Sooner or later in your life coaching career you will face the problem of a no-show client. It’s one of those events that is super frustrating. First, you feel you are wasting precious time that might have been scheduled for someone else. Second, you feel you are not being respected. And third, if you are anything like I used to be, you might feel how I used to feel–uncomfortable about taking someone’s money without providing them with the agreed service.
5 Techniques For Managing Life Coaching No-Shows
1. If your client doesn’t call in on time, give him about five minutes and then call him. He may have been involved in something and lost track of the time. I have also had a normally reliable life coaching client who was so overwhelmed with her life that she simply forgot to check her calender that day—she missed a doctor’s appointment the same day. Usually, your client will be grateful that you took the trouble to call.
2. Follow up. Follow up. Follow up. If your client doesn’t show up and the five minute call doesn’t reach him, keep calling, emailing, etc. until he does respond. Don’t assume anything. Instead find out what’s going on. He probably needs techniques 3, 4 or 5, but there might be something really wrong that you can help with or at least should know about.
3. Hold him accountable. Make sure he understands that he has broken a commitment, where and how else he shows the same behavior, and what the cost of that behavior is in his life and business. Then have him recommit to showing up on time for his appointments.
4. Motivate him to show up by creating a deep belief that life coaching will help him make the changes he wants to make.
5. Provide really awesome transformative sessions.
Managing Your Discomfort
If you are feeling uncomfortable about a client paying for a session they don’t show up for, reframe your thinking. Be responsible for having written policy on cancellations and no-shows which your client agrees to when he signs up to work with you. That way you both know that he agreed to show up for sessions as scheduled. Use the techniques above if you need to. Then if he doesn’t show up, that’s something to call him on and coach him on. But it isn’t your responsibility as his life coach to see that he calls you, or that he’s available when you call him.
No-shows are frustrating, so make your expectations clear before you start life coaching someone. If you can get him be responsible about his coaching appointments, you will be making a huge impact on his life.
Dorine G. Kramer
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach