The internet is a unique and scary place. It’s allowed business coaches an opportunity to cost effectively reach more consumers. But it’s also brought on a wave of false advertising, regretful purchasing decisions and an inability to know what’s real and what’s just good marketing.
Today’s consumers are skeptical when they see business coaches talking about their abilities. What would make consumers more comfortable is having a guarantee for the coaching they’re purchasing. While that makes sense, it rarely makes sense for a business coach to guarantee a specific result.
When you’re close to closing a deal with a potential new client, there’s a temptation to make promises. You can tell that he or she is receptive to your offer, but that person needs a nudge to cross the line from maybe to “Yes, sign me up.” You’re tempted to offer a guaranteed result, and that would be one of the worst decisions you can make in your business.
Here are three reasons why business coaches should stay away from offering a specific guaranteed result. Understanding this will save you a lot of time, free labor and heartache later.
1. You can’t control how clients will implement what you teach them
You can teach clients the exact process to create success with the topic that you teach. You can offer step-by-step guidance and even create templates to help clients get results. You can bring in outside experts and other service providers to help your clients. But you can’t control what clients will do with what you give them.
At the end of the day, it’s up to clients to implement and take action on the knowledge you give them. You can’t control how motivated or lazy clients are. You can’t force them to implement strategies in the way you think is best. You don’t have direct control of the entire process.
There are factors outside of your control, and those factors are what create success and results. Tying your income and bandwidth to a specific guaranteed result — when you aren’t in control of all the factors — will have you working for free. Tying your revenue to how another person takes action is not the best strategy.
2. There are too many unseen factors that lead to client results
Creating a successful result for clients comes with a lot of factors. You can’t control how clients implement what you teach, but you also can’t control what happens if they execute and outside circumstances influence the results.
If you could control all of the factors that create a successful result, that would be one thing. But the reality is that many circumstances will lead to success, and sometimes pure luck is involved.
You put yourself in a weaker position when you guarantee a specific result with all of this uncertainty. You tie your revenue to uncertainty, and that will disappoint you every time.
The strongest position is when you charge based on what you teach and have no attachment to what the client does next. Your goal, as an entrepreneur, is to create the best experience for your client while also making sure you are getting appropriately compensated. The best way to do this is by not guaranteeing a result when you can’t control all the unseen factors.
3. Your process, knowledge and experience should be what dictate your fee
You started your business because you have a passion for teaching particular topics. You’ve probably spent time researching and learning more about those topics and become an expert at them. You’ve worked with clients, and you’ve educated consumers.
What too many entrepreneurs fail to understand is that knowledge, experience and history are of value. It’s not just the result — your process and expertise to create that result are valuable.
There are many models for entrepreneurship and different ways to generate revenue; the underutilized model is to be paid simply for the education. Entrepreneurs think they have to offer client fulfillment or coaching. The reality is that you can generate revenue from your knowledge and teaching that knowledge online.
You don’t have to tie yourself to the result or have a business that offers fulfillment or deliverables. You base your fee on the education of your topic.
The education-only model offers the opportunity to build a scalable business that doesn’t involve an overwhelming amount of your time the same way client fulfillment does. It allows you to have the best of both worlds without having to wake up and feel like you have someone who is always going to want something from you.
In the education-only model, you can offer courses, membership programs and master classes that are done virtually. They can be live or pre-recorded. The beauty is that you are not tied to fulfilling a service or having clients expect or want a particular result.
Offering a guaranteed result may close the sale but ultimately cost you your sanity. It’s time for entrepreneurs to realize they can build a business without making a guarantee in the face of factors they can’t control.
Your process is valuable and should be priced accordingly. Don’t put yourself in a position where you generate revenue in the short term but end up working for free in the long term.
This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur