How many times have you been asked about, or tried to convince someone of, the ROI (Return On Investment) of coaching?

Measuring the dollar for dollar ROI on coaching can be easier for some (business coaching) and much harder for others (health, relationship, or life coaching).  For example, I can share with my new clients that my goal is for us to recoup their dollar for dollar investment in the first few months we work together (in addition to the time and frustration savings, having systems in the place that they’ll use for years to come, not to mention the clarity and confidence that they gain…)

It’s not as easy to quantify when you’re supporting someone with a part of their life or business that may not have a direct dollar amount associated with it.

One of the frameworks that I love teaching my clients is how to have a sales conversation in a way that’s non-salesy, authentic, and naturally leads the person to a powerful point of decision.

A key part of that process is to drill down deeper, beyond the ROI and look at the COI instead.

What’s the COI?

It’s the Cost Of Inaction.  It’s the cost of staying right where you are.  It includes the consequences of not investing in yourself, not seeing your time as valuable, and simply accepting the status quo.

That’s not fun to look at and it’s where you get to be courageous enough to explore with your potential clients.  (This helps them see the value in investing in themselves through working with you – they see where they’ll end up if they don’t do something new and different).

If you’re an executive coach, the COI may include the cost of an unproductive employee to an organization multiplied by the number of people on the team or company that you’re discussing.

If you’re a health coach, the COI may show up in the form of lost relationships, failure to participate in a favorite activity, or not being alive to hold a grandchild.

If you’re a relationship coach, the COI may present itself in the form of a failed relationship, staying in an unhealthy relationship, depression, not finding a soul mate, or even divorce.


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How many times have you been asked about, or tried to convince someone of, the ROI of coaching?


Yes, the ROI is important to calculate but when you focus solely on trying to convince someone of the value and how they’ll see a ROI, you are wasting your precious energy.  (Convincing isn’t an energy that serves you or your clients, either, but that’s a conversation for another day.)

Instead of struggling to show the ROI, what if you switched around the conversation and asked the client what impact staying right where they are will have on them?  What’s the impact of not trying something new?

That’s my challenge for you this week.  Ask your clients – and yourself – new questions.

What if you’re in the same place 12 months from now?  What’s the impact on you – financially, emotionally, physically, mentally – of not moving forward?


How committed are you to making a major shift in your life/business/health in the next 12 months?


Then the next question follows quite easily.  What new action will you take, even if it scares you?

Focusing on the ROI can be valuable, yes. More important than that, though, is challenging your potential clients – and yourself – to get clear on what it’s costing them (or you) to stay in the same place and not invest in their results by working with you.


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