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Wendy Buckingham / Creator, Life Coaching Professionally
An introductory free life coaching session gives the prospective client a chance to experience coaching, discover what they want to achieve, get a real taste of what is to come and be inspired by the results they can achieve if they go ahead.
Offering a free trial shows that the coach is willing to give their time without charge to ensure they they and the client are a good match rather than pressure them to sign up after just a brief discussion.
From my experience their are several drawbacks. Unless the lead is really well qualified, and the session timed and carefully structured, you can risk wasting a lot of time with people who simply want some free coaching. Unless you carefully qualify them, they may have simply clicked the button on your website or ad with no real interest or intention of of engaging you and paying for coaching.
Or, as I found on several occasions, because you can't resist giving your all, the free session turns out so well, that the prospect thanks you profusely, decides they are clear on their path forward, don't need any more help and disappear never to be heard of again!
Great for the ego, but not great for both your spirit and your pocket.
Coaching is about earning a living as well as being of service and you may feel out of exchange and a bit resentful for the time and value you give if this happens.
One way around this is to charge for an introductory session and let the prospect know that, if they decided to go ahead, it will be deducted from the costs of any session package they take
A compromise is that many coaches now offer a "free session" by calling it a free “assessment” or "discovery" session usually for no longer than half an hour, but that's a matter of choice.
This purpose is to explore what the prospect wants from coaching, explaining how your coaching programs work and what you can do for them, answer any questions/considerations and give them just a taster of how you will coach them.
It's also an obligation free opportunity for both of you to discover if you are a good match for a coaching and will feel comfortable working together. Find out more on how to organise a successful Discovery Session and questions and hints on making it work to enrol clients.