Should you charge for initial consults?

I have a question for you…

When a client is interested in working with you one-on-one, what’s their first step?

For most coaches, the first step is an initial consultation. You might call this initial consultation a health history, strategy session, breakthrough session, or get acquainted session.

Do you ever wonder whether you should charge for these sessions? And if you currently charge for them, do you wonder if you should be offering them for free?

Today, I am going to share 4 ways to offer initial consultations (both free and paid) that I have seen work for other coaches.

Option 1: Free “Get Acquainted” call

This is a 15-30 minute phone call with prospective clients. The goal of the call is for the prospective client to get to know you, for you to get to know them, and for you to share how you can help them. Of course your ultimate goal with this call, and the other options below, is for you to sell your services.

As you may know, this is the strategy we use at Marketing For Health Coaches.  I like this because it attracts people who have a true interest in learning more about working with us.

Option 2:  Free Nutrition Strategy call

This is typically a 30 minute phone call that is similar to the “get acquainted call.” The difference here is that you’re promoting the idea that you will be giving them some strategy advice on the call.

This can work well to entice people into the call because they want to get some immediate support from you.  While you’re not going to give a ton of content or coaching on the call, you will be giving people a taste of what it’s like to work with you.

Option 3: Nutrition Strategy call for a fee

This is just like option 2 above, but you will charge a modest fee such as $50-$75. If, at the end of the call, they sign up for one of your coaching programs, you can offer to deduct the cost of the session from your fee.

This can be a great strategy to entice people who are serious about investing in themselves.

Option 4:  Nutrition Consultation for a fee

This session is usually 45-60 minutes and is structured like the first session you would have with any paying client.  You may want clients to complete an intake form or a health history before this session.

During the session, you will provide the same level of value that you would for any paying client, including wrapping up with action steps and recommendations.  At the end of the session, you will share how they can continue working with you.

I like this approach because it allows clients to dip their toe in the water and experience a session with you before committing to an entire program.  There’s also less of a need to “sell” in the end, as the logical next step will be for them to continue working with you.

Which option is right for you?

To answer this question, I first want you to think about what your current initial sessions look like and what’s working or not working for you.

You want to keep doing the things that are working for you and tweak the things that aren’t working.

Not enough people signing up for initial consultations with you?

Tweak your approach by offering a free get-acquainted session or a free nutrition strategy call. Both of these options are a low barrier to entry. If you’ve tried offering a “strategy” or “breakthrough” session, with limited success, experiment by offering a “get-acquainted” session. Sometimes a simple name change is all you need.

Getting people into free initial sessions, but not closing the deal as much as you’d like?

This may be because you’re attracting people who aren’t ready to invest in themselves. Tweak your approach by charging for your initial sessions. This will weed out the people who aren’t serious about working with you.

Are you good at attracting people into initial sessions and closing the deal, but feel you are giving too much of your time away for free?

Tweak your strategy by offering a Nutrition Consultation for a fee. This will allow you to offer high value and get paid well for your time.

Now I’d love to hear from you.
What type of initial consultation do you currently offer and how is it working for you?

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