As we’ve thought about how to create more opportunities for coaches to offer individualized services – and thus create true professional opportunities for our staff – we’ve been discussing thoughts on how to make the value add of these kinds of services known to members.
This is a challenging area fraught with peril.
People come to SLSC to receive some of the best coaching and programming in the city and to be a part of a community of like-minded individuals who care about self improvement.
They don’t come to SLSC to be constantly upsold on new products and new offerings. In fact, I’m sure everyone reading this can think of some scenario in which they were blitzed by upsells in a way that seemed in appropriate and unfair.
I just registered another domain at GoDaddy (http://todnief.com
lol – for all of the spelling disinclined), for example, and I could barely figure out what was going on throughout the checkout process since there were so many buttons everywhere trying to get me to add various protection services to my domain registration.
Now, as a service provider, I think it is your obligation to make the best advice available to your clients – and not to sell them any more or any less than what is appropriate for them and their goals.
Based upon that, we are doing a disservice to our clients who do want faster and better results by not offering our premium services and making it clear to them what the benefits of those services are.
In discussing these concepts with our coaches, we found that most coaches tend to err too far on one side of the spectrum or the other when thinking about how to offer value to clients and make them aware of the existence of premium services – without being pushy or going for a sell in a situation that was in appropriate.
Some coaches are overly giving, in that they are far too willing to spend their time, expertise, and energy in situations in which they are not being compensated – and they “feel bad” asking for money for their knowledge or their help.
Other coaches are too quick to demand payment or a booking of a session to go through additional work with a client – despite not having appropriately built value or, in some cases, potentially offending a client by wanting compensation for answering a seemingly simple question.
(Side note: Many clients think they have simple questions, but, getting real answers to what they’re asking may require a detailed and thorough evaluation on the part of a coach.)
Like most things, there is a balance here.
In an ideal situation, coaches would:
•Feel comfortable offering value without need for immediate compensation or as part of a “sales process” – value must be created before money changes hands and independent of whether or not money is going to change hands in the future.
•Have an understanding of exactly where their personal line is for what they charge for. (For myself, for example, I’m more than happy to answer questions for clients on programming or discuss ideas of things that they can do to work on specific skills. However, if they want me to write them a program or put something on my schedule more than once, I will charge them money.)
•Recognize when someone is looking for more specific guidance or help and make them aware that there are additional options available should they choose to pursue them.
Hopefully, by framing the fact that there is a balance here we can start to create an environment in which coaches can both help members by coming from a place of abundance in their knowledge while still feeling comfortable charging for their expertise.
We’ve come up with the idea of offering free 15 minute athlete check-ins with coaches – this allows coaches to have more structured times to speak with members about goals and appropriate training progressions, while also allowing a smooth path into more personalized services if members are interested.
Most of our coaches have set themselves up to be available for these appointments, so don’t be afraid to ask if you want some more attention. 🙂