Chemistry Conversation: Dos & Don’ts

Most of the time we are busy celebrating our achievements and successes. Today, let’s take a different path. Let’s talk about something that may not be branded as an immediate success.

For me, it was a lesson in success. I learned what not to do next time!

Last week I had a chemistry call with a potential client that didn’t go well. Unfortunately, the client decided to choose someone else over me. This incident made me reflect on my own performance especially because the client had in fact gone for someone less experienced than me.

Now, the incident with my potential client led to self-assessment. Considering the situation, I made a list of ‘dos & don’ts’ that I wish to share with you today.

First, what is a chemistry call and why is it important?

Typically, as the name explains, the very first interaction with a potential client is referred to as a chemistry call. The purpose of this call is to check compatibility. Like any other relationship, a client & coach relationship also demands connection and compatibility. This is the call where both the client and the coach get to decide if they are the right fit for each other.

Let us break down the call into three stages:

Before the call: I realised I wasn’t present at the moment.  I tried to squeeze the chemistry call in between meetings which led to divided attention and focus. This is a big ‘don’t’ in a chemistry call. It is crucial to take at least a ten-minute breather before the call. Gather your thoughts, do extensive homework about the client, and make a list of probable questions.

During the call: Once the call starts, it is vital to take control within the first five minutes and make sure you manage the time in the conversation.

 A coachee may be a great storyteller (Like the one I had) and would like to you listen to everything she has to say. But that can happen later!

A chemistry call is not about storytelling, it is about building a connection. So, start by setting up a quiet and private space, free from distractions. Ensure that both you and the client have uninterrupted time to fully engage in the conversation. Create an environment where the client feels comfortable expressing their thoughts, concerns, and aspirations openly.

Finally, ask open-ended questions. This not only keeps the conversation going but also portrays active listening which in turn builds confidence.

Remember, the duration of the call must not be more than 30 minutes. Anything more than that is actual coaching.

After the call:  After a chemistry call with a potential client, it’s important to take some time to reflect on the conversation and assess whether or not this partnership would be a good fit. By following a post-call checklist, you can ensure that you have considered all the necessary points before you make a decision.

Chemistry conversations help to establish a connection between the coach and coachee. It is also the first step to a long and trustful coaching relationship. This is where you make the decision whether or not you want to work with a client.

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