How To Identify (and Support) These 15 Types of Clients for Coaches

types of clients

No two coaching clients are alike. They come with their unique needs, and each brings their own set of expectations and quirks. 

That said, as you gain more experience coaching people, you’ll start to see patterns emerge. And you’ll notice that everyone falls under one or more types of clients.

For example, you’ll encounter a new client eager to dive into your program but requires extra reassurance that they’ve made the right choice. 

Or consider skeptical clients. They might be challenging to handle initially, but if managed well, they can turn into one of your most loyal clients.

While there are likely hundreds of types of clients for coaches, I’ve gathered the 15 most common types in one handy list!

Why Is It Important to Identify Client Types?

As you keep moving forward on your coaching journey, you’ll encounter all types of clients, and it’s important that you recognize each of them. Why? 

Think about it – when you understand these various client categories, you can tailor your coaching strategies to suit each one perfectly.

It’s like having a personalized approach ready for every individual who comes your way. And you know what that means? A top-notch client experience from start to finish!

But identifying client types can also help you attract and keep the type of people you work with best. No matter which type of coach you are, you won’t be everyone’s best fit – and neither will you. 

15 Types of Clients For Coaches

Now you know how crucial it is to identify different types of coaching clients, but have you met all of them? Remember, understanding them can significantly improve your ability to build successful relationships and deliver effective coaching strategies.

Keep reading and find out how to effectively deal with each of these types of clients. 

1. Unrealistic clients

This type of client often has exaggerated expectations that may not align with reality. They may set unattainable goals, expect rapid and unrealistic progress, or request services beyond what you can reasonably provide as a life coach. 

Unrealistic clients might be overly optimistic about the results they can achieve or underestimate the effort required to reach their objectives.

Coaching approach:

  • Start by setting clear expectations and boundaries from the start. 
  • Work with the client to help them reevaluate and set realistic, achievable goals. 
  • Support and encourage them continuously, emphasizing incremental progress rather than unattainable leaps. 
  • If the client’s expectations remain consistently unrealistic despite your efforts, try to reassess the coaching approach to ensure it aligns with the client’s needs and fosters productive growth.

2. Skeptical clients

The skeptical client is hesitant and doubtful about the capabilities and benefits of life coaching services. Often, they seek extensive evidence and testimonials before making a decision. They need reassurance and tangible proof to effectively gain trust and address their reservations.

With all that being said, once they learn to trust you, they can be some of the best action-takers!

Coaching approach:

  • Focus first on building trust and addressing their doubts. 
  • Provide them with clear information about your coaching process, qualifications, and success stories. 
  • Encourage questions and offer a trial session to let them experience your approach. 
  • Be patient, respectful, and flexible in tailoring your coaching to their needs. 
  • Gradually earn their trust by demonstrating expertise and showing empathy for their skepticism.

3. Micromanaging clients

The micromanager client is excessively involved in every aspect of the project or service delivery, seeking constant updates and detailed control over the process. They may have difficulty trusting others and feel the need to oversee every step.

Coaching approach:

  • Establish clear boundaries and communication channels from the beginning. 
  • Reassure the client about your expertise and capabilities – remember, they’re hiring you, not the other way around! 
  • Provide regular progress updates and involve them in important decisions.
  • Encourage trust-building exercises to reduce their need for micro-management gradually.

4. Indecisive clients

This type of client has difficulty making decisions and may change their mind frequently – leading to delays and disruptions in their progress. They may also fear making the wrong choice and struggle with committing to a particular direction.

In other words, there’s a good chance they need your coaching.

Coaching approach:

  • Help them clarify their values and priorities to make it easier for them to make decisions aligned with their goals. 
  • Provide a structured decision-making process for them, such as weighing pros and cons or creating decision-making criteria. 
  • Encourage them to trust their intuition more and more over time.
  • Remind them that decisions can be adjusted as they gain new insights.

5. Demanding clients

The demanding client expects immediate responses and exceptional service at all times. They may pressure their coaches to go above and beyond what they initially paid for.

Coaching approach:

  • Set clear expectations and boundaries from the start. 
  • Clearly communicate your availability and response times. 
  • Find a balance between meeting their needs and maintaining healthy boundaries. 
  • Reinforce the importance of realistic expectations and self-care.

6. Procrastinator clients

This client often struggles to make timely decisions or take necessary actions – for instance, they’ll drag in signing your coaching contract or sending payment. This procrastination can often lead to them doing their coaching homework at the last minute, hurting their results. 

Coaching approach:

  • Help them identify the underlying reasons for their tendency to delay and address any fears or concerns that may be holding them back. 
  • Encourage them to break tasks into smaller, manageable steps. 
  • Set realistic deadlines to avoid feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Provide gentle reminders and consistent support to motivate them to overcome their habit and take proactive steps toward their goals.

7. VIP clients

These clients are high-demand people who expect immediate attention and preferential treatment. They may have a significant influence or bring substantial business to you as a life coach. 

Coaching approach:

  • Offer them premium packages with priority scheduling and additional services to meet their demands without neglecting the rest of your clients. In other words, don’t undercharge!
  • Set clear boundaries and communicate transparent expectations.
  • Get frequent feedback to make sure you’re meeting the expectations they have after purchasing a premium coaching package.

8. Impulsive clients 

These clients make decisions quickly based on emotions rather than thorough consideration or comparing options. To appeal directly to such potential clients’ preference for immediate gratification, simplifying the coaching process can work well.

Coaching approach:

  • Streamline the buying process and make it easy for them to make a purchase or decision swiftly – for instance, embed a checkout form directly on your coaching package’s landing page.
  • Schedule sessions close to one another instead of far apart to evaluate their progress quickly.
  • Provide these clients with specific, written-down instructions instead of relying on anything you tell them out loud.
  • Help them implement daily mindfulness practices to remain focused on what truly matters to them.

9. Overwhelmed clients

These clients have so much going on in their lives that they often feel lost and struggle to figure out what’s most important. Between work, family, and personal commitments, it can get pretty overwhelming, leading to feelings of stress and even burnout.

Coaching approach:

  • Provide a safe and understanding space to let them share their feelings and talk about what’s weighing them down. 
  • Help them set realistic goals and create practical plans to tackle their responsibilities one at a time. 
  • Teach stress management techniques – these can be real game-changers for their well-being!
  • Offer continuous support and encouragement to help them regain control and find balance in their lives. 

10. Self-improver clients

A self-improver client actively seeks personal growth, development, and positive change in various areas of their life. These clients are often proactive, self-aware, and driven to make meaningful improvements in their personal or professional life. 

These are the type of people who will actively seek out life coaches. They don’t need to be convinced to hire one – rather, they’ll be on the lookout for who’s the best fit for them!

Coaching approach:

  • Actively listen and validate their feelings, creating a supportive environment for them to share their aspirations and challenges.
  • Set SMART goals collaboratively that align with the client’s vision for the future.
  • Provide relevant learning resources, including articles, exercises, and tools, to support their growth and development.
  • Foster growth through challenges and celebrate achievements to keep them motivated and on track to succeed.

11. Career climbers

This type of client is driven to achieve rapid advancement and success in their professional life. They are proactive in seeking opportunities for career growth, pursuing promotions, and taking on additional responsibilities to climb the corporate ladder. 

Career climbers often prioritize professional development, networking, and acquiring new skills to gain a competitive edge. 

Coaching approach:

  • Understand their goals and aspirations to make sure daily actions fit with their long-term vision of their career.
  • Provide them with guidance to help them navigate their career path strategically.
  • Provide tips and assistance to help the client build a strong professional network. 
  • Encourage work-life balance to prevent burnout and continuous learning to develop their skills.

12. Impatient clients

These clients want quick and immediate results from the coaching process and may struggle to tolerate delays or setbacks. They become easily frustrated if they don’t see progress right away. 

Coaching approach:

  • Manage their expectations and communicate openly about the realistic timeline for achieving their goals. 
  • Provide some regular updates and celebrate small wins to keep them motivated and focused on their journey, even if the desired outcomes take time to materialize. 
  • Introduce mindfulness and stress-management techniques to assist the client in cultivating patience and resilience during their self-improvement process.

13. Discount seekers

This client is primarily motivated by finding the lowest possible price for products or services. They may prioritize cost savings over other factors like quality, value, or long-term benefits. As they seek out discounts, promotions, or special deals, they may be hesitant to invest in premium offerings. 

Coaching approach:

  • Offer clear and transparent pricing options, outlining the benefits of each package or service.
  • Emphasize the unique value and benefits your services provide, focusing on the long-term advantages rather than just the initial cost.
  • If they insist on negotiating, be firm but polite in setting boundaries to ensure your services’ value and sustainability.
  • If this fits with your business model and your long-term goals, offer smaller packages to allow them to dip their toes.

14. Non-communicative clients

This type of client is quite difficult to reach or tends to provide minimal feedback. They may be unresponsive to messages, emails, or calls, making it challenging for you to understand their needs or preferences fully. 

Dealing with a non-communicative client requires patience and proactive communication strategies. 

Coaching approach:

  • Establish clear channels of communication and offer them multiple contact options to accommodate their preferences.
  • Be persistent and proactive in reaching out to them, so they’ll feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and needs.
  • Follow up regularly to check on their progress and address their concerns.
  • Use active listening techniques and show genuine interest in their input to encourage them to engage more effectively.

15. The big picture clients

The big picture client focuses on the overall outcome and impact rather than getting bogged down in minute details. They have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and communicate their goals effectively to you. 

Coaching approach:

  • Align with their overarching vision and understand their broader goals to ensure your efforts are focused in the right direction.
  • Avoid getting lost in minor details and provide regular updates on how their vision is being realized.
  • Offer strategic insights and solutions that are in line with their grand objectives to keep them engaged and satisfied.
  • Keep communication channels open, ensuring you are aware of any shifts or updates in their big-picture vision, and can adjust your approach accordingly.

Know These Types of Clients To Build A Coaching Business By Design

Understanding different types of clients is crucial to step up your strategic game, as each one of them is unique – they have their own needs, quirks, and communication styles.

Once you understand how to work with each of these client types, you’ll be able to say yes to your dream clients – and say no to those who aren’t a good fit.

Working with the right people will let you fall in love with your coaching business over and over again!

Need help streamlining the admin side of your coaching business? With Paperbell, running a coaching business online has never been easier! Try it for yourself by claiming your free account.

types of clients

By Charlene Boutin
Charlene is an email marketing and content strategy coach for small business owners and freelancers. Over the past 5 years, she has helped and coached 50+ small business owners to increase their traffic with blog content and grow their email subscribers.
August 16, 2023

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