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Coaching Fees: When To Give Scholarships?

written byErickson Coaching Internationalon 08/11/2013

From time to time, you will encounter prospects that seem like an ideal client in every way – except one: their ability to pay your coaching 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:  

  1. They are an ideal fit for your expertise.
  2. They express a strong desire to work with you and take action.
  3. They are willing to invest in your services but your standard fees are 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 for people in your position who I really want to support but are currently unable to meet my standard coaching fees." What that means is: "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 at this time?"   He might say,   "I really want to do your $300 once-a-month 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 support package for $150 instead of $300, because I really think two sessions would serve you better. Would that work for you?"

It’s very important to state your standard coaching fees before offering the discounted rate so the client understands the value and the offer. It’s also important to declare a timeframe around this offer.  

"Joseph, this is a limited time offer. Scholarships are good for three months at a time (or whatever timeframe 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 to people. However, I strongly suggest you limit your scholarship program to no more than three carefully chosen participants at a time.  

Erickson Business Center Challenge: Incorporate a scholarship program into your offerings and be VERY selective with who you offer it to.

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