with a workout she can do on her own and offered once a month sessions for new workouts. Here’s hoping she takes me up on it! Thanks for this post, I believe as you do but needed this affirmation 🙂 coz of course her quitting made me super nervous about money!
Dallas Travers says
I hear you, Ida. It’s totally natural to feel nervous about money when a client decides to leave. But, not to sound cliche, there are other fish in the sea. Trust that more will come in the same way that more will leave. If she doesn’t accept this awesome idea of once a month sessions so she can have fresh, new workouts, do your best to stay open. Follow the steps I’ve outlined in this blog to stay connected with past clients and maybe even set yourself up with a referral program. Take a peek at a previous blog for details on how to do that here: https://dallastravers.com/is-your-marketing-budget-non-existent-2/
Best of luck!
Arriane Alexander says
Thanks, love this Dallas. Since working with you–I switched how I work with clients– I start with either 3 or 6 month so we can be sure to dive in deep, and then go on monthly retainer and I have found such ease with this process, so thank you. And I’m also a good example of your ebb and flow of clients as I have been a one-on-one client with you, left for a bit, and am now in your group coaching, because I know working with you is so powerful. So this is an example to me as well that clients will continue to come back when they are ready and I can continue to add value. I like your process of keeping up with people in Google Docs– do you literally just write people in a list and mark when you reach out or how do you do that? Thanks!!
Dallas Travers says
I do! It’s not fancy but it gets the job done and it’s totally free. And I don’t always mark when I’ve reached out — though that’s not a bad idea. But for me, I look through the list and just see who I feel inspired to reach out to. Sometimes that’s the same person in a couple of months, sometimes I don’t reach out to the same person for 6 months or maybe more. My intention is to maintain a relationship and to do that authentically, and I find this system works for me 🙂