I was recently delivering a webinar when an experienced coach asked me what I thought about ethical pricing.
Honestly? I had no idea what she was talking about – so I had to say could you tell me what you mean by ethical pricing please?
What Is Ethical Pricing?
She seemed quite surprised to hear that I didn’t understand what she meant and went on to tell me that ethical pricing means telling a potential client your rates and then telling them that if they don’t want to pay that rate, they don’t need to, they can pay whatever they think they can afford.
Explaining her ethical pricing took a good 5 minutes and that it was very important that potential clients understand that for her, it’s not all about the money.
She said it was all to do with trust and that it had not failed her yet. She also said that no one ever paid her full rate.
This was me >> ?
Your Price Is Your Price!
Now bearing in mind that a price for your coaching doesn’t come out of thin air, nor is it a price that you decide is ‘the least you’ll work for’ or some such other lottery-thinking.
The price for your coaching comes from understanding who your target audience is and what that audience will pay for coaching to overcome the issues that you know that they’re dealing with. Basically, you price according to you understanding of the value to your target audience of getting rid of the problems that your coaching will help them resolve.
What I’m saying there is that your pricing depends entirely upon your niche and your ideal client within that niche.
Sainsbury Don’t Price ‘Ethically’
No one else prices ‘ethically’ do they?
Sainsbury won’t let you pay less because your clients decided to pay less, will they?
Your accountant, your dentist, your lawyer; none of them tell you their price and then ask you how much you’d like to pay instead. Wouldn’t this be a completely different world if they did?
I Call BS On Ethical Pricing!
I am, as you may be aware, a straight-talking northern woman (northern England that is) and I challenged this idea of ethical pricing there and then. To be fair, I did first of all ask the coach in question if she could handle some straight-talking and she said yes.
This blog began that you’re worried about pricing. That your anxiety about pricing is spilling out into your coaching practice. For some reason, you don’t feel that the coaching you’re providing is worth the price you’re charging. I paused. What are your thoughts about that?
The coach blinked in surprise. She is a senior leader in the organisation for whom I was delivering the webinar. Well yes, she gasped, I think it’s fair to say that I have some anxiety around pricing….
Be Solid With Your Pricing
Pricing for your coaching shouldn’t be something that you’re anxious about and nor should it be a secret. Your pricing just is.
The whole ‘don’t share your pricing until your potential client has seen the value in coaching via a strategy session’ school of thought is flawed. If I could have a penny for every coach who has told me a story where they winced with squirmy discomfort having announced a price to their just-finished-a-strategy session coachee, to then have them gasp and say how much?! I could… well, take myself out for a very fancy lunch at least!
If your pricing is upfront and visible, not only will you never have people gasp, you won’t talk to people who don’t want to pay your fee – they’ll decide for themselves how much is too much. (Before you panic at this thought, remember that means that everyone that you DO talk to will be fully conversant with what you charge and still want to talk to you.)
The value that you need to demonstrate can be clearly demonstrated through your marketing, not your secret squirrel (pricing-wise) strategy sessions. If you demonstrate the value of your coaching with clarity and authority, then your pricing is nothing to fear. Without fear, you can simply have a price, not a long-winded discussion about how they can actually pay you whatever they want to. Another advantage is of course, that your professionalism remains in tact if you simply have a price.