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Working on Chemistry

Typically, coaches offer a consultation or chemistry call on the back of an enquiry into our services and product offerings. Normally these are offered for free to the potential client to allow the connection to be made to the service provider and to explore their coaching needs prior to the coach deciding on sending a proposal of work.


Several coaches I have worked with recently have asked to explore the chemistry meeting part of their sales process for hiving information on best practices. I have to date chosen not to share my chemistry template but share how it was built, as it must be your process, but I think it is time I share its make-up. The reason this is important to me is that Chemistry meetings are a 2-way process. Yes, as solopreneurs, we want a sale but equally, as coaches, we need to ensure that we can deliver on the creation of a strong partnership, which is the key success factor in effective coaching. To ensure we deliver on our core beliefs around the role of the coach in this partnership we need to not only establish what the client expects and hopes to work on in a coaching partnership but also, we need to establish that we are the right fit for them and can deliver the contract and, most importantly, do we want to?

Chemistry sessions are there to do two things:


Firstly, they exist so that the client can meet us and decide if we are right for them and their investment in time and budget. The key to getting this right is to use most of the time to really explore how coaching will add value to the clients’ lives and to hear as much as possible of their story to establish what they understand around coaching, their personality, learning style, hopes, expectations and, crucially, what will be wonderful about getting their objectives met. If we think of our role as explorer and we make most of the time about them, using our coaching questions and paraphrasing skills to ease the client into a trusted space where they hear themselves, they will sell the coaching to themselves.


The second aim of the Chemistry call is for us to check out our side of any potential

partnership and to judge what we are prepared to offer. This comes from listening hard to adapt to what the client needs of us and, more importantly, to spot anything that might get in the way of a productive partnership. One method to support your listening can be the use of a checklist of items to explore that are personal to you, as you know ‘who you are and how you coach’. You should know what might stop this from happening. Knowing what are your ‘red flags’ could include ethics, values, coaching principles, boundaries, delivery logistics, business ethics, your story parallels and psychology. All of this needs exploring if you hear anything that triggers you and your principles, as this is what you can reflect on after the call and before you offer.


Let me summarize how the template may look like a game of two halves:

Exploration and perceived goals: Includes contracting for confidentiality to build trust, rapport building, discovery of their world and a little stepping into it to show partnership and coaching style.


A chemistry check: Includes establishing or asking anything that encourages green flags that make you want to do the work and understanding any red flags that need to be explored now not later!


Having read this, I hope you now build a template that is unique to you and helps you do your best work, without thinking of this as selling yourself or selling coaching, but as establishing agreements and cultivating trust and safety as this will ensure you start to relax into Chemistry with your potential clients. It is this way of working that ensures there is chemistry to do the work and sets you up for success once you have won the work and are in deep end of Session one.


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