Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"I Can't Afford It ..."

While sharing the program I work with, a friend of mine said, "I can't afford it." As you might imagine, this statement completely shut down the conversation ... it left me wondering what he couldn't afford and if there was any way I could help him get what he wanted.

Over the ten years that I've known him, he's frequently expressed concern and dismay about his health and the excess weight he's carrying. It seemed to me that choosing to purchase "groceries" from me for a short period of time wasn't the real issue.
So what was he saying?

First it's important for all you coaches and service providers out there to repeat after me: "It's not about me!" Because it isn't about you. It's all about the fears that a prospective client has. They may be afraid of several things:

  • I might fail and disappoint myself, family and my friend.
  • I don't see this as sustainable ... I'll spend all this $$$ then yo-yo again like before.
  • What if it's really a rip-off or I can't do it and my friendship suffers even more?
  • Going on program could change everything!!!
  • I'm terrified!
So what do we say? I'd like to suggest a way to re-frame the conversation. 
Here's my ideas:
  • Start by acknowledging the concerns and agreeing with your friend: "Yes, it's an investment and is worthy of thoughtful consideration." 
  • Ask, "If you could afford it, what would your concerns be?"
  • Ask if they'd be interested in your story. Here's mine:
"I was concerned about the cost too. I didn't want to get ripped off and was afraid we'd fail. I knew that committing to the program would be a real game changer for both Greg and I. On the other hand, I was so worried about Greg's health and frustrated that all other efforts hadn't worked ... I decided to trust the friend that shared the program with me."
  • Ask if you can ask a few questions ... find out why carrying the excess weight worries them.  Hopefully your friend will share what it will mean to them if/when they begin to gain better health. 
  • Ask if they'd like to hear how you made the program affordable for you while you went through the rapid weight loss phase which took a number of months.
  • Finally, think this through and be prepared! How did you budget? Did you review bank statements and calculate your spending on groceries, dining out, Starbucks, alcohol purchases, and entertainment? What did you cut back on or give up to gain your goals? In the long run, did the program save or cost you money? Was it worth the investment? How has your life changed????
  • Remember, we are asking the near impossible - we're asking potential clients to trust us long enough to experience it for themselves. 
I hope these thoughts help ... Greg and I hesitated because of disbelief and fear. I couldn't afford to buy in to something that wasn't going to work, wouldn't be sustainable, or that would perpetuate poor habits and health. Once we decided to start on program, we wanted it YESTERDAY! And it was worth every nickle ... We are close to "four years slim" and I only wish we hadn't waited so long!

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