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BUSINESS BUILDING STRATEGY: Create a Scholarship Program

written byTeresia LaRoqueon 17/10/2012

From time to time, you will encounter prospects that seem like an ideal client in every way – except one: their ability to pay your fees. Does that mean you shouldn’t work with them? Not necessarily.  

Some people are worth offering a reduced rate. Here’s how to tell:  

  • They are an ideal fit for your expertise.
  • They express a strong desire to be coached and take action.
  • They are willing to invest in coaching, but your standard fees put your services out of reach.
  • You may choose to offer a Scholarship Program (reduced pricing) to people who fit this profile. 
    Here’s how to have that conversation:
    “You know, Joseph, here at (company name), I have a Scholarship Program. What that means is, for people in your position, who really want to experience coaching but are currently unable to meet my standard fees, I’m willing to be somewhat flexible with my fees in the short term.  

    “Joseph, I’m curious, based on where you are right now, and still honoring me as a professional, what are you willing to invest in yourself through coaching at this time?”  

    He might say, “I really want to do your $200 once-a-month coaching program, but that would really be a stretch for me. I could really only afford $150.”  

    At this point, you as a professional have to decide what you’re willing to do for that fee and what would best serve the client. You might say, “I’m willing to offer you the twice-a-month coaching package for $150 instead of $300, because I really think two coaching sessions would serve you better. Would that work for you?”  

    It’s very important to state your standard fee before offering the discounted rate so the client understands the value and the offer.  It’s also important to declare a time frame around this offer.  
    “Joseph, this is a limited time offer. Scholarships are good for three months at a time (or whatever time frame you deem appropriate). At the end of three months, we will take another look at our agreements and see if it’s time to adjust the fees. Does that sound fair to you?”  
     
  • A Scholarship Program is a great way to expand your clientele, develop your fan base, and contribute – however, I strongly suggest you limit your Scholarship Program to no more than three carefully chosen participants at a time.  

A word to the wise: You will encounter prospects who could pay your fees but it would really be a stretch for them. Encourage those people to stretch… not because you want the business and the fees, but because that stretch will increase their commitment to the process. They will be highly motivated to get everything they can from your coaching – and you will be highly motivated to deliver the very best support possible. When there is a lot more at stake, everyone operates at a higher level.  

I would love to hear from you. Are you currently offering a scholarship program? Visit me on facebook and share your thoughts, comments, insights, tips on today's topic. 

Your Business Building Mentor,