I recently started a conversation about the subject of charging for an initial consultation at the LinkedIn Group, “Coaches Support Group”.
The discussion was titled, “Do you / should you / how do you charge for your initial consultation?”
There’s lots of great info and comments. It’s here:
(You will have to join the group first to see the comments)
I wanted to research deeper as to how I can help my coaching website clients improve their ability to get free consultations from their website.
Interestingly, I didn’t find out much to help me improve website conversions. But …
What I did get was a boat load of advice on how to do your initial consultation to get more clients.
After 47 comments back and forth, here are the main things I gathered.
Don’t do sample coaching sessions.
That is don’t do coaching sessions where you coach them on a challenge and help them walk away with action steps, etc.
They will be WOWed, thank you, and feel like they’ve got a lot to mull over and to your coaching they will respond with “I have to think it over”- and then NOT sign up.
Instead do “strategy session” or “enrollment session”.
Instead take the time to build the relationship, see if there’s a good fit, and if so, make an appealing offer to sign up for a coaching package (not a free sample session).
How to make an appealing offer wasn’t covered at great length – a conversation for another day (in fact, I’ve made a note to fire up this question in two weeks so stay tuned).
For newer coaches, focus on doing as many of these as you can for both getting clients and getting practice.
They are short, 20-30 minutes.
Many coaches don’t charge for the strategy session.
One reason is that for many coaches, people have no idea what you do. So it’s tough to try to get them to pay for that. You’re better off talking to them to see what their situation is like, assess fit, and then offer a coaching program or your services in some structured manner.
Another reason not to charge is that you are new without many clients and you want to do as many practice enrollments as possible.
When you have the strategy session, here are some tips.
Uncover hidden pains. Find out what the real pain is. How life would be if they stayed where they are right now.
Find out how painful this is. Do they have real pains that need to be dealt with? If not, they may not be willing to invest and there may not be much to help them with. Dig deeper or move on.
Create a compelling vision. Help them clarify what they want to get in the future.
Are they a fit? Assess if they would be an ideal coaching client for you.
Present your solution. When you explain how your coaching works tell them the benefits such as helping them learn new things, helping them remove blocks, etc.
(Again, I’ve made a note to investigate this more in two weeks)
For newer coaches, my strategies for implementing this on your website would be:
- Offer a free strategy session of 20-30 minutes in which you will discuss their situation, their desires, what’s working and what’s not working.
- Have them email you with answers to questions on your form so you can start to learn about them and before the call.
- Outline what’s in that discussion. For example: how long, what you do during.
- Make the invitation to this strategy call very accessible.
- Put a link in the main menu and a sidebar box as well to further highlight your free strategy call offer.
- Let them know this call is to see if there’s a fit and see if you can help them. If so, you can further discuss how you two might work together.
What are you doing when it comes to your initial consultation?
Are you offering free coaching? Are you charging? How is your website invitation looking?