In the last article, I introduced the topic of the Disappearing Client and some of the ways this can show up for you. Let’s move into the underlying reasons this can occur and begin to look at what you can do to create a different experience for yourself.
These are a few of the patterns I’ve observed in 18 years of coaching, related to the Disappearing Client Phenomenon:
1) Incomplete Enrollment: With the prospect who says they want to get started, and who then goes MIA, it may be they weren’t fully enrolled.
You may need to upgrade your enrollment process so that you KNOW the prospect is fully committed and enrolled: The Coaching Agreement is outlined, payment is handled, prep work for the first session has been agreed upon, and the first session has been scheduled.
Yes, the client may still back out, but is less likely to do so if they’ve more fully committed to getting started with you.
2) Rubber Band Effect: When a prospect or newer client, who appears to be engaged and connected with you, disappears, they may have hit a wall.
What I mean is: While connected with you either in the initial consult chat or in early sessions, s/he feels new possibility, and experiences the energy of expansion and movement. The unfamiliarity of this new space can trigger a sense of vulnerability, and this can happen below the level of self awareness.
Like a rubber band snapping back into shape after being stretched, they may revert to what is comfortably familiar. Suddenly the coaching itself becomes threatening because it represents not just change, but CHANGE.
When your prospect or client experiences this reaction unconsciously, the disappearing act can result.
3) Putting Perfection Before Profitability (AKA Chasing the Myth of Being Finished): If you feel you still “aren’t there” as a coach, if you don’t trust that your skills as they exist today are sufficient, you will hold yourself back in the market.
This can be a matter of integrity: If you don’t feel you are enough as a coach, on some level it can feel very out of integrity for you to put yourself out there as a coach.
If this is true for you, you may be confusing “being ready” to coach with being perfect. You can be a work in progress (not “finished”) AND deliver solid value from where you are now. What a concept!
So it may be you, or your client/prospect, who hits some resistance that keeps the relationship from moving forward. Either way, here’s the really good news about this: If you see your practice as a mirror for you AND you embrace and explore what is reflected in this mirror, you change your relationship with the Disappearing Client Phenomenon.
What makes this especially fun is that as you shift how you are present with this when it occurs, it can begin to occur less.
Stay tuned for more on this topic. And if you want a partner in interpreting and using what you see in the mirror that your coaching practice provides, call me!
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