The Money Objection to Coaching

Have you ever run a free session…

…only to hear at the end…

…that your client can’t afford coaching?

And although you know…

…that there are plenty of people who CAN afford coaching…

…you just don’t seem to know where to find them?

In fact, you only seem to talk to everyone who CAN’T afford it?

Dollar bill

You might think that you keep hearing “the money objection”…

…because you’re talking to the wrong people.



In fact, there are coaching companies who coach people in jail

on welfare…


…and these coaching companies are some of the most profitable on the planet.

They solved “the money objection” without endlessly searching for the next “high ticket client”.

Most coaches get stuck in learned helplessness around the money objection.

For instance…

I had a client who gave up every time her clients told her they didn’t have money for coaching.


She had her own issues around money.

She spent too much money on a coach that wasn’t worth it.

She felt betrayed by that coach.

She felt swindled by that coach.

She felt wronged by that coach.

She definitely didn’t want to be THAT coach.

So, instead of helping clients past their money fears…

…she gave up.

She let them attend her group classes for free

…and had to get a part-time job to support her coaching practice.

Those were sad, struggling times for her.

And she would’ve had me believe that the whole problem was money.

But the problem wasn’t MONEY.

The problem wasn’t even money when she enrolled with those expensive coaches in the past…

Remember them… the coaches that failed to help her achieve her goals?

The problem with them was that they didn’t provide value.

If she was with a coach that was WORTH the big money she invested…

If she got what that coach PROMISED

If she was surprised and delighted with the VALUE of their coaching…

There would’ve been…

NO problem.

NO pain.

NO bad memories of spending money.

In fact, she would’ve felt WONDERFUL about spending lots of money…

…because spending money would’ve meant HER DREAMS COMING TRUE.

After we had a few coaching conversations where she realized that…

…she started to enroll clients like crazy

…because she was already great at providing value.

My client didn’t need to find more people to talk to.

She needed to dive below the surface reasons why her clients weren’t enrolling…

…so she could help her clients get past those obstacles.

AND she needed to make enough money so she could quit her other job

…and make an bigger difference in the world.

I told her,

“…There are only 2 money issues.

It’s either REALLY about the money…

…or it’s NOT.”

Her jaw dropped open as I shared the details…

“First, you need to discern the difference between a money issue and something else.”

Why would a prospective client claim that they have a “money problem” with coaching when it’s something else?

Because it’s more socially acceptable to claim it’s about the money than to admit:

  • They are afraid of failing.
  • They are afraid of change.
  • They don’t trust/like you.
  • They don’t see much value in coaching.
  • They don’t see much value in themselves.
  • They don’t see much value in your style/type of coaching.
  • They don’t see much value in your offer or program.
  • They’re afraid of making a long term commitment to coaching.
  • They don’t feel comfortable taking a risk.
  • They don’t want to feel stupid for making a bad decision.

Then that coach asked me “But how do I figure it all out?”

“First, you need to discern the difference between a money issue and something else.”

So I explained the key…

Ask some probing questions around the money issue.

Be curious.

Be empathetic.”

Try a few of these:

  • “What could you afford?”
  • “What has to happen for you to be able to afford coaching?”
  • “What would the fee have to be today for you to say “yes” immediately?”

Your client’s answers to these questions will help you know if

  1. they are far from able to afford your fees
  2. the money issue is not a problem

Or, if the money issue is not the MAIN problem.

Let’s explore the two primary discoveries:

If money is the problem:

Help your client resolve their money gap. You could:

  • Find out if they can get a loan from family, friends or business partners (credit cards and other forms of financing might work as well).
  • Offer to coach your client at a reduced rate.

Or, get really creative…

Offer a coaching plan that they can’t turn down.

For example: I coached a man for $50 the first month…

…then added $50 to their monthly fee ($100, $150, etc.) every month until he was paying my full coaching fees.

Ask your client, “What needs to change for you to be able to afford coaching?”

Uncover the pain your client will experience if they don’t resolve their money limitations (and the pleasure they will experience if they do).

If money is not the problem:

If money isn’t the real problem that stops your prospect from enrolling in coaching…

…that means SOMETHING ELSE is stopping them.

Your job? Identify the hidden issue that’s really in the way.

First, Explore your client’s other concerns:

Why argue the money with a client when it’s not the issue?

It’s better to appreciate their money concerns, and then discover their true barrier. Try:

“I understand your concerns about the cost. Besides the cost, what are your other concerns?”

Or “If we made it so my fees weren’t a problem for you, would there be anything else that would stop you from enrolling in coaching today?”

Second, discover what money SYMBOLIZES for your client:

Your prospective client may have an issue that money REPRESENTS in their mind, even though that issue is NOT really a money issue.

Here are a few examples of issues that your client may ‘mis-represent’ as a money issue:

Commitment Issues:

Money represents commitment for lots of people.

If your potential client is concerned about making a commitment to coaching, they may bring up money instead.

When I discover a commitment issue is there for a potential client, I attempt to reassure them by saying:

“Yes, coaching takes a long term commitment from you, but I’m also committing to YOU in the long term as well

That commitment GOES BOTH WAYS.

You wouldn’t expect me to put aside large amounts of my time and energy without you being committed to your coaching as well, would you?

The bottom line is that, if coaching is not working out for you, or you really don’t want to continue, I can’t make you continue to show up.

You’re still in charge, and every session you show up for is STILL YOUR DECISION.

But you have to have some flesh in the game if you expect the same from me. That’s the ticket in.

After a few weeks this ‘coaching honeymoon’ will be over and the hard work will begin. You’ll need enough commitment to break through that “glass ceiling”, or token resistance alone will stop your progress.

If you’re committed to coaching, that “glass ceiling” will quickly become a “glass floor”, which means you’ve broken through to the next level.

If you’re committed to coaching, that “glass ceiling” will quickly become a “glass floor”, which means you’ve broken through to the next level.

But if you think you’ll get that kind of breakthrough without skin in the game, you’re deluded.

I can’t work with you if you’re ‘iffy’, and you wouldn’t want a coach who would put up with that anyway.”

BOTTOM LINE: If they resolve their commitment issues, the money issue might disappear.

Value Issues:

Money represents value.

What does your client feel they will get (value received) versus what they’ll pay you (value lost)?

  • If they don’t connect the dots between paying you and getting what they really want, any substantial fee will seem like a waste of money.
  • If your potential client is concerned about not getting enough value from coaching compared to the money they’ll spend, they may claim that money is a problem.

If you help your client see the true value they’ll get from coaching, the money might magically show up.

Risk Issues:

Money represents stability and survival for most people.

If your potential client feels that paying your fee threatens their stability or security, they may feel the risk is too much.

They usually won’t tell you they’re afraid of taking a risk…

…they’ll bring up money as their problem instead.

If they resolve their issues around taking a risk, the money issue might disappear.

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Identity Issues:

Some people feel that the way they handle their money represents who they are (their Identity).

If your potential client feels their investment in coaching somehow threatens their identity connected to their money management, they may bring up money as the problem.

For example, I just signed up a client who prides himself on how thrifty he is, even though he makes high six figures every year.

As I drilled deeper into his money hesitation, he revealed that he was saving up for a home for his new family.

I realized that his entire identity as a good husband was wrapped up in his stinginess.

When I showed him how his underinvestment in himself could cost him his future, he immediately enrolled in coaching.

Now the same ‘successful husband’ identity (that was driving him AWAY from coaching) was motivating him TO ENROLL!

Bottom line, when a potential client resolves their identity issues, the money issue might disappear.

Sometimes the money issue IS a problem.

Sometimes the money issue IS a problem, but it’s not the MAIN problem.

Other times the issue isn’t the money at all.

The key is to identify when money is the issue…

…and when the issue is something else.

Offering discounts

…coaching clients for free

…or taking the ‘easy way out’ by just looking around for more potential clients

…are not the answers.

The answer to “the money objection” is

And if VALUE is the issue…

…commit 100% to give massive value to everyone you come into contact with…

…whether or not you think they can enroll.

When you provide that type of value…

…getting paying clients won’t be the issue.

Your coaching will be a gift to the world.

Whether a client enrolls or not…

…you’ll know you made a significant impact on their life.

You’ll know you made the type of impact your clients typically share with others…

…which creates positive buzz in the surrounding community

…and eventually it pays off in the form of referrals and new paying clients.

You’ll know you made the type of impact your clients typically share with others…which creates positive buzz in the surrounding community…and eventually it pays off in the form of referrals and new paying clients.”

So wrap up your coaching with a bow…

…and CHARGE…

…so you can be the gift that keeps giving

…to both YOU, and to the WORLD.

Colette “Can Afford It” Coiner

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