Hey, you guys, Brian Hilliard here, author of the bestselling book, Networking Like a Pro. And today, I want to talk about the three levels of client services that you can provide as a coach.
Now, this is something that, for me, I think is super important because a lot of times, as a coach or a consultant, there is this school of thought that says, “Well, I have coaching. Here’s my price. Here’s my product. Here’s the service. Here’s, again, how much it costs. And either you want to buy, or you don’t.”
And there are a lot of people that do that.
Or Listen on Your Computer Below
I don’t agree with that. I personally think that different people want to plug into your service, your business, at different levels. It might be based on need. It might be based on budget. It might be based on time.
There are probably things I haven’t even thought about. There are all kinds of different reasons why people would want to plug in at different levels. And I think that when you do a one-dimensional approach like I see a lot of coaches do, I don’t agree with that.
Instead, I like to have three different service levels. We’re talking specifically with coaching. So what we’re not talking about is books and CDs, and packages where we’re wrapping them up like that. That’s a whole other conversation. We’re talking specifically with coaching, and you’re working with them either one-or-one or in a small group. I was thinking along the lines of one-on-one, but whatever.
The first one is what we call—and you’ve heard this, these are business terms. This is a business term—an entry-level service.
Now, what does an entry-level coaching service look like? That might be just a one-time project.
So, I signed on a client actually today down in Atlanta, and one of the things that we’re going to do is I’m going to be doing some work on transitioning them. They actually have a merger. They had a merger. Two companies merged, one I’d work with, obviously; the other one, I didn’t. And they’re merging.
So, they contracted my services to help them write the copy for their marketing collateral, their website. I’m going to be working with them on launching some stuff in terms of disseminating this message out to the audience, e-mails and things like that.
That is a launch. That’s a whole thing. It’s a one-time project. And that’s x-number of dollars.
Now, the reason I called that an entry-level service is because it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a low-level service or it’s low-value service, per se. That would actually be called a leading service.
A leading service is where you have a lower-end deal just to get people in the game. So that’s now what this is.
An entry-level service, as I’m defining it, is simply a one-time project where you’re working with people, and it is what it is. And you’re going to do that. That might be priced a little bit more competitively because what you’re really trying to do is—and when I say “really trying to do,” you’re not going to make anything up, but you want to get to the point where you can graduate to a core service offering.
Now, the core service offering is familiar to all of you because that’s what a lot of people are using right now as their only service.
Their core service might be a monthly program, it might be a 12-month commitment, and it’s their core service—17 principles for this or 15 ways to do that, and it’s their core service. And that’s fine.
So like I said, the entry-level might be something that’s a one-time deal. And then that can parlay into the core service.
So after this, just as an example (this hasn’t happened, I don’t know if it will, it probably will, but I don’t know), I build out this stuff for the one time, and then maybe they want me to do stuff ongoing. Maybe they have new products, maybe they have new copy, maybe they want me to revamp the new website because this one specifically is just for the transition website.
When I say revamp, I’m not the designer, obviously, but the copy and stuff like that.
Or maybe I do some high-level coaching with the CEO. I’m just totally making this up. But it’s an ongoing core service offering that’s a monthly (usually) deal.
And when I say monthly, it doesn’t have to be every month of the year. It might be three installments or five installments. It might something like that, like a hybrid. But it’s not just a one-time deal.
Now, after that, there is this third level which what you would call an aftermarket. That’s another, again, business term. And the reason why it’s an aftermarket is because this is available only for people who have used your services in the past.
It’s like the example I give—tires is an aftermarket, isn’t it? You would not need car tires unless what? You own the car. So me, being an aftermarket person, if I’m a tire store, I’m not going to market to 15-year-olds. And I’m not going to necessarily just market to any Tom, Dick and Harry out there. I’m going to market to people who actually have cars.
Now, I don’t know what the population is in the United States, 80%, four out of five people have a car (or at least their family has a car, maybe not theirs personally). So that’s why it seems like it’s always marketed to everybody. But really, it’s an aftermarket product.
Now, what is that equivalent in the coaching profession?
I’m sure there’s a few. The one I personally like to use is actually an accountability program. This actually was given to me by a friend of mine, Deb Doughty. And one of the points that she talks about is you want to be able to have (after you’ve done the monthly program) your ongoing core offer.
Then what do you do?
Well, then once you’ve done the heavy lifting and got done, there’s an accountability program potentially.
For example, mine is usually 90 days. I do them in those increments, and that’s fine. For me, we usually meet every other week, and it’s not necessarily heavy lifting of this, that and the other on the project because we’ve already done that. But rather instead, “It’s all right. Well, here we are. Let’s make sure we stay on track.”
I position it as a personal trainer where you’re not just saying, “Okay, here’s the do this, this, and this,” and staying right with them. But you’re just checking in.
In this case, I personally do every other week for a 90-day period. That’s usually what I do. And that’s an aftermarket or accountability program.
Now, as I already said, that’s not sold directly. But a lot of times, we fall asleep, I think, a little bit on the aftermarket. I did for a while until Deb brought that to my attention where you want to make sure that if you’re really going to be marketing your practice, and growing your practice, you want to make sure that you have all three phases clicking.
You want to have an entry-level service where if somebody wants to just get the ball rolling, test it out (like I’m doing here with one of my clients I just signed on), bam, that’s a great start.
Then sometimes people come right into the core offer—or probably 80% of my clients, maybe even more, 90%. They go right into the core offer (sometimes, even installment-driven, monthly deal, and that’s totally fine. We love that).
And then I have an accountability piece afterwards. I don’t have numbers in front of me, so I’m just talking. I would say probably, conservatively, 40% to 50% of my clients sign on for some type of an accountability program at some point in time.
Sometimes people are like, “Well, I’m good.” Other times, people are like, “Well, let’s circle back a little bit later on.”
But generally speaking, it’s 50/50. People are like, “Okay, I’m in,” or sometimes, they’re like, “You know what? I’m good for now, but let’s circle back,” or whatever the case may be.
I think it’s really important as a coach to have all the arrows in your quiver, so to speak, and really make sure that you’ve got all that. And that will give you, in my opinion, the broadest opportunity to work with people and, as you know (it’s something I talk about a lot) meet them where they’re at.
So hopefully, that makes sense. Hopefully, that’s something that you can see yourself using. If you’d like, swing on by our blog. It is PracticeBuilderBlog.com. That’s www.PracticeBuilderBlog.com. We’ve got all kinds of tips and techniques on there. Some of them are free, some of them you have to pay for. But all of them are designed to help you brand and grow your coaching practice.
But in the meantime, my name is Brian Hilliard saying, “So long, take care. And thank you for your time.”