Unlike a done-for-you service, consultative services like coaching, consulting, tutoring, teaching, or mentoring seem a lot harder to price on value, since it’s clear that the project’s full value will only come about if the client actually follows through with your advice.

In general, you should not feel pressured to take that into account if you don’t think it’s appropriate. I mean, would anybody expect a doctor to charge less because the patient might not take the proscribed pills? Gyms or networking groups like BNI often offer only yearly memberships, precisely because they know this motivates clients to stick to their schedules and achieve the results they came to get.

Let’s say you agree that this needs to be addressed, now what?

For a single-shot project, you charge 70% upfront, and then only gamble a smaller part on the client successfully implementing the plan.

In continuous work like coaching, you charge upfront for three months to protect your initial effort, and then make a review to see if the implementation is able to keep up with the advice provided.

If you have enough experience you could instead go with a fixed payment that will hedge the implementation risk for both of you, freeing you from uncertainty for a small premium.

A one-size-fits-all way of charging for outcomes you can’t control is not unlike playing with matches and can often end in tears.


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