What do you charge for coaching?
Did you just cringe? When this question emerges from the mouth of a potential client, many of my clients can’t hear over the cacophony of gremlin choruses reaching crescendo pitch.
Their inability to remain conscious when the topic of money comes up mitigates their ability to set rates that honor their value and create sustainability for their business.
Let’s explore some popular money mindsets, aka gremlin scripts, one-by-one and see what’s really going on.
“I don’t have enough experience to charge more.”
Really? How many hours did you train? What did that cost in time and money? And by the way, isn’t professional development a tenet, if not a downright requirement, for those who have a credential or are seeking one?
Also, I’m curious, how many hours are enough? What’s the magic number that will have you thinking you are “there”? Aren’t you always learning? Isn’t that the nature of our profession?
As coaches, we get paid to learn and give away what we’re learning in real time. Learning makes us more valuable to our clients—it does not undervalue us.
As with all limiting thoughts, you have to shift your mindset. Instead of seeing your desire and need for professional development as evidence of not having arrived, can you see how it creates more value?
Eckhart Tolle says that the spirit-filled teacher never thinks she’s ready; there’s always something more to learn.
I don’t know about you, but I do my best work when I am in engaged in professional development. I am on fire when I’m learning, and I give my best as a result.
“Who am I to charge more than/as much as them?”
The only valid comparison is that between the value you provide and the cost of your service. Simply put, the return on investment. Why make this more complicated?
It doesn’t serve to look at everybody else’s rates because they’re all looking at yours and almost everyone winds up undercharging. It’s a disempowering cycle. Break the chain.
In terms of hard dollars and soft benefits, gauge the impact of your solution in your clients’ life and business. What is the value of finding a soul mate or getting their business into high gear?
What do they really get? What is that worth—in both dollars and life enhancing benefits? That’s how much you charge!
“I wouldn’t pay that much.”
Come on! I don’t believe you. If you really thought that, would you have forked over thousands of dollars for coach training? You know for a fact that you would pay for a desired outcome that was important to you. Guess what? That means others would, too. Besides, what price is “too much” for someone who wants to manifest a dream?
“My clients can’t afford to pay that.”
Now, you’re thinking for your clients. Our code of ethics states that we honor the clients’ ability to think for themselves. But you’re deciding for them how they should spend their money. If rate setting were a coach competency, you just failed because you set an agenda for the client!
As coaches, we don’t give people fish; we teach them how to fish. As practitioners of self-directed learning, it is our charter to allow clients to make their own decisions about what they spend and where. Our clients are responsible for their own financial decisions. Period.
I hear you pushing back. What about the client who just got laid off and for whom money is an issue? When money is tight, it might be time to re-assess non-essential expenditures like fancy dinners or a luxury vacation, but not the very thing that will ensure their ability to get back on track! It is presumptuous and dangerous to decide for someone else that they can’t afford to get back into the driver’s seat to create an income!
Besides, if you make that decision for them and charge less than your service is worth, just think of the example you’re setting for your clients. You’re literally robbing them of the opportunity to be inspired to recognize and claim their value!
If we’re going to charge what our service is worth we have to change our thinking. We have to create a new mindset based on value—return on investment. Then, and only then, will we be of most value to our clients.
Do you know what stands in the way of claiming your value?
What is it going to take for you to set rates that reflect your contribution?
Give yourself permission to create new money paradigms—ones that support building a sustainable practice. And, hey, start charging what you’re worth!