Coaching Fees: Justifying Fees with Intangibles

Setting and justifying coaching fees for business coaching can be much simpler than for personal coaching. In business, people are used to justifying decisions using return on investment calculations based on numbers from accounting. In our personal lives, many decisions are made by default, driven by emotions and often “against our better judgment.” But you can still justify your coaching fees based on intangibles. Here’s how.

The Cost of Pain and the Benefits of Pleasure

Every decision that humans make is intended to move them away from pain and toward pleasure. There is always a real cost to staying in pain and always a real benefit to moving toward pleasure. For example, your client’s productivity at work suffers when they are unhappy. This represents a real loss that can be valued in dollars and cents. The problem is that most people aren’t used to putting a price tag on things like unhappiness.

Tap into Your Prospect’s Emotions to Justify Your Coaching Fees

One way to approach this is to help your prospect to get into their negative emotional state, then help them move to the positive target state, and finally ask them what it would be worth to them to make the positive state their norm.

You would like to hear your prospect say something like “It would be priceless!” But still this might not get them to open their wallet. One approach is to help them compare the cost and value of your coaching with the cost and value of other choices they are used to making. For example, comparing the relative satisfaction they would get from buying a new car with the relative satisfaction of learning how to have real peace in their home. This will give them a basis for judging your coaching fees.

Fear Is Always an Unspoken Objection

Even if you are able to get your client to understand the value they can receive from your coaching. They may still object to your proposed coaching fee. In this case, you need to respond to your prospects unspoken objection: fear.

Whether they are afraid that your coaching will not be effective, or that they don’t have what it takes to get the results they are seeking, their fear must be addressed. By explaining your coaching process, by helping to confront their fear and talking them through it, or by sharing the success of other clients, you need to explicitly address their fear. If you do this and the other steps outlined above, your prospects will be more comfortable with your coaching fees, and you should see more of your prospects become your clients.

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Dave Iuppa
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach

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