The questions to ask to get great coaching client testimonials

Cover image - The questions to ask to get great coaching client testimonials
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Mike Arnold
Last updated
August 2022
Read time
9 minutes

Your coaching business needs testimonials. It’s one of the best, if not the best, way to get new clients interested in your coaching service and a necessity in your marketing and promotional content strategy. After all, if you put yourself in the shoes of a potential client and visit your own website.

How likely are you to invest in those services if there are no reviews or feedback from past customers? With 92% of customers reading online reviews before making a purchase, the chances are you wouldn’t, and neither will your leads.

So, get testimonials and get clients. It sounds easy, but there’s a catch.

Your testimonials need to have content that actually drives sales. ‘Good’ or ‘This coaching service is pretty okay’ is typically not going to cut it.

Fortunately, you can overcome this by asking the right questions when gathering testimonials. Ask the right questions, and you’ll get back some stellar testimonials that will serve you well and help you grow your coaching business.

But what questions should you ask? Let’s find out.

Start with open-ended questions

The worst thing you can do is metaphorically grab your clients up the collar, hold them up against a wall, and ask them to tell you what their biggest Aha moment has been in your sessions and how it’s transformed them.

It’s too direct and aggressive and won’t create a testimonial that drives sales.

Instead, you use open-ended questions to get the ball rolling, build trust and give your clients a way of sharing an overview of how they think of your business.

It’s like a sales funnel, or in this case, testimonials funnel, where you start at the top and gradually get more specific with your questioning. Some examples of these open-ended questions could be:

1. Tell us about yourself and why you were seeking coaching?

A great question to kick things off because it solely drives into the client and their personal experience with your business. When potential leads watch your video testimonials, they will see the person and expect to hear about their specific experiences with what you’re offering.

Asking a question like this means the client has an opportunity to talk about who they are, giving your leads a brief insight into your existing client base and instantly highlighting the pain points they were experiencing.

Identification of these pain points is the key here because potential clients watching the content are probably going through the same thing, thus drawing them in and gaining their interest.

For example, the answer could read something like:

Hi, I’m David, and I’m a small business owner who started last year. One of the biggest issues I had growing my small business was finding my ideal target market. I had lots of ideas but was spending so much on ads and marketing, but the ROI just wasn’t there. I didn’t know what I was doing, so I sought a mentor to coach me through what I was doing wrong.

Lots of small businesses can relate to this pain point, and having someone else mention a similar situation is going to draw them in to see how your coaching business was able to help them.

2. How are you finding our coaching sessions?

A very generic question to get things started, but it allows the client to set the tone. Since they’re working with you and using your service, you know there’s nothing to be afraid of. Just let them share their thoughts and start to relax into the idea of giving you feedback.

3. What about these coaching sessions excites you?

Since this is a testimonial, you want things to be positive, motivating, inspiring, and high-energy. You want people to talk about your coaching business in the most upbeat and exciting way possible, and this question is designed to emotionally prime your client into this state of mind.

Don’t worry, this isn’t as complicated as it sounds.

Continuing our case study with David, ideally, you’re looking for a response like;

I get really excited about the learning process of each session. I’m always applying everything I’ve learned in the previous session, but this obviously raises questions and new obstacles that I need to overcome. Tackling these questions is the best bit because I’m actively seeing my business grow and become better with every educated decision I make.

Now imagine a potential client watching this. It’s going to be hard to ignore such feedback.

And in terms of continuing the recording, you’ve primed your client to continue in the most positive way.

The transition to more specific questioning

Okay, so you have a lot of valuable information to work with so far, and the chances are you’ve asked several clients these questions, and they’ve come back with some very different answers.

But, whereas the previous questions allowed for a lot of freedom, and any answers about any subject could have been shared, now is the time for you to guide the clients in the direction you want them to go.

These questions will make up the bulk of your questioning and can be provided in several ways.

Because you don’t want your questionnaire to be too long that your client loses focus and the recording ends up being too long, it’s recommended you stick to a simple 5-8 question form. Here are some examples of questions you could ask.

  • What do you like most about the coaching service?
  • What’s the best thing about the physical space the coaching is held in?
  • What area of your life has been most affected by the coaching experience?
  • What’s the most notable impact coaching has had on your life?
  • Do you feel as though you are properly listened to?
  • Do you feel comfortable enough to say what’s on your mind?
  • What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned here?
  • Do you feel connected and respected in your coaching sessions?
  • What was your life like before you started the coaching program?
  • What is your life like now?
  • What was your biggest breakthrough moment during coaching?
  • How did that feel?
  • In a word, describe your coaching experience
  • How do you feel about the results of your coaching?
  • Do you feel like your return on investment is worthwhile?

Of course, you don’t need to stick with these questions as they are, but you can customize them to suit the style, branding, and needs of your business. If you can, try to steer away from simple yes or no questions.

Don’t avoid them entirely because they could be incredibly beneficial, but you do what you create questions that allow the client to open up about their experience. For example, if you ask;

Are you getting the results you thought you’d get through these coaching sessions?

And the client simply answers ‘yes,’ that’s not ideal for your video content.

Instead, stick with the where, what, how, why, and when question format to get the best results. Such a question could, therefore, be rephrased as;

How are the results of your coaching sessions benefitting you?

Questions that must appear in your testimonial surveys

Usually, towards the end of the survey, there are some rather generic questions you absolutely must be asking. These might not seem important at the time, but combined with all your client surveys, the data can be very worthwhile.

And since your clients are already in the mindset of giving your coaching business feedback, there’s not really a better time to ask. There are two main questions I find are most beneficial. Firstly;

On a scale of 1-10, what do you think of this coaching service?

This is an excellent question because it gives you a precise scale to work with where you can compare client experiences against one another concisely and to the point. This sort of question should appear at the end of your questionnaire after all is said and done (remember, your question should positively prime them) and should suggest a decisive response.

You want the response to be something like;

Out of ten? I’m going to say this is a ten out of ten service. It’s got everything I wanted and more, and it’s helped me achieve exactly what I wanted to achieve.

You can then cut and edit all your ratings together to create a hook for your video (just a mashup of clients saying you have a ten out of ten service, which can then serve as the hook, or you can stick it at the end to smoothly bring your video to a close.

Did you have any reservations before signing up for the service?

This question represents the core of what video testimonials are all about. A testimonial is designed to help new, and potential leads overcome any reservations they may have about working with your coaching business, and this question the answers to come to light.

Maybe a client doesn’t trust your company (which is common if you’re a small business). Perhaps they lack reviews? Are they unsure whether the product or service will actually fix the problem you have? Do you think you’re a scam?

Will a relatively new and still-establishing business provide value for money, or will it be problematic?

Clients are careful this way (just think about how you are buying from a smaller business that isn’t an established top 500 brand). To calm these reservations, they look to the reviews, and if they like what they hear, then they’ll move forward and pay to use the service.

Asking this question gives insight into some of the hang-ups your existing clients had so new clients can see how your business helps to overcome them.

Top tips for coaching client video testimonials

Now that we’ve covered all the questions you need to know, and you should have a solid idea of how to build your coaching client testimonials to give them direction, let’s explore a few extra tips to ensure your requests are as successful as possible.

Minimize the use of open-ended questions

Open-ended questions are great to kick things off at the beginning but don’t hang around them for too long. They’re vague, broad, and, in our experience, lead to the clients quickly repeating themselves.

Personal, specific questions are far more beneficial because they give the answer structure and thus provide you with something tangible to work with.

Remember, potential leads are watching these videos, seeing your clients on screen, and they want to hear about their personal experiences rather than generic answers that don’t provide valuable information about the service you’re providing.

Facts, figures, and numbers are your best friend

If you can, try to naturally drop the ability to add numbers and specifics to your questions. These are tangible, solid facts rather than opinions, which will pay off tenfold in testimonials.

For example, if your business coaching managed to help Joe get 15x more clients, then that’s an incredible testimonial right there. Numbers are the most powerful tools you can have, so encourage them as much as possible.

Don’t be afraid to customize

Since you’re working with clients on a personal level, don’t be afraid to mix up your questions depending on how you speak to get the best results.

This isn’t an employee survey where you’re trying to get standardized feedback across the board. These are personal client reviews from personal experiences, and your testimonials must show this in the best possible light.

Keep closed questions the same

It’s always going to be best to stick with the same questions and standardize your questionnaires for every client you ask for a testimonial because if you create a compilation, you can use the same content from the same question to create consistency across your videos.

It’s incredibly difficult to edit a professional testimonial video if everybody answers different questions, and the overall message becomes confusing. Keep your questions standardized, and the video’s structure will fit together effortlessly.

Encourage clients to repeat the question

When creating and editing your testimonial videos, the best kind of footage you can work with is one where the client repeats the question back in their recording. After all, your questionnaire won’t be available to the viewer to read, so having the question repeated by the client highlights precisely what’s being discussed.

Consider how this sounds on video.

The biggest breakthrough moment for me? When I learned how to properly and precisely define my ideal customer. The information just sent my business in a whole new direction, the one I’ve been struggling to get to for weeks.

It’s just the best kind of content and applied to videos, social media content, and ads; it drives the value of the video up tenfold. Watch out for this strategy next time to see a testimonial video or cast study and recognize how much of a difference it makes.


Don’t let the process of collecting value video content for video testimonials feel overwhelming. During all stages of the process, remember you’re designing your questionnaire to guide your clients in the direction of highlighting the reservations and paint points they experienced and how your coaching business resolved it.

Focus on this with both your questions and delivery, and you’ll receive back some fantastic footage to use in your testimonial videos.

And to make this process even easier, you can take your video testimonials to the next level with This powerful app features an integrated video editor for seamless client storytelling through structuring your video footage in a focused way, all via the easy interface with no prior experience necessary.

Creating video testimonials that drive traffic, increase credibility, and encourage sales to boost your success has never been easier.

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