When a client comes to you to help them find solution to a particular challenge, there is this enthusiasm and fire you sense the first time. For the most part, they seem to be willing to do anything you say, provided it will help solve their problem. However, when it comes to taking action, most of them develop cold feet.

Before, you begin to get all sweaty, it could be possible you aren’t doing enough to get your clients to take action.

Let’s look at two scenarios.

Scenario One:

A client, who is gainfully employed, comes to you as a financial coach. She does not seem to understand how she spends her money and she finds it difficult to save. She has seen a good home she wants to buy, but she cannot seem to put money together for it. She does not want to take a loan either. So, she needs your help to achieve this goal.

From your assessment, she is the kind of client you are looking for! A client you can help.

You ask all the relevant questions and got the responses that could help you proffer a solution.

You come up with two, three … five steps that you think would get the client her desired result. The client pays you well for your services and professionalism. She even recommends you to her friends as an expert that has the ability to prescribe solutions for their problems.

One year later, she is still paying rent and has barely saved up enough to buy her dream home, because she took absolutely no action from your well-crafted recommendations.

Scenario Two: 

The same client comes to you with the same kind of problem.

This time, instead of dolling out steps to her and leaving her high and dry, you get her to make a commitment. You get them to sign a document that automatically transfers a percentage of their monthly salary to a savings account that accrues to the needed amount within the timeframe.

You will not only succeed in getting her to intentionally develop a savings culture, she would be able to buy the dream home at the time she desires. It also takes you a notch higher in your coaching business. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Whether or not a client takes action is dependent on you, as the coach, consultant, or service business owner.

Most coaches and service businesses have great programs that transform the lives of their clients. The challenge is getting the client to take action and take them immediately.

If you find yourself struggling to get your clients to take the required actions that guarantee results, then the following would definitely help you.

To effectively get clients to take action, you need to understand the psychology of clients when it comes to action-taking. I choose to refer to it as the 4 quadrants of coaching clients. All clients that need your services fall into one of these 4 psychological quadrants.

Quadrant 1: Low Understanding – Low Impulse

These set of clients do not even understand what they need help with and aren’t easily moved to take action when the need arises. They are the 100% dependent clients – they want you to do everything for them. If you sign up these kinds of clients, you are likely going to spend so much time on them with minimal results.

You need to avoid these kind of clients like a plague. They will end up draining you and reducing your productivity.

So how do you identify these clients?

For coaches, who have been in business for a while, it is a lot easier to identify these kind of clients in your first interactions with them. The way they respond to your questions is a big pointer that they will give you headache. They are not coherent with their narratives, and they show very minimal interest in how they can contribute to getting the solution. Some are even verbal about it.

These clients tend to blame everyone else for their problems but themselves. They do not want to take responsibility for the things that are wrong in their life, health, or business. If you ask the right questions, you should be able to sense that they are clients that are bound to give you headache. If you are sensitive and pay attention, you will notice these signs.

It is practically impossible to get these set of clients to take action. They will end up wasting your time and resources, and yet the desired result won’t be achieved. I suggest you take a pass on these kinds of clients. If you already have them enrolled, do not hesitate to fire them.

Quadrant 2: High Understanding – Low Impulse 

These clients understand what they need help with, but lack the drive to take the necessary actions to achieve their desired goals. On paper, they appear like the perfect client, but when it comes to taking action, you will need to give them a push – or a nudge.

Their inability to take action, even when they have perfectly understood what to do, could be dependent on a number of factors – personality, emotional or relationship issues.

You can identify them by the way they talk about their problems and how they want you to help them. They are very specific, detailed and enthusiastic when narrating their challenges to you. However, the enthusiasm goes down when you begin to make them understand their involvement in the solution process.

The way to get these clients to take action is to collaborate with them through the process. Work closely with them to outline the steps they need to take. Go through the steps with them as many times as possible to be sure they perfectly understand what they need to do.

To also make it easier, put all the steps that need to be taken into an automated system, where you manage the tasks with them. Google calendar can work well for this purpose. The client gets reminders of tasks close to their deadlines. The good thing is that both of you keep tab of what has been done and what is yet to be done. This is possible because you can share an event (which will be an action that needs to be taken) in the Google Calendar.

You should help them set reminders from their own end, since the reminders you set will just be for you alone. Let the two reminders align, so both of you can be automatically be notified of an action that needs to be taken. When the client takes the action, you can close the event and set up a new task.

It is quite simple to work with this category of clients if you collaborate with them. With the task automations you will put in place, it makes it easier to track when actions are taken.

Quadrant 3: Low Understanding – High Impulse 

These ones do not have the full idea of what they need help with. They know quite well that there is a challenge they need help them with, but they don’t know the extent of the challenge. You see them cutting out specific details of their problem in their narrative. They are more than ready to do anything you ask them to do, provided you can decipher their challenge and tell them what to do.

These set of clients asks you what you want them to do, more than what you can do for them. They want to know your advice and how they can implement them.

To help them, ask leading questions based on what they have told you. If you paid attention to their narrative, you will realize the point they raised repeatedly, though they were incoherent. Build on those points and dig deeper with your questions. This will help you have a full picture of what they need help with. In their scattered story, you can bring out specific pain points of the client.

You can give them steps to take and they will begin implementation, provided you have helped them specify their challenges. They might only need to fall back to you when they get confused at any stage. So, you may want to still give room for a support system that will help them the few times they might fall back to you.

Quadrant 4: High Understanding – High Impulse 

These are the best set of clients any coach or consultant could ever ask for. They don’t take so much of your time. Once you are able to use a clear language to communicate your expectations to them, they require little or no push to take action. They are mostly high ticket clients.

From the moment they get on the phone with you, they show their readiness to take actions. They tell you specifically what their challenge is, with clear details. They can’t wait to get your advice and act on them. It shows in the tone of their voice and the look in their face.

All you need to do for them is to be as concise as possible with your expectations and they will do the work. At the end of the day, their goals are met and you are fulfilled – everyone wins.

Getting Results is Easier…

When clients take actions, it is easier to get results for them. However, whether or not they take action depends on the quadrant they fall into.

  • The first quadrant contains the worst kind of clients that will never do anything. They end up wasting your time and there will be nothing to show for it.
  • The second quadrant contains the clients that need to be pushed to take action. You need to work with them through the steps. With collaboration, they get to do what is expected of them
  • The third quadrant has the one that needs just a little push to take action. Implementing the steps you will give is not an issue, if they understand what they are dealing with.
  • The fourth quadrant is the domain of the best set of clients. They know what their specific challenge is, and are ready to implement any steps that will help them get results.

From the moment a client contacts you for a solution, ascertain the kind of client they are and know how to serve them.

To help you implement this in your business, there’s a business strategist on our team waiting to talk with you.

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