I was recently asked this question during CEO Office Hours and I had a lot of thoughts around the question “should I offer a payment plan?”
So here we go: Should you offer payment plans for your offers?
Here are my thoughts around payment plans (for service providers and coaches):
- It has to be done with integrity – I don’t believe in inflating the price of a payment plan beyond processing fees, they didn’t have the money up front so why tax them like that?
- There’s a certain amount of defaulting that happens that you gotta be prepared for – It can be tough to see someone stops paying even after you touch base with them and especially after you know they have consumed the content or the program.
- You have to weigh out the pros and cons if you offer a payment plan that extends beyond the service or delivery of the offer (ie. a 6 month payment plan for a 3 month program).
- It allows people to join that are interested but just don’t have the money up front.
- It requires people to show up different and raises their own belief when they pay the full amount up front.
Some things to ask yourself when thinking of a payment plan
- Is it worth it? If your course is $99 there isn’t much reason to offer a payment plan; however a $2500+ program you may consider offering monthly installments.
- Why are you offering a payment plan? What is your intention? Are you just trying to fill spots (which will likely lead to defaults)? Are you wanting to not financially stress people and give them an alternative option for payment? Is this to income stack and have some recurring income so you’re giving a PIF and payment plan option?
- Will a payment plan cause your client to stress about paying you and not focus on doing the work to get results?
- If someone defaults halfway through, how will you feel? If you do a 3 month payment plan for a 3 month program – how will you feel if someone doesn’t pay the last installment or if you are doing 6 month payment plan for a 3 month program – how will you feel if someone stops paying right after the program ends?
- In addition to this, What is your break even or happy medium number? Here’s the thing, people default on payments. This isn’t to discourage you but to really get you to think through if a payment plan for a $397 course is worth it. If someone only pays half of the course will you feel that you were fairly compensated enough to NOT STRESS about it.
- Do you have a contract or policies in place for a payment plan? When I offer payment plans I have people sign a contract agreeing to the payment plan. I do this through Dubsado and a profile is created for each person and they sign the contract with their intake form. Thankfully I’ve never had to enforce anything in my contract.
How to have a good experience with payment plans:
- Have an application process and make people sign a contract. This ensures that you are able to vet the people in your programs and 1:1 containers.
- Be committed to delivering what you promised – people will pay when they don’t feel cheated, yes they made the obligation to make the investment but you have to show up and deliver as well. Don’t just sell and ghost, engage with your students and clients. If its a course – send weekly emails. If its a program – have a check in thread where you call everyone by name.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone 1:1 if you see them falling through the cracks. Life happens and this gesture may save your payment because even though they may be too busy they still honor their investment
- Be open to extending/altering the payment plan for someone who is willing
- Require the payment be completed prior to service. ie for weddings they had to pay 1 month before but had a year to make a $5K investment or for VIP days you can pay in two installments but the final balance is due a week before our call. Even for a program you can require full payment prior to the program starting but this would mean that you would need to promote it earlier – which shouldn’t be a problem. So if you run a 3 month program you can send it to your waitlist to join on a payment plan two months before to give them extra time to pay BEFORE the program starts, this locks in their seat and makes sure that you can show up fully and deliver knowing that you were paid.
Those are my thoughts on should you offer payment plans for your offers. I love offering payment plans but I also have had enough experience to know the pros and the cons around offering them. I hope this prepares you just a little bit as you offer your services and programs when making the decision to offer (or not to offer) a payment plan.
IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVER:
- Should you offer payment plans for your offers?
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- CEO Digital Shop
- Join us in the BecomingCEO Method!
- Check out my last episode on How to prepare for maternity leave as a CEO
- Follow me on Instagram: @mrskayhillman
- Follow the podcast on Instagram: @becomingceo
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