Corporate contracts can bring some consistent income into your coaching business. Jo shares her personal experience of landing a corporate contract and highlights the benefits, such as growth, stability, and higher rates.

Jo provides six strategies for securing corporate clients, including researching and identifying ideal clients, leveraging your network, crafting a compelling value proposition, developing tailored proposals, offering pilot programs, and collaborating with potential partners. These strategies aim to help coaches establish successful partnerships with organisations.

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Hello and welcome to Women in the Coaching Arena podcast. I'm so glad you are here. I'm Jo Lott, a business mentor and ICF accredited coach, and I'm on a mission to help brilliant coaches build brilliant coaching businesses. In this podcast, I'll be sharing honest, not hype, practical and emotional tools to support you to make the difference that you are here for.

Microphone (Samson Q2U Microphone):

Welcome to episode 19, of women in the coaching arena. I'm so glad you're here. I'm excited to bring this episode on gaining corporate contracts. Because I would say over 50% of the clients that I work with in the business of coaching are aiming for corporate contracts. So, if you are ready to tap into the lucrative world of corporate coaching and gain high value clients, then stay tuned. Because that's what we're covering in this episode. I'll share some actionable strategies and insights to help you to land those corporate contracts. I was super lucky. Well, I say lucky, I wasn't lucky at all. I did the work. So when I first started my business, I gained a contract with a corporate and it was an absolute godsend because it brought me in a steady income when I needed it most, which is in those early days, when you have no audience, you're feeling really panicky. I was so, so grateful and I absolutely loved this particular work that I'm talking about. And I gained it through contacting someone I didn't know very well. I had worked with her in the past, but we didn't know each other. And I basically contacted her and said, I'm just setting up my own business. If you going to hire someone like me, a coach. What would you be after? And then she took over a week to reply to my email. So I had the whole awful feeling of like, oh my gosh, this is so cringy. She's probably thinking who are you? What do you even want from me? But anyway, eventually she got back to me and we had a call. I was just completely upfront and said, this is a sort of impact I want to have, but I've got no idea how to get into organisations. And she was the head of learning and development. I just literally talked about what I did, and I was super passionate about making a difference and telling my story, because I wasn't pitching, I had no idea that this was a potential business development call. So anyway, by the end of the call, she said, this sounds like exactly what we need. Would you be prepared to put in a proposal for this. So I did. And it was an amazing start to my business and I am super, super grateful. And in fact, I've just taken on another corporate contract, which I should have said no to, because it's just not where I'm putting my focus right now in my business. But I just couldn't seem to resist because I thought, gosh, I would have been so happy to have gained another one at the start of my journey so I will probably speak to some of my clients and see if they want to help me out so I can maintain my focus on my current work. So as Simon Sinek says, let's start with why, why do we want corporate contracts? They offer a huge opportunity for growth and stability in your coaching practice. They often have larger budgets and it allows you to charge higher rates for your services. And often it's not loaded up with that guilt that often comes when you are charging an individual of like, oh my goodness. You know, this has to work. So it just feels a lot cleaner. And I know that shouldn't be the case and there is a lot of inner work to do with making sure that you know, the difference you make to an individual. So those feelings don't come up. But I do know they come up. Working with corporates also gives you the chance to impact a bigger audience and enhance your reputation. So let's start with some strategies to help you to gain those valuable corporate clients. So there are six strategies. I will talk about today. Strategy one. Research and identify your ideal corporate client. So I think it's worth taking a moment and narrowing down, who is your ideal client? Like write down three organizations that you would absolutely love to work with. And that might even lead you to your niche. If you haven't niched down already. Research those companies that align with your values and have a genuine need for your services. If they are the organizations you're interested in working with, hopefully they will be the type of organization that prioritize employee development and have a record of investing in coaching. Understanding your target audience will enable you to tailor your approach. So once you are clear on your top three, Organizations, it will really help you to do your research and as we move through the rest of the strategies, you can really tailor your message to those people. So your strategy two leverage your network and establish connections. So just like I shared, then that was me thinking, who do I know that I can just do a bit of research with? So if you know anyone who is in something like learning and development role or HR role. It can make a big difference. But also it's good not to rule out people that you don't think will help you get a foot in the door because often it's talking to a friend or someone, you know, that will say, oh yeah, we could definitely do that. I'm happy to talk to someone at my organization. So do ask if they can introduce you to any decision makers or HR professionals within their network. Attend conferences, seminars, events, where you can connect with these individuals. And just build the relationships. Don't think I need to get client. I need to get a client because that will stop you from being genuinely curious and just building true lasting, meaningful relationships, because that is what counts. And that is why someone's contacted me recently because I've just stayed in touch with her because I really like her versus me wanting to get more work. So strategy three craft a compelling value proposition. So when approaching corporate clients, you will need to articulate the value you bring to the table. I was talking to a client of mine yesterday who is in a head of people, role part time. And she said that my program has been so valuable for her because now she can use what she learned about creating packages, gaining, buy in from your potential clients. With her directors in her organization, because no matter what role you are in, we are all in the world of marketing and what's in it for me. And I think before I really learned all the stuff I know now about marketing. I just wouldn't have realized that I needed to position it in a certain way to make people say yes. So it's about knowing their specific challenges. We want to position it from a nice to have to a must have. And we want to talk about tangible results. If you have any success stories from previous coaching engagements, make sure you bring those in highlight your experience and your credentials. Make sure it's super clear how you can help the organization with their greatest challenges, helping their employees develop new skills, increase productivity, create a great work culture. But also make it specific. So now we know who you are targeting. We want to talk about their particular industry challenges. One of my clients works in agencies and she has been super successful recently because people say, oh yeah. Well, it's different for us. Like we've got different structure. So she now in her outreach can mention, I've got this many years agency experience. I know what it's like for people not to get the structure and I do get it. So that has really helped her to gain work from organizations. Strategy four develop tailored proposals. So back to making sure that they know that this is for them. It's not just like here is a proposal for leadership coaching. Choose an image that encapsulates their industry. Make sure everything is highly targeted to address their unique needs and the goals of the organization. You will want to do lots of research, make sure you have had a call and captured exactly what they said their challenges were and make sure that those are included in your proposal. You will then want to include a clear outline of how your coaching program can help them to achieve these goals. And this is when you might want to bring in some high-level milestones that you will be covering. So they see, okay I can understand if we were to do these things. We would get the result that we want. You will want to bring in specific metrics and demonstrate the potential return on investment that they can expect from engaging with you. Tailor proposals. Show that you have done your homework and you are genuinely invested in their success. And this is not just a blanket message that you have sent to lots of people. Strategy five pilot programs and demonstrations. So sometimes a corporate client can be hesitant to commit to a longterm coaching engagement without experience of working with you first. So on these occasions, you might like to offer pilot programs or demonstrations that showcase the value of your coaching services. So I have done one recently where the training and development manager was keen, but she needs to show the leadership team that this is worth it. So I did 25 sessions with people within that organization. We did feedback forms with very specific ratings to enable us to show that the value was worth the investment. So you could consider offering a limited time, trial period, or condensed version of your full coaching program to build that trust and demonstrate the value of your services. Strategy six, build strategic partnerships. Collaborating with other professionals in related fields can open doors to corporate contracts. Who else works in those organizations? So it might be other consultants, trainers, other coaches who offer complementary services. Perhaps together, you can provide a one-stop shop for that organizations coaching and development needs. These partnerships not only enhance your service offering, but also builds your credibility and visibility in the corporate coaching landscape. It's essentially getting that foot in the door. And then your name will be known. And if other organizations say, oh, have you ever held leadership coaching? Or training, then they will say, yes, this is who we've used. So you have a think about who you could approach to do a partnership with. This brings us to the end of this episode on gaining corporate contracts. It does often take longer to gain and sign a contract because there are more steps to go through to get that thing signed off. So keep going, keep refining your approach. Learn from each experience. Adapt your strategies accordingly. I know some people I have worked with have gained most of their corporate works through networking. Other people I've worked with are doing direct email. So being super targeted and following up consistently to gain that conversation. Let's summarize today's episode. So strategy one research and identify your ideal clients. If you are just having a really vague goal of wanting to get corporate contracts, it would be really hard. So write down three organizations where you would absolutely love to work and do your research. Strategy two leverage your network and establish connections. Remember there are so many different routes in, and it's about being super kind and super helpful to everyone you know, not just those decision makers, because it's the people that, you know, that can get you in front of those decision makers. Strategy three craft compelling value proposition, make sure that you know, what the problems are and what the solution is that they want. We need to position it away from a nice to have to a must have. Strategy four develop a tailored proposal, ensure that it is super specific. And everyone knows immediately on looking at this document that it has been prepared for them. And it's not just a cookie cutter approach. It's Strategy five pilot programs and demonstrations. See if there is a way that you can do a trial run and they can get feedback. Strategy six was build strategic partnerships. Who else has an inning with that organization that you can compliment with your service. By researching your target audience, leveraging your network, crafting that compelling proposal and demonstrating the value of your coaching services. You can secure your first or next corporate contract. Thank you for joining me on this episode of women in the coaching arena. If you found today's episode helpful, I would love you to subscribe and leave me a review. I know so many people have contacted me saying on the podcast amazing, but I haven't had a review or rating for ages. And it makes such a difference for me and other listeners. So please do take a moment and send me a message if you have done this and I will personally thank you. As I say, at the end of every episode, trust yourself, believe in yourself and be the wise gardener who keeps on watering the seed. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Women in the Coaching Arena. Please come and say hi to me on LinkedIn or Instagram and let me know how you are getting on in your coaching business and how you are gonna go for your dreams this year. My name on LinkedIn is Joanna Lott and on Instagram is at Joanna Lott Coaching, and I'll also put links in the show notes. Let me know if you found this episode useful. Share it with a friend and leave me a review, and I will personally thank you for that. Thank you so much for listening. Speak soon.

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