A student of my material sent an email with some very good questions for client management including how to handle contract extensions, referrals, testimonials and general end-of-contract dynamics and structures.
I have re-posted relevant portions of the email exchange below for you.
I've listened to your recordings from previous coaching programs and have found them to be insanely valuable. I've signed 8 clients and raised my rates already in the first few months of the program, and I attribute it to following your sales process to a "T".
A HUGE thank you.
My pleasure. I am delighted to hear they were useful to you.
As a couple of my 6-session coaching packages are coming to a close, I have questions around how you structure the end-of-package process. Here are some specific questions:
Do you formally review outcomes with your clients at the end of a package? If so, how do you structure this conversation?
Yes we do. Twice in fact. We review their outcomes and the stated evidence for those outcomes about 2/3 of the way through the process. This review is important so we can see where we are on track, see where we already achieved the outcome(s), and see where we need to focus out remaining time together.
Additionally, in the final session, what we do is review their outcomes [mostly I print them out and hand them the assessment we made together] and with those, I have them fill out an extensive feedback sheet or "exit survey" as I like to call it.
When do you raise the issue of referrals? I love how you talk about referrals on the FAQ page of your site, and I'm wondering how else you support those ideas and maximize the chance of the client biasing toward action.
I never really raise the issue of referrals along the way. For two reasons really, 1) I find it a little off for the Evolutionary Sales™ approach, and 2) I usually I do not have to because they do--and when they mention this friend or that colleague, I tell them how to refer people to me--get their permission to give me their contact information and leave the rest to me.
Additionally, because referrals are part of the agreement they signed, the exit survey gives them an opportunity to write down two names and phone numbers for referrals they have permission from to do so--which re-presences it for them if they have forgotten; it is right there on the last page of the feedback sheet.
Do you collect testimonials from clients? This seems like it would be good material for my website, which isn't up yet. If so, how do you frame it? When do you ask for it (i.e. at the end of a package, when the client is at a peak)
Yes, of course. When they write or say something that is a peak or they are acknowledging me about something I simply ask, "can I quote you on that?" with a friendly chuckle. Then I ask them if I can edit it and send it to them for their approval before I publish it. Sometimes they want anonymity, but I then just use it and us this attribution: " --Anonymity Requested".
The truth is, I have no interest in the compliment personally [as in an ego boost or a pat on the back--no interest in that]. However, practically and professionally, you bet I want to hear that--as long as I can quote them on it. Compliments are of no value to me. Testimonials are.
Often, when they say something that would make a great testimonial, typing it up is the thing that is in their way and delays it becoming a testimonial. That, and they are worried about writing it well or "doing it right". So I offer to type it up for them to capture their sentiments and send it to them for their approval.