One of the most frustrating things you can deal with as a coach is an unresponsive student. You’ve spent a lot of time putting together some great coaching material. You think you’ve hit a home run—there’s no way people will walk away from your coaching program unsuccessful, right?
Unfortunately, you just don’t have that much control over people. People, even people who pay you big bucks for coaching, will become unresponsive.
They’ll say they’re going to complete an assignment you talked about during coaching and then they’ll forget. They’ll put it off… and they might do it weeks or months late, if at all.
You’ll schedule coaching sessions and people won’t show up.
Your emails will go unread or ignored.
You’ll beg them to do things a certain way, even just to test, based on your hard earned experience and they’ll take the longer route instead, or ignore you altogether.
I repeat—this is frustrating.
I’m going to tell you how you can improve student response rates, because there are some important things to consider when it comes to this.
If you can break through to the clients who take your coaching in a way that other coaches and teachers haven’t been able to, word will spread and you can become one of the premier coaches around.
Because, while you can’t force people to do things, you can use the power of psychology and planning to become an effective coach. You can reach people where they are and bring them to where they need to be.
Are You Doing Your Job?
Before we go any further, I want to make sure you’re doing your job as coach. If you are sending things to your clients late or aren’t sending them at all, there’s going to be an inconsistency there on both sides that will be hard to overcome.
If you’ve said you’ll help to hold the client accountable and check in on them, are you doing that? People really, really do need you to hold their hand. Make sure you’re sticking with your agreement on this point.
Are you giving them the tools they need? This means assessing where they are. You might sometimes have to go out of your way to meet them on their level.
You have to look at things from their perspective. Make sure you know enough about their background and personality to be effective for them.
Address any Mindset Issues
This is one of the most crucial things a coach can do, in my opinion. It’s one thing to teach people something or give them step-by-steps to follow. It’s another thing to dig deep into their mindset.
The chances are good that the people who’ve hired you have had other tutorials or have even hired other coaches in the past. Why haven’t they been successful? Why do they still need to hire you, despite their past efforts?
It’s likely because they don’t yet have the mindset to succeed.
They might have a fear of failure.
They might have a fear of success.
They might have a lack of confidence.
They might not have solid, defined goals.
They might not have a Reason Why solid in their mind. Why are they doing this? What exactly are they trying to achieve?
There are issues there with procrastination, perfection, fear, doubt, self-doubt, anxiety, and the list goes on.
You may not be a psychologist, but it is important for you to understand and be able to identify these potential mindset issues in your client.
That will put you in a position to explain these things to them. Together, you can help them overcome their issues and build a new mindset of success. I have a lot of material on the market that you can purchase to help yourself and your client get into a better mindset.
Why am I talking about mindset? Knowing about mindset issues is how you become more effective as a coach. It’s also how you ensure that your clients are responsive.
If your clients are dealing with mindset issues, they are probably embarrassed. They procrastinate on getting back to you. They shy away from doing the work you’ve assigned together.
They may or may not be aware of these issues.
If you want your clients to be more responsive, identify these issues together and work on them. That will be a huge, huge relief to your client. Busting past these barriers can make them more responsive and help them be unafraid to really move forward with the coaching.
You want your client to respond to the coaching. That means you need to think about structure. Structure is something your client may or may not be used to. But, it’s important to implement because it will help them be more responsive and will help them access their coaching effectively.
Do you have a regular meeting time? Coaching isn’t a time to be haphazard. Set meeting times. Set office hours (even if you’re working solely online). Let people know that you can be reached on a regular basis.
Set milestones and check in points. Don’t let a long time go in between communication with your client. Make sure you’re checking in on a regular basis. Some effective coaches check in every day. Others check in a few times a week or once a week.
The more regularly you communicate, the more likely your client is to be responsive.
It can also help to figure out how your client best communicates. There are some people who thrive on Skype and others who find it a distraction. There are some who love communicating on their own time via email and others who rarely check their email at all.
You’ll surely have a preferred communication style. You might use this same style with all of your clients. Just make sure you consider the way your client might prefer to communicate because that can help make them more responsive.
Be Open with Any Issues
If you find that one of your coaching students has become unresponsive, be open about that. Don’t be afraid to call them out on it. That’s sort of what they’re paying you for.
You’re not their parent, but you are their coach. That means tough love sometimes. It means doing what you need to do to help them succeed.
Boost Response and Success Rates
Think about these things as you work with your coaching students. Be prepared for what might happen.
You can’t force anyone to communicate with you and follow through on their coaching.
But you can address mindset issues and practical things to help improve response rates for all of your coaching clients. That makes you much more effective as a coach.