Enrollment from the Heart: Authentically Coach your way to YES!

8407124_sIt’s the biggest concern coaches have when it comes to enrolling clients: not wanting to be pushy or manipulative. You became a coach to uplift others, and part of what makes that possible is having high integrity. So naturally you shy away from anything that feels manipulative.

At its very core, true coaching is about helping the client with what they want (the client’s agenda). So the very last thing you want to do is be “pushy.” You don’t want to feel as though you’re pushing your agenda. It’s ingrained in you that that’s just plain wrong.

So, you bend over backwards to avoid seeming pushy or manipulative, particularly when you want someone to sign up for your coaching. It makes perfect sense.  You’re staying true to your coaching values.

There’s just one problem . . .

When you bend too far back, you aren’t doing your job as a coach.

Let’s take a closer look. As a coach, your job is to:

  • Help your client solve a problem or achieve a goal (follow their agenda).
  • Notice beliefs your client has that aren’t working for them (limiting beliefs) and support them in choosing new beliefs that do work.
  • Challenge them to move past their doubt and fear (gremlins). 

When a potential client engages in an exploratory conversation with you about coaching, their agenda is to see if your coaching will help them solve their problem or achieve their goal(s).

Whatever else is going on in the conversation, that is always the underlying agenda. They’re thinking “What’s in this for me? Is it worth it? Will it get me what I want?”

So as a coach, your job is to help them with their agenda: To discover the answers to those questions.

As you do that, guess what’s going to come up for your potential client? What always comes up for people: their limiting beliefs, and their doubt and fear.

So your job is to notice those beliefs that are blocking them, help them find beliefs that support them, and challenge their doubt and fear.


Whoa—can you hear the clash and smash of values here? It’s a train wreck.

Most coaches STOP when it comes to doing their job when they’re in an enrollment conversation!

Why? Because following the client’s true agenda looks too much like the coach’s agenda. It feels “self-serving,” because of course the coach wants the person to sign up for coaching.

And pointing out limiting beliefs and challenging gremlins? That looks waaay too much like being “pushy.”

See the problem here? No wonder so many coaches have difficulty signing people up for their coaching.

What’s the solution?

The solution is to apply a coaching technique to your own state of mind: Change your perspective on (re-frame) the enrollment conversation: STOP thinking of it as “selling!”

View it as though you are coaching your prospective client (because you are), not selling them. Come from your heart, be a sincere and authentic coach.

Just this one simple mindset shift will help you enroll more clients, guaranteed.

I want to add a note here about the difference between an enrollment conversation and a “free coaching session.” I’m not talking about a free session where you coach the client on something that’s painful in their lives and make it better.

I’m talking about the part where you address the client’s true agenda: to find out if signing up for your coaching will help them.

If you’re a coach who only does the free session part, and simply “hopes” the client will get so much value they’ll sign up, this mindset shift is even more important for you. If you want to have a thriving coaching business, you must address your potential client’s core agenda directly. That’s what they really want!

Stay tuned for my next feature article, because I’m going to dive even deeper into what stops you from enrolling clients and how to address it.

Also, to learn much more about how to have an effective enrollment conversation, be sure and sign up for my free upcoming teleseminar Coach Your Way to YES! 

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