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Bite your tongue

One of the members of Project Kairos asked for my advice… 

“I have a problem that people keep signing up for my lowest price programs.”

“Give me an example,” I said.

He replied, “Yesterday, a potential client experienced my coaching. They said they loved it and asked how they could work with me. I told them about my high-level program. And they went quiet. So I told them about a much cheaper program and why it could be a great fit for them. They immediately signed up for it. This happens all the time.”

I explained to him that his problem isn’t that people keep signing up for his lowest price programs. His problem is low professional self-esteem. 

Low professional self-esteem results in charging less than you are worth, delivering more to clients than you need and fear of reaching out to people you could help.

There are 2 ways to remove your professional self-esteem from the creating clients process: 

  1. Be like a waiter
  2. Bite your tongue

1. Be like a waiter

Imagine going to a nice restaurant and saying to the waiter, “Tell me about the steak.” 

They respond, “You know it’s from Japan. It’s rather expensive. I’m not sure you could afford it. Wouldn’t you rather have a burger?” 

Now, imagine going to another restaurant and saying to the waiter,  “I’d like a bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne, please” 

They respond, “Are you sure? I’m feeling a bit down today. Also, I am kind of new to this job. Maybe you’d prefer a coke?”

Sounds silly, right? But that’s how too many coaches show up in their client creation conversations. 

You can walk into an expensive restaurant with Wagyu steak on the menu, flown in from Japan that morning and priced at $250. On the menu is a bottle of Dom Pérignon Cuvée Champagne 2003. It’s over $1,000 a bottle. Also on the menu is a burger for $35 and a coke for $8. 

Maybe you’ve found out your best friend is pregnant, your son is graduating from college, you’re celebrating your wedding anniversary or even your divorce. Hey, maybe you love to spend money on great food and wine. Or maybe you love expensive champagne but that day, you feel like a coke. 

The waiter doesn’t talk you out of an expensive item because of how you are dressed or how they are feeling. 

You say what you want and they respond, “Let me get that for you right away, madam!”

When you are talking to a client about your programs, give them your menu and let them tell you what they want.

2. Bite your tongue

One-on-one coaching with me is currently a $185K agreement. It’s not for everyone. But if someone asks how much it costs to work with me, I tell them my number.

And then I go quiet. 

I bite my tongue.

Sometimes the other person goes quiet.

Sometimes, they say, “Tell me more about coaching with you.”

Sometimes they say, “That’s too much for me. Is there any other way to work with you?”

Back in 2008, I made a decision to charge $20K a year for my coaching. When people asked, “How much does it cost to work with you?” I responded, “It’s $20,000 for a year of Deep Coaching.”

And then I bit my tongue. 

Again and again and again, people said, “That’s too expensive for me.”

I would respond, “Well, if the only thing between us is the money, let’s get creative. If there was a different price point for a different kind of coaching agreement that’s more suited to you, would you be interested?”

If I could tell they were really interested in coaching with me, I’d make something up. “You only need 5 months of coaching and let’s only have calls twice a month.” “You don’t need weekly coaching, let’s do a private, 3-day deep dive.” “Would you like to hear about my group coaching program, instead?”

It took 11 months of telling people that it was $20K for a year of deep coaching before the first person said, “Great. I’m in. How do I pay you?”

On the inside I was stunned. 

On the outside, I got still. 

“Send me a check,” I replied. 

And they did. 

Would you be willing to say your number out loud, dozens and dozens of times for almost a year? That’s a hell of a lot of NOs I heard. 

When a client asks your price, say it out loud and then go silent. Relax the corners of your eyes and go still. Wait for them to speak first. 

Love. Rich 


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