When you have a coaching appointment, you should always have a testimonial-building question at the end. This is the most efficient way to build a current and complete collection of testimonials. Use something like this:
* What did you learn from this session?
* How is your life better today?
* What have you accomplished from this session?
The idea is to ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered yes or no. When you get an answer, you reflect it back, maybe with tighter phrasing. Write down the response and, if it is particularly good, ask the client whether you can use this response as a testimonial. If they agree, tell them you will send them what they said in an email for their approval. Also ask if you can use their name on the finished product. It is a good to keep your clients thinking about what changes are happening in their lives as a result of your coaching. If you send a regular newsletter or inspirational email to your client base, include a question in the header or footer of your mailing that says something like “Something Great Happening? Coach Moore would love to hear it!” If you build this into your mailing as a hyperlink, recipients can respond to it right then and send it back to you.
Examples other clients have written: (Coaches, modify to fit your niche)
“My personal experience with “Coach” has been one of mutual respect and admiration. It has gone beyond just the professional level, I consider him to be my good friend. “Coach” has the unique ability to help draw out the best in people no matter how talented they may be. He does this in a way that is fun and enjoyable. I truly look forward to our weekly meeting, and I always leave our sessions feeling refreshed and energized. There’s no question in my mind that I am more organized, more accomplished, and feel more secure in what I do, and in the process have more fun.” Don’t wait, do it now!
Many clients are willing to answer questions that will help you build your business. What follows is an example of a questionnaire you can send electronically to clients. Provide an incentive to get them to return it: 10% off the next session, for example. Keep responses on file to refer to when developing materials such as brochures, seminar slides, websites, and other printed materials.
“My coaching business is sustained by referrals and testimonials from satisfied clients. I would be grateful to you for taking a few minutes to write a brief testimonial that I can use to market my services. Use the questions as prompts to help you draft a paragraph in your own words. Your testimonial can be used with or without your name as you indicate in the box at the end. Thank you for helping me to be a better coach.”
* What characteristics about your coach worked for you?
* Consider his/her mannerisms, style, values, attitude, skills, and experiences.
* What issues did you have coming into the coaching alliance that affected your goals in life?
* What inner changes have you made? Include changes in beliefs, attitudes, thought, and life that have helped you.
* What outer changes have you made? Include changes in behaviors, habits, activities that you have added, modified or eliminated.
* What were the reasons you decided to have a coach?
* What expectations do you have of your coach?
* What value do you continue to receive from your coaching alliance?
* What thoughts and feelings do you have at the end of a coaching session?
* What wouldn’t you have in your life if you didn’t have a coach?
* What would you tell a relative or friend that coaching brings to your life?
* If money were no object, what would you be willing to spend on coaching? (monthly dollar amount or percent of monthly income)
To make it the easier for clients to provide this testimonial information, coaches can conduct a specific testimonial-building interview. With the client’s permission, coaches can write the client’s testimonial and turn it into a useful coaching tool. This interview model provides a starting place. By asking a few simple questions, you can establish terrific client testimonials and build your business!
* What brought you to coaching? What has changed as a result?
* On a scale of one to ten, with ten being an out of this world coaching experience, what number would you give your coach and why?
* What has changed in your daily routine because of your coach? (coach–prompts that prime the pump could be “think of behaviors, thinking, habits and awareness that you have added or eliminated”)
* How have your thoughts about your future changed because of your coach? (coach–prompts that prime the pump could be “think of goals, dreams, plans, that you expect to achieve”)
* What do you tell relatives and friends about your coach?
Write down or record the answers. Reflect back the information you receive to be sure that what you’ve heard is correct. Once you have a response, ask for permission to organize it and send it to them electronically for review. Also be sure to ask whether you can use their name. When you have a coaching appointment, you should always have a testimonial-building question at the end.