Like all coaches, I believe in encouraging my clients to grow and stretch themselves. It’s important to extend beyond the walls of your comfort zone because this is where change occurs. It’s invaluable to stretch from who you’ve ever known yourself to be, because it’s from this new place that you’ll achieve your dreams.
However, there is a trend in the coaching industry which has never sat right with me. And that is the trend for pressuring and guilting clients into spending far more than they can afford on coaching programs. I’ve heard all the justifications and it still doesn’t sit well.
For example, most coaches with high end packages will have a story about someone they know who once wanted to do a coaching program that cost far more money than the client had. But they signed up for it anyway, and suddenly the money appeared from nowhere. Apparently, this was because they were ‘committed’. However, there are even more stories, the ones you don’t hear, about clients who went into serious debt by trying to pay for coaching they could not afford.
Some time ago, I attended a coaching weekend where many speakers were invited to talk on stage about their products. Nothing wrong with that. However, the sales part was something else. The guy who ran the seminar attempted to shame and almost bully the audience into paying for products which may not even have been right for them. People were told that if they didn’t part with several thousand pounds, then they weren’t ‘serious’ about their dreams. Which strikes me as extraordinarily arrogant. Who was he to tell them they weren’t serious about their dreams? Did it occur to him that people have their own gut instincts about what is right or wrong for them, and maybe – just maybe – these people are incredibly dedicated to their dreams, and they don’t believe that the product being sold from the stage is the one that will help them get to where they want to go? My friend and I stared at each other in disbelief throughout his frequent lectures. This guy was so shameless, it was almost fascinating to watch.
I’ve also frequently heard that clients should be able to do whatever it takes to get the money to sign up for a high end program, on the grounds that if they needed to have a life saving operation, they’d manage to find the money. In that situation, they’d have no problems with borrowing from everyone they could get their hands on, so they should be able to do the same for this coaching package. There’s a bit of a difference between needing to have a life saving operation because you could die at any moment, and signing up for a coaching program which won’t literally result in your death if you don’t buy it. Much as I believe in coaching, it is NOT as important as a life saving operation. Nobody needs coaching. It’s something you want, because you want to stretch yourself beyond who you’ve known yourself to be, and you have dreams you want to achieve. It’s not something you need.
I think high end coaching packages are a fantastic way to stretch yourself and reach your dreams. I’ve signed up for several of them myself, some of which were of massive benefit to me, and others which I regretted. And the ones I regretted (admittedly, very few and these were when I first started out, so was still very green) were the ones I felt pressured and guilted into signing up for, with the hidden implication that I was a failure who would never amount to anything if I did not. I once had to explain to a coach that I could not afford her high end package (which she was trying to sell me, even though I hadn’t asked her about it) because I had to pay my college fees. Her response? That by going to college, I was subconsciously trying to avoid the result I was looking for, and my Inner Knowing was telling me this, and crying out for me to choose her coaching instead. If she hadn’t lost me before, she definitely did then. My Inner Knowing was telling me nothing of the sort. In fact, it was telling me the exact opposite. This woman claimed to acknowledge the importance of listening to your Inner Knowing, but apparently only when it said what she wanted it to say. And she thought it was her place to decide what it was really saying.
The vast majority of coaches who offer high end packages are incredible people with enormous integrity. However, this is about the select few who don’t seem to have their clients well-being at heart. Who are more interested in lining their own pockets than they are in helping their clients live the life of their dreams and achieve the results they are looking for. I’ve interacted with many coaches, including ones who were clients of the ‘high pressure tactics’ coaches and many of them were still struggling, despite all the promises of their coach. For every client story they tell you of a client who had no money, but begged, borrowed or stole to sign up with them, and is now making millions, they have many more clients who are under serious financial stress, struggling to make their credit card payments every month and are still no closer to their dream, despite what they’ve been sold.
If you can afford the high end package, but you’re just uneasy about spending the money then that’s a little different. That may be the perfect chance to stretch yourself. Even if you don’t have the money,but you’re really committed to doing this program, then go for it. However, don’t consider going deeply into debt because you’ve been told you ‘need this’ and without it, your life will fail!!1! Do it because it feels right to you, not because you’re being strong-armed into it!
Tune in to your own inner knowing and ask yourself if this is right for you. And wait for the answer.
Most coaches like myself, have low, medium and high end packages. My recommendation is to pick the one that’s a bit of a stretch for you. The one that is outside of your comfort zone, but won’t bankrupt you. So for example, if you can easily afford the low end package, but the medium package is a bit of a stretch for you, choose the medium package. And use the results you get from the medium package to enable you to go for the high end package.
I hope this is of value to anyone who’s been struggling with this issue. Be wary of anyone using lots of fear tactics and pressure to get you to give them lots of money. A brilliant coach who can get you the results you’re looking for, does not need to twist someone’s arm into signing up with them. They will likely be encouraging and enthusiastic, and of course they will want you to sign up with them, if you’re also the right client for them. But there’s a big difference between enthusiasm and high pressure manipulation.
And as always, practice self love by listening to your own deeper wisdom.