It’s a question that comes up again and again from new health coaches.  First of all, congratulations on your recent certification as a health coach!  You have expanded your knowledge and experience as a result of this process and have likely experienced much personal & professional growth.

Now is the time to really focus on how to set up your business for success.  And one of the most important marketing decisions you will make is how to charge for your services. It may seem strange to think of “raising your prices” as a marketing strategy.  But the goal of a small business is to make a profit.  The fastest and easiest way to get more profits is to raise your prices.

One of the reasons you probably chose this field (besides to help people) is because you wanted a lifestyle that would provide you some flexibility and life balance.  So your goal should be to work with “fewer” clients versus more clients right?  Fewer clients paying even a slightly higher fee will make a big difference in your profits and your own personal wellness in time.  So if you are struggling with charging more, here are some practical and proven ways to succeed at raising prices.

Get the Facts

The first question you are asking is CAN you really charge more.  Let me assure you that you can charge more as a certified coach. Do you have more skill and experience now that you have successfully completed your program?  If so, that deserves recognition through monetary rewards. Look around at peer health coaches for indicators of price.  Ask your friends in the business and you’ll see others are charging more for their services after certification.  Wouldn’t you pay more for a stylist who graduated from beauty school or a carpenter who had completed an apprenticeship?  Why wouldn’t certified health coaches gain the same status? If you need more evidence of how your prices compare do research on what others are charging specifically in your area and then “market price” your services. Charge a similar price with an adjustment up or down for your experience level versus others. But DON’T underestimate your worth.  Most health coaches are prone to do this versus charge too much. 

Get Rid Of Your Head Trash

Before you decide to raise your prices you must get a handle on your money mind-set.   Do you have general concerns, or fears about money? Do you think this is just a “part-time gig” so it doesn’t deserve to pay that much?  Do you have some past experience with money or your personal worth that is keeping you from charging a fair rate for your time and experience?  Do you think the time of the person you are coaching is worth more than yours?  How much is an hour of your time worth?  Think of it this way.  If you were to pay yourself for the time you were able to spend with your family, or doing the things you love the most what would you be willing to pay yourself?  Why shouldn’t someone else pay you that same amount? 

Practice saying what you charge in the mirror or with friends/family.  Get really comfortable and decide ahead of time what you will say when you share your rates.  Be consistent with the rate you charge. Make sure it comes across confidently, with eye contact, expecting the person to be OK because of the value you offer.   The first couple times you tell someone what you charge you may be shaking beneath your external confidence.  But with practice speaking about rates will get much easier.  Do it afraid.  What is the worst thing that can happen?  They say no?  A famously successful sales person always celebrated when he got a “no.” He knew that he was one step closer to a yes!

So once you convince yourself that you are worth an increase in price how do you go about enrolling clients, feel good about it and make the price a secondary or even irrelevant issue?

Truly Understand What Your Clients Would Do Anything to Solve

Research shows that people will pay for things they want and consider valuable. Is your program addressing the right concerns and needs of your potential clients?  Before you begin to even market your services to your target market you should speak to many of your potential customers one on one or through surveys. You can also do on-line research that will help you really understand what this group struggles with the most.  Are they working Mom’s who never have enough time for themselves and have no energy to be the mom, wife, person they aspire to be.  When you really “nail” the pain and provide a service that takes it away, your fees will not be a primary concern. 

Once you have a general idea you will explore in detail through exploratory conversations about what they might want from a health coach based on their very personal situation.

Set up a time formally to talk, or if you meet someone spontaneously in your target market, be prepared to ask them a series of questions to get to the heart of the matter.  What is their primary health concern?  How does it affect their life?  Let them talk 80% of the time.  You listen like your life depends on it – because theirs might.

Most importantly why do they really want to make these changes?  I call this the big “WHY.” Usually the reason they want to get healthier is not just to have more energy.  There is a bigger reason beneath the energy that is driving the desire. This is where you emotionally connect things – sometimes even for them for the first time.  If you can get to the core of their fundamental reason for getting healthy (i.e. active with kids, longevity to be with grandchildren, breakthrough career success), and they want it bad enough, price becomes a non-issue.

Once you really know what it is they want you ask the price erasing question.   “On a scale of 1-10 how important is losing 20 lbs., having more energy, lowering your blood pressure and being able to play with your kids?”   Chances are if they shared all this information it’s pretty important. 

Next question…“So if I offered a program that would support you over 6 months to achieve these goals would you be interested in hearing more about it?”  If you’ve really listened and identified the thing they want to get rid of or want most they will be on the edge of their seat.

Paint a Picture of Their Future

Once you truly understand what someone wants most you should be prepared to tell them how you will help them by explaining the transformation they will undergo. Do this by clearly describing the benefits they will personally experience as they work through the program.  Benefits might be more energy, or more confidence and peace of mind in selecting foods that increase and sustain energy.

It helps if you can provide them with a simple system – a logical, step by step approach they can visualize.  If they understand how it works and what they get from it this will eliminate one of the top reasons people don’t buy. They don’t understand what they are getting for their investment.

What are the primary steps they will take?  How will you support them?  What will the program do for them?  How will they feel on the other side?  Don’t focus too much on the logistics (e.g. how often you will meet, when you will communicate, what the materials will look like). These program basics are important but always connect these to why they matter.

For example tell them you will meet either in person or via phone every other week for 6 months so you can….

  • Listen to their concerns and questions as they take steps forward
  • Provide information tailored to them and to meet their personal goals
  • Talk about strategies they can use to make changes gradually that will last for life
  • Hold them accountable to follow through and take action
  • Make adjustments as they determine what is working for them and what isn’t

Remind them at the end of your program description that the entire focus of the program is getting them to the place they most want to be.  Seal the deal.  Tell a future story of their life to come (“Imagine when you can…”) as a result of the changes that would make them want to get there as fast as possible!

Then after you are assured that they see the true value and you can sense that they want to hear more. Ask them, “Would you like to know my fees and how we can get started?”  If you’ve explained how you will solve their greatest problems you will be delighted with their response and able to easily tell them what you charge.  

Are you ready now to step up and grab the value you deserve as a certified health coach?  You DO know enough.  You are qualified to help people solve their most pressing health problems and make better choices to totally transform their quality of life.

Commit today to change your mind-set around pricing and confidently present the VALUE you offer clients.  Then use this time tested and proven effective advice to blow past your own personal growing “pains” and create the profitable business you deserve.  

All the best as you start your exciting new career!   MAR