As part of your strategic marketing process, you will explore the value you are able to deliver so that you can focus on those clients where you can make the greatest difference. This will help you define the type of referral that you would most like to receive. The two are, of course, closely linked.
Defining clearly the type of client with whom you wish to work and the factors that will allow you credibly to approach that type of client, you minimize the probability of summary rejection and maximize the likelihood of winning business once you meet the potential client. The result is that you save time and effort.
Many coaches believe that they are able to coach literally anyone successfully. In theory that may be possible. However, experience indicates that it is rarely the case in practice. In the mind of the client, your coaching credentials are only one element in the hiring decision. Factors such as personal chemistry and relevant experience often carry more weight, not least because relatively few clients have any objective means to judge your ability as a coach and the whole field of training and certification is confused and fragmented.
If the client perceives relevant experience to be the key selection factor for their coach, no amount of positive references and testimonials will overcome that perception and if you lack that experience, the chance of being hired is slender.
In order to develop a coaching practice that is successful for you as well as for your clients, you must decide early on what factors define a "perfect" client for you and what would cause you to decline an engagement.