This morning I was consulting with a client who is just starting out as a niche business coach. She asked if she should offer a free introductory consult to a prospective client to see if they are a good fit. My advice was, “only if you are able to keep it short and keep the conversation about their needs rather than giving them a ton of free advice in the intro call.” That response came from my own early experience of giving so much value and content and so many ideas and solutions during the intro call that I’d answered their most pressing concerns for free so why would they pay for advice.
She believed she could keep the intro call brief but her main concern was that she didn’t know how to ask for the payment during a free intro call. She said her experience thus far was confusing. Her clients, mostly highly paid para-legal professionals who would be billing their own services at an average of $190 an hour were showing resistance at paying her $180 to coach them in developing a free-lance business. She asked me if I thought she should lower her prices. My answer: “if your clients trust your expertise enough to ask for your help in building their business, they recognize your value. If they don’t, they are not your ideal customers.”
My question to all of you: if you were hiring a coach to guide you through starting your business, would you pay that coach at least the fee you want to receive from your own clients?
As always, you are welcome and encouraged to comment below.
Related topic: Do you have discomfort around charging for what you do?