Questions You Should Ask Before Working With A New Client
When you’re just starting out as a health coach, it can be tempting to dive right in and sign on anyone who wants to work with you.
And that’s because new clients are exciting! You’ve been working so hard to get your certification, launch your business, and finally start attracting real paid clients.
But before you jump in with both feet, there are a few things you want to know about your client-to-be.
Asking some key questions can help you set up a great working relationship – one that will be positive and successful for both you and your client.
If you skip asking these questions it can lead to seriously misaligned goals and disappointing experiences. That’s why it’s important to be sure that you and your new client are on the same page before they officially enroll.
Here are a few questions you should ask before working with a new client
Ask About Their Goals
What do they hope to achieve during your time together? What are their biggest health and wellness goals?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you organize their program so it sets them up to achieve their goals. If you know where they want to go, you can draw a map to get them there.
This question is also about understanding if you CAN help them.
If this client is looking for something that falls outside of your niche or field of expertise, working with them might not be the best decision. As tempting as it may be sign on everyone who wants to work with you, it’s incredibly stressful to work with clients who aren’t a good fit. (I say this from experience.)
In these situations, consider referring them to a friend or colleague who specializes in what they’re looking for, rather than adapting your program to force a fit.
The last reason you want to know about their goals is to make sure they are realistic.
If you have a new client that’s expecting to lose 50 pounds during your 90 program, they might be a little disappointed with their results. It’s important to help your client set reasonable expectations for themselves and you. This is going to help ensure that they’ll be happy with their progress.
Aligning your goals and expectations for the program from the start is the best way to create a positive experience for both you and your new client.
Ask About Their Health Background
Before you start working with clients, get basic information about your client’s health history.
Once you officially start working together you will get the nitty gritty details of their health by sending a full intake form, but right now you just want the major things. Ask about any conditions they have, medications they are taking, recent surgeries or injuries, etc.
Get a clear picture of their current state so that you know what you’re working with and can make the necessary changes to your program to fit their situation.
If there are any big red flags here that might seriously impact your work together, it’s better to know before an agreement is signed.
Ask About Their Previous Experiences With Wellness Professionals
Speaking of red flags – this question is a great way to spot them!
The way a client speaks about previous wellness professionals they’ve worked with can give you great insight into what your relationship will look like.
If a prospective client only has negative things to say about their past experiences, it’s possible that this client may be difficult to please… and difficult to work with.
This question isn’t only designed to spot red flags about a client. This can also give you insight into what motivates them, what they’ve tried and what did and did NOT work for them. This will help you adapt your approach to fit this client.
Ask About Their Schedule
Getting clear on when you’ll be meeting ahead of time can save so many headaches (and back and forth emails!). Let them know the days and times you meet with clients, and ask about their preferred times so you can be sure that you can accommodate them.
While you may want to have some flexibility, especially when you’re starting out, don’t put yourself in a position where you’re scheduling client sessions at times that are very inconvenient for you (and your family). That will create a lot of stress – and possibly resentment of your clients.
If possible, pencil in all of your calls and meetings with clients upfront, so you’re both committed to it.
Ask What You Should Know
A good practice to get into is asking your prospective clients “What do you feel is important for me to know about you before we start working together?”
The response your client gives will help you understand how they work.
Similar to asking about what has worked for them previously, when working with wellness practitioners, the point here is to understand what motivates them and how they work best. This can really set up you up for success because you’ll know how to approach the program with them for the best results.
Each of these questions can get your new client relationship started on the right foot. Laying out solid expectations and boundaries that fit both you and your client is the best way to ensure your client walks away from the experience satisfied – and leaves you a rave review!
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Which of these questions do you plan to add to your intake process? Do you specific questions you’ve found it helpful to ask new clients? Share your thoughts below.