1. I learned this from The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier, it quickly gets the meeting down to business. Start with: “What’s on your mind today”?

2. Be confident enough to own your knowledge and experience and ask the uncomfortable question. Your colleague, client or prospect is your peer; you’re not a supplicant. During a coaching call, I said to a client, “I hear you say x and y, but something is not resonating. I’m not feeling your answer; what’s really going on”? He paused and said, “Ok, here is what’s really going on.” We had a completely different conversation.

3. It’s prudent to book a review meeting (maybe quarterly) and prepare a presentation of where they were before you started working together, outlining how much their situation has improved. Clients often forget the work you’ve done together.

When I did this recently, the comments were, “Gosh, I didn’t realise we’d done so much; I remember how difficult it was to do XXX…” When you do this, they stop thinking about your fee (or pausing working together) as they can see how their situation has improved – in effect, your value. It’s also a good reference for you to record what you’ve achieved with clients.

4. Calculate the numbers. I asked a client to show me the number of proposals submitted and their success before we started working together. How many they’d submitted since we started working together, and the increased revenue generated. It was, to use her words, a “significant” difference. No greater illustration of your value.

5. My favourite. At the end of the meeting, ask, “Out of all the things we’ve discussed today, what stood out the most for you?” Be quiet and wait for the answer.