This is a question that has been asked over and over again – “should I be charging for my discovery session/enrollment conversation?”
There is no “should” – only what is in alignment with You.
For most coaches who are starting out, offering “free” sessions can provide a great way to get more people into conversation. Not only they can get higher chances of getting clients (sometimes, it’s a numbers game) but also get more opportunities to practice their sales conversation skills and get comfortable with these situations. But when your business takes off and you hone in your skills, you may find a paid discovery session to make more sense.
Note: I am not advocating one or the other, I have seen very established coaches offering free sessions and work beautifully. I do want you to CHOOSE INTENTIONALLY based on what is in alignment with you. For me personally, my priority is “clean money energy” and “fair juju exchange.” Not because your coaching school taught you so, some guru says so, or you bought a program that gave you some “templates” to do so.
There are certain situations in which charging for the session makes sense:
- You have a full client load and you don’t want to have conversations with “tire-kickers” looking for a free session.
- You have the ability to attract highly-qualified potential clients into conversation (they are so well-qualified that they are willing to pay to get your insight), and you are confident about your conversion rate.
- You offer more than just the usual “let’s talk about your problem, see what your blocks are and find out how I can help you with my programs” in your conversation. E.g. I realized that when I conduct my discovery sessions, I (used to unknowingly) whip out my intuitive skills and give the potential client a LOAD of clarity and direction within just 20 minutes of the conversation. They were walking away with value that most people would only get after a few sessions in a coaching program so I decided to stop offering “free” sessions. Personally, I find a “free session” to be an unequal exchange of energy because I put in a lot of “juice” in those sessions and I don’t want to spend my time with people who don’t take the conversation seriously, appreciate what they get, or don’t take action after the session.
- You feel that the energy is not “clean” between you and the potential client if there is no monetary exchange for your time (for me, it translates as acknowledgement and appreciation). Paid sessions works well for me because the “potential client” doesn’t feel “obligated” to hear my offers if she gets what she needs in the 30 minute together, or if she doesn’t think it’s a good fit. I feel good about what I delivered, and don’t feel that I have to push for a “sale” except to ask if she may be interested in exploring working together – just one sentence. No strings attached.
It wasn’t easy when I made the decision to start charging for my “discovery sessions”. The itty bitty shitty committee in my head was having a party with fears, doubts, confidence issues. The Fear of Not Being Good Enough, the Fear of Not Being Worthy, and the Fear of Being Vulnerable/Criticized rose to the surface. I adjusted the price many times, played with adding bonuses, questioned every single move (with the support of my coach) to identify what came from my core value and what came out of fear.
What did I learned out of this exercise?
Clean Energy, Clear Intention is Paramount
No party should feel “obligated” to do anything during or after those sessions. You mindset during the conversation, whether paid or not, needs to come from a place of service, of connection, of compassion.
If you decide to have your discovery session remain free, it is not because of lack of confidence, fear, or the “comparison syndrome.” If you are charging, it is not because you see others doing so (and feel like you may be missing out) or you want to make a quick buck.
Ling Wong, Business Artist and Chief Freedom Fighter at Slideberry ( http://slideberry.com/ ), provides Business Soulwork + Marketing Activation for Coaches and Done-For-You Content and Marketing Materials for Health & Wellness Practitioners.
Ling helps her clients supercharge their actions not only through practical strategies and marketing tools, but also through their growth and development – so they not only grow their business, but also LET THEIR BUSINESS GROW THEM. Through her “left brain meets right brain” approach, she helps her clients uncover their truth and tap into their intuition, then ground those light bulb moments with practical strategies and marketing tactics.