5 Pricing Tips for Coaches to Build a Stronger Business

Calling out to all coaches, Here are 5 pricing tips for coaches to help you and your business. One of the people I had on this show earlier on observed that Coaches are terrible (in general) at valuing what they bring clients and it has a terrible impact on what they do with their pricing. This isn’t really their fault. I’ve also had many guests on this pricing podcast who are coaches themselves – who shared they undervalued themselves for a long time. It wasn’t their fault either, except when you know it and let it go on like that for too long.

With good intentions coaching programs provide pricing tips for coaches, like what to charge clients. But this isn’t their expertise. Often the advise is lacking and sometimes even detrimental to the process of building a coaching business that will be there for the long term. Nor does it help them explore the value they deliver. I’ve worked with many coaches over the years and as a coach myself have experienced the same struggles. More importantly I’ve seen the power of what’s possible when they understand the value they bring and can confidently charge for it.

In This Episode

In this Solocast episode I will share with you 5 Pricing Tips for Coaches to Build a Stronger Business. The concepts I share are based on what I’ve learned in my business, from those I’ve interviewed and from working with my clients. If you’re a looking for pricing tips for your coaching business, look no longer, you’ve arrived at your destination. Enjoy the episode.

Live with The Pricing Lady is a pricing podcast helping small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs like you get more sustainably profitable through better pricing practices.

Podcast Episode Highlights

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 3:32 You Buy It For What’s Inside
  • 7:08 Elevate Yourself into Expert Mode
  • 9:41 They just Do What Everybody Else is Doing
  • 11:43 Trying to Fill your Bucket with Profits
  • 14:16 Discounts Always Come with a Trade off
  • 16:48 Wrapping It Up

Favorite Quotes – On Pricing Tips for Coaches

“It (a packaged offer) gives them something concrete to look at…this is the journey we will go on. That’s important. When there are too many options or when you give them open-ended options, clients often get confused.” Janene

“Packaging helps you to be more concrete with what you offer, but it also helps your customers make decisions more easily.” Janene

“It’s so important to be clear about who you’re targeting, because your price will make more sense to them when you are more specific about who they are.” Janene

“Every time you give an unnecessary discount, it’s like poking a hole in your bucket and the profit leaks out the side.” Janene

Pricing tips for coaches

“If you feel it is warranted to offer a discount… (remember) discounts, ALWAYS come with a trade off. What does that mean? It means that you’re going to ask for something in return.” Janene

“You have to get to a point where you’re comfortable talking about pricing and value. In fact, you should talk about the value first and the price second, and that should be a golden rule in your head. I always talk about the value. I always talk about the value and then I deliver the price.” Janene

Episode Links

The Leaky Bucket of Pricing: https://thepricinglady.com/your-business-profits-the-leaky-bucket-of-pricing/

Handle Pricing Objections: https://thepricinglady.com/pricing-objections-guide/

Other episodes you may find interesting: The Power of Packaged Pricing

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Episode Transcript

I’ll be honest Pricing for Coaches is not vastly different than for other types of business. However there are a few areas where small shifts in what you’re doing can make a great difference. That’s what I want to share with you today.

A lot of coaching programs give pricing tips for coaches, even advice. In my experience, not all of it is actually going to be the right thing for you because it’s so general. I wanted to give you a few tips from the lens of a pricing expert who’s worked with a lot of coaches, to help you find and get the right prices more effectively. If you have access to pencil and paper, I suggest to you write down P I V O and T.

P – Packaging Offers Instead of Time Based

Let’s start with P as in Peter. The first pricing tip for coaches it to package up your offer. Traditionally coaches have priced by the session and or by the hour. This is one of the least effective pricing strategies. It’s not value based. It tells the client that the amount of time they spend you with you is directly proportional to the value they’re going to get out of this. That’s not true.

Just think about if you could do something that helps a customer or client change their life in five minutes, should they pay you for five minutes or should they pay you for the value of the change that you’re helping them make? There are some challenges with time based pricing, which is why I recommend package pricing.

I always say “Time is just the wrapper your services are delivered in.” You don’t buy the milk for the milk carton, or you don’t buy the rice for the bag or the box that it comes in. You buy it for what’s inside.

It’s the same with your coaching. People aren’t buying it for the time they are buying it for what they get out of that time with you. With time based pricing, as you get more efficient in how you work, you can get results faster – get clients better, faster results.

If you’ve based your pricing on time, that means you would charge less in the future. Because they wouldn’t need as much time with you, which is another reason not really to base it on the time, but to base it on the value that they get from it.

Creating Fixed Packages

Now, what do I mean by packaging up your offers. Packaging up your offers means creating fixed packages. And this has some benefits for you and for the client. For one, for the client, it gives them something concrete to look at and say, okay, this is the journey I wanna go on or not. That’s really important because sometimes clients can get confused when you give them too many options or when you give them open-ended options, it like asking a young child, well, what would you like for lunch?

They’re like, well, I’d like a steak and French cut potatoes and da, da, okay, child, wouldn’t ask for those things, but you know what I mean? Whereas if you told the child, would you like peanut butter and jelly for lunch or would you like a bowl cereal. You could tell, I don’t have kids I don’t even know what to feed them for lunch.

But if you give them these two options, it’s easier for them to choose and to decide. It’s the same with your customers. If you give them a couple of packages to choose from, then they can more easily decide where to go and if they want something else and they can say, Hey, this isn’t what I’m looking for. Can we talk about something else? Then you can decide what to do.

Packaging helps you to be more concrete with what you offer, but it also helps your customers make decisions more easily. Now for you, the advantage of packaging is that you work in a similar way, in a similar structure with customers, it doesn’t mean that you work with all of them and do exactly the same thing.

You’re not taking the tailored part out of it, but what you’re leaving for you is a structured way to work so that you don’t have to rethink that every time you work with a client. Are you ready for the next pricing tip for coaches?

I – Elevate Yourself to Expert Status

The next pricing tip for coaches is related to I – your ideal customer. I always say “Pricing is rooted in a deep understanding of the customer.” and it is absolutely true. What I’ve heard from coaches and experienced with the ones I’ve worked directly is that say…” but Janene I can work with anyone and get results.”

That’s a lovely thing to do. Here’s the challenge. As soon as you say, I work with anyone, you become a generalist. Generalists typically command lower than average prices in the market. We want you to elevate yourself into expert mode, and that means you have to be more fine tuned or sharper on who it is you are targeting.

Now let’s say you’re coach for actors. Sure. You can coach anybody in the actor spectrum from wannabes to highly trained professionals but the price point for that whole range is really wide, right? And so if you try to capture the whole range, you end up pricing below average to capture more people. For the ones who are willing to pay more, they might not, they may think that the price is too low packaging.

For example you say I wanna work with the highly skilled professionals, and so you’ll create offers for that group specifically at price points for that group. But let’s say within that group, you have two different segments.

You have highly trained professionals for the stage and professional actors for the screen. Now you could potentially have different offers and prices for those as well. That’s why it’s so important to be clear about who you’re targeting, because it’s easier to find the right price.

They Just Do What Everybody else is Doing

V is the next pricing tip for coaches and it is all about the economic VALUE. Now we’re gonna get into value. When you understand the value you bring, you can communicate the value and get the price for that value.

Too many coaches just do what everybody else is doing. They look at what so and so has set as their prices. Then they price a little bit below that. That’s because they haven’t taken the time to really understand the value of what they deliver.

One of the reasons people don’t understand the value is because they mistake functions, features, ways of working… for value. Functions, features, the different methodologies that you use, those are benefits but they’re not value. It’s what they get out of the benefits – that’s where the value lies.

If you’re a coach and you use NLP, that’s wonderful, but that’s not value. The value is what they get out of using the NLP techniques with you. You have to take it a step beyond that. Sometimes it makes people, especially coaches who really wanna be of service to others, feel uncomfortable to talk about that, especially in an economic context.

I’m saying tell ’em how much time that saves them and what that means in money terms. That is where you start to understand the economic value that you can save them, 30 minutes is 50 bucks a week, 50 bucks a week, times 52 weeks a year is math I can’t quite do in my head. It’s somewhere around 2,500. A little bit above that. But that is what you want to be able to express to them when they ask or when the conversation comes up.

When you can do that, it leads to better deal closures.

O – Omit Unnecessary Discounting

The next pricing tip for coaches is related to O for OMITTING unnecessary discounts. For those of you who have listened to some of my other episodes, there’s one called the leaky bucket of pricing. I’ll put a link in the show notes here about it. And in this episode, we talk about trying to, in a business, fill your bucket with profits.

And what happens is every time you give an unnecessary discount, it’s like poking a hole in your bucket and the profit leaks out the side. Now, what is an unnecessary discount? I would contend that the vast majority of discounts you have given up to date are probably unnecessary. because here’s a thing.

There are a few reasons why people do this one. They don’t believe in their own prices or the value that they deliver to, they’re afraid of how they’ll be perceived by the potential client. They try to soften the blow by offering a discount. That’s another reason people do it. Another reason that this happens is because you’ve been a consumer all your life and in the consumer industry, we see discounts everywhere all the time.

Stay with me. We’re getting close to the fifth and final pricing tip for coaches.

Is it Worth Putting this Hole in my Bucket?

It feels like the normal, natural thing to do. I’m here to tell you as a small business owner, it is rarely going to be an effective tool for you to use. And if you think every time, once you get in the habit, every time thinking of offering a discount. Think about it. Is it worth putting this hole in my bucket?

This is one for the most critical pricing mistakes coaches make and one of the most important pricing tips I have for coaches. When you don’t feel confident in what you charge you’ll be tempted to discount in many situations.

Because it will cause you to pause and think about, is this a good reason for granting a discount? I had a client a few years back who, every time she had a new customer, she gave them a 10% discount. They never asked for a discount. It was on the offer before she had even spoken to them about the value or the original price or anything.

This is completely unnecessary. Most of your black Friday sales, that coaches are offering completely unnecessary, but each one of those is poking a hole in your bucket and hurting your profits. What we wanna do is we wanna go back to your ideal customer, the value that you offer, the packages that you have and make sure that you feel confident about those so that you don’t feel the urge to grant these unnecessary discounts.

Discounts Always Come with a Trade off

I have one golden rule when it comes to discounting. If you feel it is warranted to offer a discount… (remember) discounts, ALWAYS come with a trade off. What does that mean? it means that you’re going to ask for something in return. Let’s say somebody asks you for a 10% discount and you say, I’m happy to give you a 4% discount in exchange for you.

Co-authoring an article with me for this publication. That’s just one example you see here. Now there’s an exchange of or you say, I can’t offer you this package at this price, but I’m happy to offer you this package, which gives you most of what you need, but it’s at a price point that you can afford.

The trade off here is they’re going to get a little bit less value with this other package. Again, there’s a trade off and that is very important. I want you to repeat with me discounts come with a trade off. All right now, we’re gonna round it out. This is a pricing tip you’ll want to remember.

T – Always Talk About the Value

We’re going to the last and the fifth of our pricing tips for coaches – T. Get comfortable talking prices with your customers. It’s not enough to just have a price. Just having a price doesn’t always help you get the job done. One of my very first clients was a guy and I asked him, I can you complete the following statement pricing is, and he completed it with “…it’s something I avoid”.

Can you imagine being a coach and not wanting to talk about your clients with price? You can’t really get away with it. This isn’t just like a tool or a pen that you buy online where you just click something and you don’t have to have a conversation with anyone with coaching. You generally are having a conversation with someone.

So you have to get to a point where you’re comfortable talking about pricing and value. In fact, you should talk about the value first and the price second, and that should be a golden rule in your head. I always talk about the value. I always talk about the value and then I deliver the price.

Talk about the value, deliver the price. How do you get to this point of feeling more confident about it? So one aspect of that is having prices that you feel confident about and knowing the value. Those two things are absolutely critical to feeling more confident to having those conversations.

Wrapping It Up

As with most things preparation is key and when it comes to this pricing tip for coaches, it’s no exception. Think about what questions you might get from them, what objections you might get and write it out. How would I respond? What would I say in this case?

Then you also have the opportunity then to go grab a trusted colleague or friend and do a role play and practice it, see where you stumble and get them to help you with idea different ways you could answer it. I mean, if you’re looking for a guide, I do have, for a small fee, I think it’s 47 Franks, handling objections guide.

I’ll also put the link in the show notes for you, but if you, whether you use that or you do it on your own, grab someone and practice, because then when it comes up in a conversation with a customer, you may already have ideas on how you’re gonna answer it. And then you don’t have to make the answers up as you go along. Cuz you’ve already thought.

That’s what I wanted to share with you today. Those are my five pricing tips for coaches to help you find and get the right prices; that is PIVOT is going to help you pivot your business. That’s package, ideal customers, the economic value, omit those discounts and talk pricing comfortably and confidently. What tips might you have for coaches? What’s worked and not? Share with me.

Thank you so much for listening to this pricing podcast. Be sure to share this Pricing Podcast with your friends and colleagues. And share you insights and questions as well. I love hearing from you.

Join the conversation.

The 3rd Wednesday of the month we look at topics like…

APR Why do I struggle to tell people what I charge?
MAY Should I offer tiers/packages for different segments?
JUN 3 simple actions when pricing objections arise
AUG How to reign in unnecessary discounting.
SEP 3 myths of raising prices

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