Last week I had a call with a potential coaching client. The call was going quite well - or so I thought. The beginning couldn't have been better. The gentleman I was speaking with was very complimentary. In fact, he had been referred to me from another coaching client that was pleased with the progress we had made. As such, our discussion began with him sharing what he had heard about me and that he was already grateful to be speaking with me. I can't deny that it was flattering - it's always nice to be appreciated.
We spent time talking through the issues he wanted to focus on. He asked a few questions about process and logistics and I responded. But then something turned. I truly have no idea what happened. Was it something I said? I'll never know. It became clear in the last five minutes of our call that he wanted to end it. He abruptly thanked me and said he'll be in touch. Rarely a good sign.
I reflected on our call. It wasn't vastly different then others I've had. I felt frustrated - maybe I hadn't given my best. I didn't want to put him in a place of discomfort so I emailed him instead of calling. My goal wasn't to back him into a corner and tell me what had happened. Maybe it was even my imagination. Instead, I shared that I enjoyed speaking with him, offered two insights I thought might be helpful, attached an article I had written I felt would be relevant to our discussion and invited him to another conversation if he thought it would serve him. I wouldn't call it a do-over but , It was my attempt to elevate my level of service. To go beyond.
I felt worlds better after this. Not because I thought I felt sure the gentleman would become a client. Not because I showed him how thoughtful I am or what a good writer a I am. Purely because I decided I can offer something better. And I did.