Just about every service provider at one time, or even still, offer free sessions, discovery calls, or consultations of some sort. Whether we are coaches, consultants, mentors, teachers, whatever.
At some point, we were convinced that these so-called free sessions would help with PR, get our name out there, bring in referrals, and bring in the paying clients or customers.
Never mind the fact that most of these gurus who convinced us of this were not being transparent about the true ROI — that would be the return on investment of ALL that time we are giving away for free. And sometimes those very gurus can get down right nasty, rude and even catty when you refuse to feed into the bullshit rule that you have to do exactly what they say because you paid them.
My time is VERY valuable! With an active preschooler, my time is also very limited. I am not going to waste it on a crap shoot based on someone else’s numbers and business that is not mine, no matter how much I paid them for coaching or mentoring.
Here’s an example for you to chew on. I hate math word problems, too, but this with help give you an idea about ROI and free sessions.
WHY I don’t offer free sessions
Let’s say you charge $200 an hour and you have a package available at $1000 you are currently offering. You create a 3 – 5 email series for your list of 500, which takes about 2 hours of your time to create. During that series, you schedule 25 free 30 minute sessions and lose 15% of your subscribers. I’m going to add in 3 more hours to this for admin tasks.
You also create a social media campaign which takes you about 2 hours to put together, including post copy, image editing, and scheduling the posts out. I’m not factoring in any paid ads, either. This campaign brings in an addition 10 free sessions to schedule, with another hour of your time for admin tasks.
You’re so excited because, of those 35 free sessions, you gain 4 new clients who invest in your $1000 package. Woot! That’s a $4000 paycheck! Sweet!
But let’s look at the ROI — 8 hours (minumum) of your time to all the admin tasks. This is $1600 of your time. 35 free sessions at 30 minutes (pending you didn’t go over that 30 minutes) which equals $3500.
And, YES, your TIME is also an investment, not just the money you spend.
In the negative, Baby!
Packages sold total = $4000; 43 hours of your time = $5100. That’s a negative $1100.
And these are generous numbers I’ve used. Your email list could be smaller or larger, the unsubscribe rate could be higher with a low open rate, those 43 hours could easily reach 60 or more with more admin task time and less session times. And, unless sales is your super power, the packages sold could very well only be 2 or 3.
This ginormous yucky word problem is WHY I don’t offer free sessions!
What I think despite how hard some “gurus” have tried to convince me otherwiseWhat I think about free sessions, despite how hard other people tried to convince me otherwise. Click To Tweet Yes, I see free sessions as crap shoots! I am NOT guaranteed to get the sale very time.
And if it’s not a 100% ROI, it’s not going to happen.
I know sales conversations are not my super power. I hate them. I hate trying to convince someone that I’m the right person for the service they need. And I’m not stressing myself out over it.
I am not going to set myself up for failure and disappointment and then deal with the anxiety of comparison and feeling like my work is shit BECAUSE I CANNOT CONVINCE THAT PERSON MY SERVICE IS RIGHT FOR THEM.
Because guess what?!?! That’s what happens EVERY SINGLE TIME I TRIED TO GET THE SALE THROUGH FREE SESSIONS.
It’s a bullshit rule that you HAVE TO OFFER free sessions. It’s a bullshit rule that you have to do everything your coach or mentor tells you … because you paid them. It’s a bullshit rule that you have to do exactly as so and so if you want to make the 6 figures they do. It’s ALL BULLSHIT!
And, despite what some people say, those sales conversations do not get easier each time you do them. Especially for those of us who have been
cursed with born being highly sensitive and empathic.
So, to answer the question “Why don’t you offer free consultations?” that I’ve been getting a lot lately, this should answer it quite clearly.
I know that many who offer free sessions have an ROI that is in the black, not the red, or at least an ROI they are comfortable with. I’m just not one of those people.
But if your numbers are in the red zone (read NEGATIVE NUMBERS) you may want to rethink the bullshit rules those gurus convinced you were great for your business. It may be time to go in a different direction. Or skip them altogether.
I hope that in sharing this helps you see that your own time as valuable and, for those that just are not getting anywhere with these free sessions, I hope you can start honoring and respecting your time.
Ask questions, share your own story, make your declaration in the comments below!
Sending lots of luvs and hugs,
Gypsy LoSavio, your SoulFull Biz and Life Mentor
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