If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’ve probably heard me say, “Coaching is an investment.” But that doesn’t mean the value of coaching is perceived the same by everyone.
When I sit down with individual prospective coaching clients, and we get to the part of the conversation where we discuss price, I always ask, “How much do you think the work we will do together is worth?” I’ve found this question stumps most people, probably because most services and products in our world do not operate this way.
Sometimes, prospects will respond by asking about my hourly rate. I tell them I don’t have one… because I don’t. When I connect with a client and we choose to work together, they do not just get 45-60 minutes of my time during scheduled coaching calls. They also get my brain, my heart, and my full presence during every connection we have, scheduled or not.
Furthermore, they get everything I receive and absorb as I interact with the world in between sessions. My clients get my inspiration when a new thought or idea about a situation that they shared pops into my mind. I am there to talk or text or when they need a sounding board. I am constantly learning new resources and meeting new people with the potential to be great connections. My clients also get my decades worth of business and psychology experience. And they have access to the enormous wisdom of my own mentors, advisors, and coaches.
I cannot begin to put a price tag on what each of these is worth to an individual client. All I know is that when I’m in, I’m all in, and my clients have access to everything I have, learn, and am.
For exactly that reason, I choose to work with only four individual clients at a time. Limiting the number of clients I serve allows me to fully engage with my clients’ solutions and outcomes. While we work together, my clients become part of my daily life; I carry their narratives in my mind as I go about each day. My clients frequently receive texts from me with articles or photos relevant to their situation or that provide them with inspiration, simply because I am thinking of them often.
Because my coaching is so intimate, for me, commission-based coaching feels totally appropriate. I invest my all in my clients, and I ask that they see the value of investing in themselves, too. I don’t tell them what that looks like; I ask them. When they willingly decide what the appropriate level of investment is (not just monetary investment but also through staying accountable to our work together, practicing self-care, and growing self-awareness), they always end up seeing the best kind of returns on their investment.
For me, the rewards of operating this way are great. In addition to the actual dollars my clients choose to invest in our coaching agreement, I receive referrals, opportunities to work with their teams, speaking engagements, and so much more.
Once this level of connection is established, it lasts. Although I work with my clients for a limited amount of time, most continue to stay in touch. I tell them they have a coach for life, and I love it when they share how our work continues to impact the way they do business and live their lives.
I’m not saying other coaches should ditch their hourly rates or that commission-based coaching is the only way to go. But I am saying that working with a coach is one of the most impactful decisions you can make for your life and your company. So, be willing to invest, with your dollars, your time, and your energy.
Do not take your investments lightly: Ask as many questions as you can think of, and request to speak with previous clients if you feel it’s appropriate. Know that you deserve the best coach, and trust your gut. Then, once you choose your guide, do everything you can to receive the best return on your investment.
Have more questions about what to ask your prospective coach? Let’s chat.