Figuring out why your clients leave is one of the most important problems you need to focus on in your coaching business. Why?

The easiest way to grow a profitable coaching business and hit your ideal your client base is to not lose any clients.

Putting it like this might make it seem super simple, but it’s something that a lot of coaches forget.  It’s easy to put all your focus on getting new clients and taking the ones you have for granted. 

However, it takes much longer to sign a new client than it does to keep an existing one. It also helps avoid you having a rollercoaster of earnings month to month and being stuck on the marketing hamster wheel. 

No one wants a leaky bucket for a business where you are trying to add clients as fast as they are pouring out. Ok enough with the metaphors, I think you get the point…

We have put together a list of the 5 main reasons your client may feel that coaching isn’t right for them or worth it. A lot of it comes down to being in sync with the people you are working with, and being sensitive towards how they are feeling.

Make sure you are aware of where they are emotionally and are able to help them if they start to react to any of the following issues that may arise.

The client feels overwhelmed 

There are three main types of overwhelm that you usually have to deal with when dealing with clients. 

1. Time

They feel like they are too busy and will never have the time to fit in the coaching sessions and other things you have discussed to improve their business. When you are setting goals with your clients it is important to be realistic about the time needed for them to complete that goal. 

That’s why even though it seems basic at the start of every coaching relationship the coach should do some form of time assessment and help the client free up some extra time. 

Also remind your client that it can take a long time to produce a positive, long-term change in behaviour. 

Habits that have been developed over years will not go away in a week. By realising this, it will ensure that when they are faced with time-challenges they will not feel like there is something “wrong” with them. They will realize that this is a normal part of the change process. 

2. Information

You have given them too much information at a time and they feel like they can’t take it all in. Even though you might have a lot of knowledge that you want to impart with your client, make sure you deliver it in bite-sized pieces. Rather spread things out over a series of weeks than trying to cram everything into one coaching session. 

What will change the business and get clients results is implementation not information.

If you give them too much information they may love it but eventually, they will pause or cancel the coaching to implement everything they have learned. 

3. Expectation

Never allow your client to feel like you are expecting too much from them or they have put too many expectations on themselves. Often if you set too many goals for them at once, or make the goals too big or too soon, it can make them nervous.

They will then feel like they will never be able to achieve them. Wait for some goals to be achieved before implementing new ones, to ensure that the client always feels in control. 

The Client gets distracted

It is very easy that a client gets sucked into their daily routine, and loses focus on implementing the new changes that have been discussed with their coach.

This can become a real problem if the coach doesn’t challenge them on this. Without calling them out, no progress will be made. The client will think the coaching they are paying for is a waste of time and money. 

When you are doing planning for the future with your clients, make sure that you incorporate time for unexpected distractions and competing goals that might occur. A key part of our coach model is finding counter-measures to these potential challenges. 

Build-in time for unexpected changes and occurrences and remind your client to “expect the unexpected”. By planning for distractions in advance, your clients can set realistic expectations for change and be less likely to give up and lose track when they are faced with distractions.

The client doesn’t take ownership 

It is very important for a coach to instil a sense of ownership in their client. Getting them to accept that where they are today is their doing. That they are responsible for their own successes and failures is an important aspect for your clients to realise. However, you have to do it in a gentle way depending on the client. 

This will help your client motivate themselves to get the work done that they need to. In other words, the more that business owners and leaders commit to coaching and behaviour change because they believe in the process, and realise they are responsible for that change, the more the process is likely to work.

Coaches need to let clients know that they are ultimately responsible for their own lives. As coaches, we need to make it clear that we are there to help our clients do the work – not to do the work for them.

The client starts to lose belief

Somewhere during the coaching process, the client can start to lose belief in the coach, the process, or themselves. When things start to get tough it is easy for a client to feel like they aren’t capable of moving forward. This is where the motivational side of coaching needs to come in.

You need to be in tune with your client, and be aware when they start to seem unmotivated. Make sure you are offering positive reinforcement and reminding them why they started coaching in the first place.

You may need to use specific techniques to change those beliefs. 

The client feels like they have not made progress

It is very important for the coach to set milestones throughout the coaching process. If clients don’t feel like they are making progress then they will leave.

It is important that throughout the coaching process progress is tracked efficiently by the coach or client. This should be shared so that the client can see that they have moved forward towards their goals.

If a client has no way of tracking progress, they will easily become disheartened and feel like nothing is changing.


By combating the above-mentioned issues, you can ensure that your clients will stay with you for a long period of time. This allows you to spend less time marketing and more time coaching. This will increase your income and impact from your business. 

Zander Woodford-Smith

Founder Business Coach Academy, Co-Author International Best Seller "Better Business, Better Life, Better World. Coaching Tools used by over 20,000 people.

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