A coach recently complained that their potential clients resisted PAYING for coaching…
…so she struggled getting them to ‘cross the finish line’, and ENROLL.
She said “Giving valuable coaching isn’t my problem… it’s CHARGING for coaching that seems to elude me.”
The process of CHARGING for coaching permeates every coaching practice…
UNATTRACTIVE charging practices kill coaching businesses.
For example, this coach explained: “Last week I had a discovery session with a potential client. I explained that I charge $75 an hour.”
“She seemed to be in total agreement, and said, ‘Send me your contract’.”
“The next week, she told me that she would be busy for the next few months, so she’d let me know when she was ready to start.”
“I don’t know what I did wrong. I keep running into this issue.”
“Should I increase my hourly rate? Should I decrease it?”
I could already see she was employing an unattractive charging practice…
…so I told her…
Don’t charge for your TIME.
Charging HOURLY is unattractive.
As long as you do that, your clients will think they’re paying for your TIME.
They’re paying for RESULTS.
They’re paying for a MAGICAL EXPERIENCE.
They’re paying for YOU.
As long as you measure your service in HOURS, you’ll seem like a commodity to your clients.
It demeans your image and the perception of your coaching.
Instead, charge for RESULTS.
Charge for EXPERIENCES.
Charge for YOU.
Charging for results, experiences, or you is much more attractive…
…because it assigns all the value to your coaching brand…
…NOT your time.
Charging for results, experiences, or you is much more attractive…because it assigns all the value to your coaching brand…NOT your time.”
Here are some examples:
Charge For RESULTS
I once had a client who wanted to do a triathlon…
…but he was AFRAID of swimming in the open ocean.
…and the triathlon was coming up!
So I promised him “In 5 coaching sessions, you won’t be afraid anymore.”
“By the time the triathlon happens, you’ll get through it just fine.”
What did I charge?
He paid $150 for my time…
…and (if he got the RESULT…) he’d pay me another $700.
If he didn’t get the RESULT…
…he owed me NOTHING (other than the original $150 for my time).
He had very little to lose and everything to gain, so he enrolled immediately.
He CRUSHED his triathlon, swam in the open ocean without fear, and won his age class…
…and I got paid very well.
Charge For Experiences
Several times per year (as you may know), I provide ‘experiences‘ for clients.
- 30 day Quickstart Bootcamps
- 90 Day Accountability Challenges
- 8-12 week Immersion Trainings
- 3 month retreats
Those students/clients pay:
But I don’t have to worry about justifying my ‘per hour’ rate…
…because the participants are focused on the EXPERIENCE.
My students/clients that enroll aren’t counting my hours.
They just care about the EXPERIENCE.
As long as the EXPERIENCE is fantastic…
…they feel BLOWN AWAY.
Is my time worth those fees?
Is the EXPERIENCE worth it to them?
Charge For YOU
When a client signs up for 1 on 1 coaching with me…
…they aren’t paying for ‘SESSIONS’ (although they get sessions).
They aren’t paying for ‘HOURS’ (although I give them my time).
They aren’t paying for ‘WORK’ (although I work).
They are paying for ME.
They (somehow) got convinced that…
…the ‘ME’ they paid for…
- is the solution to their problems.
- is the help that they need.
- is the perspective that’ll change their life.
- is immeasurably valuable.
How did they get convinced?
Perhaps by a client who referred them…
…because that client experienced a ‘ME’ that changed their life.
Perhaps by some marketing, content, or webinar.
Perhaps by some case studies.
But, somehow, they believed in ‘ME’ as the golden goose.
So, when they sign up for coaching, they get ME.
And they PAY for ME.
If, at the end of our contract, they want MORE of me…
…we renew or continue.
But they aren’t counting the MINUTES with me.
They aren’t checking to see if I’m doing my work (although I work hard for them).
They just want to make sure that I’m AVAILABLE…
They just want to make sure that I’m COACHING THEM…
They just want to make sure that I’m PRESENT…
THEN they feel they got their money’s worth.
As long as they continue to value ME (and the coaching I provide)…
…I continue to get paid hundreds per hour.
If not, my pay goes to zero… very fast.
Another unattractive charging practice that the coach revealed?
Charging for behind the scenes work.
She explained that, in the coaching contract she sent her prospective client, she itemized all her hours between:
- Coaching session time
- Planning time
- Preparation time
- Weekly admin time
So I asked her: “How did your client respond to all that??”
The coach: “She told me that she didn’t understand how I came up with those numbers, and that she didn’t think she needed ‘all that time’.”
“Should I not charge for my preparation and planning? Should I short-change myself?”
So I told her…
Don’t charge for ‘behind the scenes’ work.
Clients don’t care.
They don’t value your preparation (they may not even know that you need to include it).
In fact, admitting that you NEED preparation time might make you look a bit too ‘ordinary’ to your client.
Many clients want to feel like you’re MAGIC.
Many clients want to feel like you’re MAGIC.”
You’re going to fly in on your winged stallion and DO MAGIC.
They may think that the coaching you give is EASY for you…
…because you’re so EXTRAORDINARY.
In fact, Kris Thompson advises that you combat that tendency… working to make coaching look hard.
BOTTOM LINE: your client just wants their result.
They just want your help.
They don’t care about your preparation, admin, logistics, planning, etc.
They don’t want to know how many hours of meditation you do in order to be a great coach.
They don’t care that you spent 3 hours planning their next session.
And they don’t care that you spent 2 decades learning your craft.
If that’s what it takes to deliver great results for your client… tough.
So be it.
You can charge as much as you want FOR YOUR COACHING…
…but don’t expect your client to applaud (or pay for) your extra curricular process.
Don’t charge for your ‘invisible work’.
Just factor it into your monthly coaching rate, and present the client with THAT ONLY.
The rest is usually none of your client’s business (and none of their concern).
Think of your coaching as a ‘black box’…
…a magical amulet masquerading as a consumer product.
It should be shiny and amazing.
It should be expensive, but NOT itemized.
Fabergé eggs don’t have a ‘materials list’.
Fabergé doesn’t give you an itemized invoice.
Fabergé doesn’t break their ‘cost per egg’ down into:
- the gold
- the gems
- the ceramic
- the bonding agents
- the artisan’s time and training
That would kill the seduction of Fabergé…
That would ruin the Fabergé magic…
…turning the art of Fabergé into a commodity.
Most Fabergé egg owners don’t want to know how their egg is made.
They just want the PRIDE and JOY of OWNING that magic.
99% of the guests at Disney World parks are happy to enjoy the facade.
They’d rather not know about the smelly underworld that makes the park function.
And, yes, there’s 1% that wants to see behind the curtain, but only 1%.
After I shared all this, the coach admitted, “I am a teacher by training, so I highly value planning and preparation. I guess old habits die hard!”
And then she revealed another unattractive charging practice…
…charging in ONE LUMP SUM.
“After I told my new client I charged $75 an hour, I sent her a contract for $5,400, which covered 6 months of coaching.”
No wonder her new client was so reluctant to start coaching…
Because her new coach failed to…
Charge in SMALL BITES
Getting your prospective client to enroll may be easier than you think…
…if you charge in smaller bites.
Asking a new client…
…who has never spent a DIME with you…
…to sign up for a $5,000 service…?
That’s tremendously unattractive to many new clients…
…and they’ll have VERY COLD feet.
$5,400 is a big commitment of time, money, energy, and faith on a FIRST DATE.
How might you charge that new client in SMALL BITES?
Enroll them in a very low investment FIRST DATE…
Give them a TASTE of your magic.
NOT the whole meal.
Then, enroll them in the REST of your offering later (when they trust you, love you, and believe in you).
Every new client signs up for coaching on FAITH (to some extent).
FAITH that you’ll continue to coach them well.
FAITH that you’re consistent.
FAITH that they’ll get real results from coaching.
FAITH that you’re coaching is WORTH the money.
The more TIME you’ve worked with a new client…
…the less FAITH is required for them to pay for coaching.
The more TIME you’ve worked with a new client…the less FAITH is required for them to pay for coaching.”
Over time your client collects more coaching experiences with you…
…so your client’s faith is replaced with FACTS.
Each coaching session delivers more facts that prove and reinforce the value of your coaching.
By then, your client is READY to pay much more to work with you…
…because they KNOW your coaching is worth it.
Want an example of a cheap first date?
Pay me for ONE SESSION. No commitment. Low risk.
I give you an AMAZING coaching experience, where you receive 10x the value of what you pay.
Then (and only then) are you ENROLLABLE for a big commitment.
Here’s another way to charge for a high ticket coaching program in small bites:
Charge over TIME.
Set up a monthly payment plan (over a period of a year, perhaps).
That same $5,000 coaching program?
Now it’s only $416.66 (per month).
What seems more expensive to you?
Ultimately, you make the same money…
…but $400 FEELS soooo much more DIGESTIBLE to your client.
…because they have more TIME to pay for their coaching.
After sharing the idea of ‘small bites’ with that coach, they told me the following:
“I love the idea of offering a ‘small taste’ before providing the ‘entire meal’.”
“I will definitely use that. And I’ll charge for the WHOLE ME, not the ‘parceled out’ me.”
Pivoting to these more attractive charging practices…
…will increase coaching enrollments…
…and ultimately coaching income.
But don’t follow them blindly.
Every customer, coach, and offer is different…
…because the CONTEXT of the relationship is different.
Use these practices as a starting point…
…but modify them according to your best judgment.
The more you appreciate your client’s perspective and needs…
…the more you’ll integrate that into the way you attract and enroll them.
The more you appreciate your client’s perspective and needs…the more you’ll integrate that into the way you attract and enroll them.”
So try these attractive charging practices, and let me know how they work for you.
If you give your clients a valuable experience…
If you provide coaching that gives the results your clients are seeking…
…these ‘attractive charging practices’ will multiply your clients…
…and ultimately, your impact.
Jeffrey “Charge Attractively” Sooey
P.S. Another BIG aspect of charging is HOW MUCH to charge (i.e. PRICING), which I cover in THIS VIDEO HERE: