There’s nothing more disheartening as a coach than a client deciding they no longer want to work with you.
Whether they ask to end their contract early, decide not to renew once your initial program is over, or simply “ghost” you – losing clients can hurt your confidence and make you wonder what you’re doing wrong as a coach.
There are many reasons why a client might decide they don’t want to continue working with their coach. In some cases, it could be that the client isn’t fully committed and ready to go for it. (Hint: this is something you should be screening for in your sales process to be 100% sure it’s a fit to move forward with a client.)
On the other hand, many clients stop working with their coach because of something subtle the coach did – or didn’t do – that they aren’t even aware of.
In some cases, the client may not even be able to articulate what went wrong! In their minds, they might think they “just weren’t getting value” or it “didn’t feel aligned.”
But chances are, the real reason was something deeper…
While every situation is unique, these are the top 3 reasons we’ve seen why your clients might want to stop working with you as a coach:
Reason #1: You’re Placing Too Much Focus & Energy On Bringing In NEW Clients (and not enough on the clients you already have)
It can be stressful as a coach not knowing when and where your next client will come from. Of course it’s important to work on growing your audience and finding new clients consistently. But when too much of your focus goes toward finding new people to work with, your existing clients may end up unintentionally getting put on the back burner.
It may seem counterintuitive, but delivering exceptional coaching and support to your existing clients is the best way to not only maintain the clients you have, but also to grow your coaching practice over time.
When you show up 100% for your current clients, you make them feel deeply supported and help them create lasting results. As a result, many will come back to work with you again and again. They will become your greatest success stories and source of testimonials – and they will refer you to others!
If you’re losing clients, tune in and ask yourself if you’re giving your all to deeply serving your clients. Be honest! What else could you do to support and empower the people you already work with?
Reason #2: Your Clients Aren’t Prepared For The Ups & Downs Of The Coaching Process
As a coach, you know that there are natural ebbs and flows in the coaching process. There are times when clients will feel motivated and on top of the world, and other times when they will feel discouraged and ready to give up.
These ups and downs are a normal part of growth and transformation. But when someone signs on to coach with you, you can’t assume that they know this!
When we train our coaches to work with new clients, we prepare them for this process upfront. We teach them about the Upward Spiral of Development and provide them with an editable “coaching agreement” both they and their new client sign. We encourage our coaches to go over these in their first session, explaining to the client that transformation is an upward spiral and there will be many ups and downs in the coaching process.
By sharing this in session one, and making a plan for what they will do when challenges arise, the client is prepared and is far less likely to “ghost” or lean out of the coaching process when the going gets tough.
If you aren’t preparing your clients for the ups & downs in the coaching process – or if you don’t yet have the skills to help them navigate the challenges that arise – this could be one of the reasons you’re losing clients.
It’s normal for people to want to quit when things get sticky and challenging. But if they have the knowledge going in that this time will come (and that you’re there to support and guide them when it does), it can be the difference in a client staying the course, or quitting right before their biggest breakthrough.
Reason #3: Your Client Is Craving A Deeper Experience
If your clients keep saying they’re going to take action or move toward their goal and it’s not happening, chances are something deeper is going on. When a client is really stuck or has a pattern that shows up over and over again, do you have the skills to walk them through their blocks?
One of the most common reasons clients stop working with their coach is that – even if the coach is giving them all of the right strategies and holding them accountable – they aren’t able to help them breakthrough the deeper patterns and roadblocks when they arise.
When this happens, accountability is sometimes counterproductive.
The client may not know or understand where their resistance is coming from, and having pressure to take action when it doesn’t feel aligned can leave them feeling ashamed or guilty – causing them to just give up.
As a coach, it’s important you learn advanced coaching skills, tools and frameworks that can help you walk your clients through these deeper challenges when they show up.
The relationship you have with your clients is the most important part of your business as a coach. If you want to help change people’s lives and have a thriving business while you do it, your job is to provide exceptional service to the people who work with you. You can do this by putting your attention on your clients, and by continuing to develop yourself as a coach.
If you’re curious about learning more skills to become an exceptional coach and have clients who work with you year after year, click here to learn more about our advanced coaching certification program, Aliveness Mastery®.