As an experienced coach, one of the things my business and marketing coaches (yes, of course I have coaches – more than one!) repeatedly drum into me is that I have to stop selling my time by the hour or by the session – and they are quite right.
Because, of course, my clients are not buying my time – they are buying the results that they hired me for in the first place. That might be to turn their Joyful Genius into a sustainable business, or clarity on exactly how they add most value to the world with ease and flow and joyfulness (i.e. what their Joyful Genius actually is). It might be to go from frustrated and broke to fulfilled and properly rewarded for their value. Or it might be to have an experienced and trusted business confidant who they can turn to for an external view of a business issue.
They are not paying me for hours, they are paying me for outcomes.
Apart from the obvious fact that time is our most precious and limited resource, there is a big trap in selling your time: you, and your clients, can easily start to think and act as if the time is the important thing, as if so long as they have had their allocated time with you, then the contract has been fulfilled.
Of course, as conscious business owners – healers, therapists, coaches, etc – we are committed to our clients’ success, and we are going to make sure they get value, even if that means giving them more time than they actually pay for. Which is as it should be – so what is the problem?
It’s our clients – if they start to think in terms of just getting the time they’ve paid for, or the number of sessions, or whatever time-for-money measure that is relevant, then their work with you can become routine, and they lose focus on their results. And I don’t know about you, but I find that clients always get better results when they remain focused on outcomes, not process (a 1hr coaching session, a 30m massage).
So by allowing them to become focused on time, number of sessions, etc, we are short-changing them, and not giving them the best opportunity to achieve what we know we can give them.
So here’s this week’s challenge to you: what are the results your clients really want from you, and how else could you be charging for helping them get there?