• Kevin Shabaar Smith

How to Avoid Toxic Clients

I want to talk to you today about something that could be secretly destroying your

business from the inside out and I want to help you get past it starting today. I'm talking about bringing on toxic clients - bringing on the clients that aren't a good fit for you or a good fit for your coaching business.

Often this can happen when you're just starting out as a coach and feel you just need somebody to pay for your services. I mean, deep down we know they're not a good fit but we're so anxious to get that piece of revenue and get our feet on solid ground that we take on clients we know just aren't good for us Hey! I am not judging - I've been there, done that! Other times we may not even know what part of our process is broken that allows these folks to sneak through. Either way...it happens....and it's not good.

The problem is that as we start to grow we settle into that habit. We never develop the process and mechanisms to filter out the the clients that aren't such a good fit. This is a crucial step because doing it right allows us to take on only the clients that are a super good fit for our coaching business!

So let's look at this through the three pillars of a successful online coaching business. The Model, The Mechanics, and the Marketing.


What is it about your model that could potentially get the wrong clients to be attracted to you in the first place?

The main thing that comes to mind when I think of people's models and attracting the wrong type of clients is the price point.

Does your coaching model have too low of a price point, or too high of a price point?

If you decide that you're gonna charge $97 for a year-long program with all the bells and whistles - you're probably gonna attract some tire-kickers or some people who are just paying $97 dollars just to check it out - and you're gonna get the wrong type of clients in your coaching program!

On the other hand, if you are a business coach for example and you want to work with people who are just starting out and only have an idea and motivation, charging $50,000 is likely to yield.... well, nobody.

So pricing your coaching program in a way that attracts your ideal client is a key factor. After all prevention is better than correction!


Your marketing is another prevention step. This is how people learn about you, your style, and your coaching program. This is a great opportunity to inform people well beforehand what type of clients your program is best suited for.

If you take a look at our program, you'll see that we have basically two main programs. we have a The 99 Days to Freedom Implementation Program™ which is basically for anyone who wants to go through the program on-demand and receive some valuable coaching along the way. It has a set price and people can come and take that program as they wish. Since it is mostly on-demand, a good fit is less of an issue (although our product page does attract a certain type)

But we also have a 99 Days to Freedom Workroom™ program which is our flagship program and offer a lot more coaching and interaction. We have to be very careful who we let in, so we do a couple of very specific things.

If you take a look at the page for the Workroom program, you will see that in our marketing we target a specific type of person. Not only we spell out exactly the type of clients we want in the program - we also clearly indicate the type of person we do NOT want. No grey area, no confusion.

Second, we let everyone know in our marketing that those who wish to join the Workroom program have to jump on a strategy accelerator call with myself or someone from the coaching team. We talk about their program and goals, we set up a game plan with them - and this allows us to get to know them a bit. So if they ever decide to join the program we already know they are a good fit.

I encourage all of you to do the same with your marketing!


The biggest thing in the mechanics of your coaching program that allows "bad fits" to hang around - is the lack of an adequate client onboarding process.

It is important to remember that the only thing worse than allowing bad clients in - is not letting them out!!

This is why we allow 30 days trial period.

When someone enters our program, they are allowed to exit within 30 days if they feel as though the program is not for them. Now, you don't have to allow that much time, but the principle is still the same.... because here is the thing - it's not just for them!

This period of time also gives you 30 days to decide whether or not there's someone in your program that isn't a good fit. In addition, the onboarding process is a perfect opportunity to frame what a good client is, to set the expectations, and to give 30 days for both you and the client to back out gracefully.

Now, you don't want to let the client leave on bad terms - even if they are a major pain in the backside. If at all possible, guide them in the right direction. If you know someone else they may be a better fit for, point them in that direction. Provide them with some guidance, give them some resources, or give them some materials they can use for growth. Remember - you are a coach, and you want to add value whenever you can! So if it doesn't work out for your program add some value and point them in the right direction before saying your good-byes!

So, we talked about the mechanics and we talked about the marketing. Take these three opportunities to sift out the people that aren't a good fit and things are going to go much better for you.

Your clients will know what to expect and you'll know that you're getting people that are a good fit for your business.

If you'd like to learn more about this or just understand the roadmap that we lay out for our new clients, you can download our 99 Days to Freedom for Coaches Roadmap™ here.

It is a nine step guide for building a coaching business that can provide more revenue, more free time, and allow you to make the greatest impact with this life you've been gifted with! So go ahead and click on the link and download it today!

All the best,


© 2018 Kevin S Smith | Leaderstone, Inc.

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram