Many of my former students have asked me how I end a coaching session. You know, one of those situations where the client doesn’t want to leave or awkwardness occurs. Here are my 10 tips to help you out.
1. Anchor the client into the ending
Do something at the end of the coaching session that you repeat at the end every time. For instance closing your folder, and put your pen away. This way the client gets anchored in understanding it is time to end the session.
2. Break rapport
Stop matching and mirroring! Stop talking in their modality (VAK); change your tonality, predicates, etc. Basically do the opposite of rapport building, without being rude.
3. Take payments prior to the coaching session
Many people express awkwardness sorting payment at the end of the session. I recommend arranging payment before the client even comes to your office.
5. When the client says: “one more thing”
Tell the client that this is an excellent thought, and that as it is a whole subject of its own, you will discuss it in the next coaching session.
6. Be literal
Simply apologize and say you need to get on to prepare the next coaching session or another important engagement. With most of us being raised in a time bound and scheduled society, it simply says to the client that you have no choice but to end the session.
7. Use your “I am about to leave” voice
Have you ever noticed how people adopt a certain voice tone when they are about to leave? Usually it is a bit shorter, faster, and less relaxed. You can use this tone to indicate that you are about to leave.
8. Stand up or turn around
Rapport and an energetic connection is immediately broken if you were to stand up or turn around. For instance you could place your filing cabinet behind your desk, forcing you to get up and turn around.
9. Scheduling time
You need time between sessions to rest, and prepare. Make it your priority, because this is really about the next client’s best interest as well as your own.
10. Sell sessions of 50 minutes instead of 60
I schedule my sessions at 50-minute increments, and then I give 10 free minutes to the client. At this moment in time, many clients already realize they got more time than they paid for and they understand you are potentially running late.