You have finished your education…you have studied almost every diet theory that exists…you practiced health histories….you know your biz…

NOW it is time!

Congratulations!  You have your first coaching customer!

Then the panic arises…relax, you know what you are doing and you are ready for this.


First – Choose your tools


If it is a weight loss program, Physician’s Weight Loss (Healthy Habits) is the best.  It can be used with a group or an individual.  It does not promote a diet theory but offers recipes for plant based, standard and paleo.  It gives you and your client absolutely everything a health professional could provide to succeed; videos, workbooks, modules, daily emails and accountability and support.

As an Inner Circle Member, you have a lot of tools in your tool box.  The 12 Day Detox and 28 Day Programs are meant more as lead ins to a health coaching program.

We are going to suppose that this isn’t a weight loss client (or, you are not sure yet – you can always move them up)  So, we are going to choose the 6 month program (from the 3-6-9-12 Month Program).  The program is not really meant to do the coaching for you – but to educate your client and support your efforts.  It is designed to be modular to customize to the needs of your client.  It starts out VERY basic and modules may be shifted for advanced information on nutrition, exercise and other needs.


Set the appointment


You can do this online with a tool like Bookfresh.  I used that for a short time and had great luck with it.  It collects the money, lets you schedule available times, posts the appointments in gmail and allows the customer to schedule at their convenience.  I put it in a tab on Facebook.  There are many others too…this is just one to give you an idea and that I am familiar with.


You can set the appointment the old fashioned way…by phone.  That takes a little longer and requires messages back and forth, but it establishes a human connection.


You can set the appointment by email.  That requires that you carefully schedule (don’t double book and be careful to transfer to your calendar).  This is sometimes easier than reaching each other by phone.


Decide where the meeting will take place


You may meet in person – at your home, a Whole Foods or your office.  It is easier to read non verbal communication and it is more personal.  For clients dealing with important issues, it is not always the most comfortable.

You may meet by phone, skype or conference call.  If you meet by conference call with screen sharing ability, that can give you options to share materials in a new way.  Skype allows you a version of the more personal one on one “in person” meeting.  It may take a little time for you client to become comfortable.  Phone is not as personal but can be more convenient and comfortable for the client.  You may not be able to read non verbal cues, but pauses and raising or lowering voice may be easier to perceive over the phone.

Sometimes this isn’t a choice.  If you live in another country or, even city or state, skype, phone or conference call are your alternatives.  Be sure you are in a quiet space where you will not be interrupted and don’t multi task – pay attention to them just as if they could see what you are doing.


Decide how to deliver your client’s materials


You will want to provide the modules, workbooks, preparation materials and emails to your client on a regular basis.

DSD (Designed, Sealed and Delivered) is the easiest and most professional way to deliver materials.  You take about 30 minutes to set it up – or have our technicians do it for you.  Then, your client pays for it through your site, they automatically receive access to the prep materials in a membership download page, they are scheduled to receive the modules and emails at just the right times and you are hands free (except to meet with your client).

You may also set up an auto responder and a place to hold your larger modules (to give you a url instead of a big package you can’t deliver).  You will then schedule each client to be emailed as you want them to receive the program (1 week before your meetings).

You may also print and hand your client the modules in person at your meetings…for them to read for the next meeting.   The programs are expensive to print and use up natural resources, digital is preferred.  Then, you will still want an auto responder to email regularly.

OR, you may manually email one week before each meeting.


Prepare your client for the meeting


If you have the DSD, this is done for you.

Otherwise, send the materials or access to the materials for preparation to your client.  Preparation includes:

  • Agreement
  • Session Plan
  • Session Schedule
  • Journal
  • Wish List (what they want to accomplish in the next 3 months)
  • Health History

This preparation package covers 3 months.  You will send another preparation package in advance for the next 3 months.

Send the first module ahead for reading. (#1 of 12 for the 6 month program)


 The actual meeting


This is it!  You will go over the agreement, wish list, health history (unless you used the health history as a sales aid and it is already done).  This meeting is for getting comfortable with each other and goal setting.  Of course, if your client needs to talk about something else…just be ready to ask questions or listen.  Just because the module material covers something, doesn’t mean that you have to stick to the module.  You are the coach and will get a sense of what your client needs.  Goal setting should be a part of the first meeting…even if it is to set a small goal.


 You did it!  The meeting is over – now what?


Make good notes.  Spend a few minutes after your meeting being sure you have good session notes so next time you meet – you know what you covered before and can pick up from there.  If you promised to get additional educational material, note it and schedule a time to follow through on your calendar.

If you have DSD – all you have to do is take notes and show up for meetings and listen and ask high mileage questions.  If not, schedule a time into your calendar to follow up on emails and delivery of modules.


We loaded new materials into the 12 Month Universal Program this week.


There are new emails, prep modules and sales pages and art.  If you are an Inner Circle Member, be sure to check it out in “my products”.  If not, this is a good time to consider it, the entire annual membership (The Inner Circle Membership) that includes these programs and more is 50% off in celebration of another series of programs being loaded for delivery onto DSD (Designed, Sealed and Delivered).  If you don’t have a site on Designed Sealed and Delivered yet…this is a gift of time, energy and relief from technical frustration you can give yourself.

Share with your friends…join in the conversation below!  What are your 1st meeting fears?  What are your triumphs?  I would love to hear from you.





  1. April

    Nice post with easy to follow tips and guidelines! Thanks for sharing it!!

  2. farah

    Thanks for this! It’s a system and it’s good to know there is a load of help out there, we just need to look for it or ask!

  3. Shelley ugyan

    Sounds like a great system for new and veteran coaches alike ! Thanks for providing such simple steps and wonderful tools !

  4. Cynthia Djengue

    Cathy – I always appreciate the detailed and linear Coach friends such as yourself. These tools make it easier for many I am sure. What is your favorite auto-responder program?

  5. Tracey Giordano

    I really appreciate your insight into finding a great online scheduling program. I am in the process of setting this up for my office. I have found clients like to schedule appointments at 2am or after I am closed, so having the ability to easily schedule a client for one of my services 24 hours a day is a value added service that my clinic offers. I am finding more and more clients that don’t want to pick up the phone and talk to my staff about available appointment times… They want a link on my website that they can use 24/7. Thanks for the suggested services!

  6. Tammy Tuey

    This is great information. Thank you for providing it to us. So simple to understand.

  7. Lori Drouin

    If you are just starting out and can’t afford DSD what is the best way to handle everything without getting overwhelmed?


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