A lot of Life Coaches offer either a free coaching session or something that is often called a discovery session.
On the surface it seems like a great way to tempt potential clients to start working with you without any risk on their part.
Then presumably after you demonstrate your undoubted coaching prowess they will want to continue working with you at your prevailing rate.
Only it rarely works like that.
The Truth Behind Free Life Coaching Sessions
Firstly, you have conditioned the client to get something for free and you have surreptitiously and very subtly devalued your service before you have even begun.
Secondly, unless you’re selling crack and giving free samples away to get people hooked, then literally the hardest sale to make is the one from a free product or service to a paid one.
And thirdly, you will undoubtedly attract some people who have no intention whatsoever of going past the first session and will be looking to squeeze every available minute out of you at your expense.
I know for example that by offering 4 free ebooks if you sign up for the A Daring Adventure newsletter I am likely to attract people who just want ‘free’.
However, it doesn’t cost me anything. The books are already written, the entire process is automated and it doesn’t cost me time or money.
If you are to succeed as a Life Coach then you have to put a value on your time. Without doing so it’s impossible to know whether you are using your time wisely or not.
The amount of time I wasted in my first 2 or 3 years is tantamount to a criminal offense for anybody wanting to build a successful business.
What Is Your Time Worth?
If you value your time at $100 per hour for example (which isn’t unreasonable), then every time you do an hours discovery/free coaching session it has cost you $100.
It wasn’t free and it doesn’t matter if you had anything else planned. And the reason it doesn’t matter is because you can do a lot in an hour when it comes to promoting your business online.
I was asked yesterday how much time I spend on Social Media.
I honestly couldn’t give an accurate answer because it varies from day to day and what I’m aiming to achieve.
However, I can say with certainty that apart from for personal use, it’s rarely more than an hour in any one day.
And if it is longer than that, then there is nearly always a specific reason such as a Coach the Life Coach launch approaching.
You have to do a client consult to make sure you’re a good fit for one another, but that is not the same as a discovery session or a free session.
A Consult Does Not Require An Hour
Firstly, a consult will usually not run anything close to an hour long. I took on a new client this morning who is spending $5k with me and we were on for about 20 minutes.
15 minutes is often enough, but if they are stone cold leads who know nothing about you then you may need half an hour.
Secondly, if you set off down the coaching road you have no way of knowing where it will take you.
Good coaching is reactive and that’s one reason I’m not a clock watcher when working with clients. If I start a process I want to finish it whenever possible.
And finally, you know nothing about this person.
I understand the belief that some have that we should be able to coach a complete stranger with no knowledge about them whatsoever, but it’s not a belief I subscribe to.
I want to know a bit about the clients I am working with, I want to know their core values, and their hopes and aspirations. All that takes time.
I have no doubt you can find a coach who swears by free sessions, but if I’m going to work for free I want it to be for a good cause and not because I’m too scared to ask people to pay me for the work I do.
So what’s your take, agree or disagree?