Every week, I talk to people who want to choose the right coaching school for them...
And of course, money is always an important concern. Recently, the topic of money-back guarantees came up in a couple of conversations.
A few coaching schools offer money-back guarantees and they're a bad deal for several reasons.
For starters, they give new coaches the illusion that they have nothing to lose and boy, is that not true!
Reason 1: The Opportunity Cost is Far Higher Than the Tuition
Months ago, a coach contacted me who was attending a coaching school that I used to teach for, which offered a money-back guarantee when he joined in 2003. After years of taking zillions of classes, he still doesn't have a coaching business. Now he realizes he's in the wrong coaching school, wants his money back and thinks SCM may be the answer. He'd been contacting the other school for months to get his money and so far, has just gotten a run around. He told me he'd join SCM as soon as he has his money back. He's still waiting.
Result? Most coaches can put together a professional coaching business within a year or less, with the right support (Yes, even in this economy). And a moderately successful coaching business can easily earn $50,000 per year. (Some coaches earn six figures, some coaches, a lot less.) So if this coach had been coaching full-time since 2004, making $50,000 per year for five years, he'd have made $250,000 by now.
Not only that, he'd be spending his days doing what he loves instead of putting in thousands of hours at a job he can't stand.
So for a "no-risk" investment of a few thousand dollars, he's cost himself hundreds of thousands and years of his life.
Reason 2: No Risk No Reward
As I said, I used to teach at the afore-mentioned school. With low tuition and a money-back guarantee, it grew quickly. There were some highly-talented coaching students there - and there were a bunch who probably should never have gone into coaching. With a low entry barrier, many people who had heard you could make big bucks as a coach had joined. Still others had lost their jobs in the last recession and joined that school because they wanted out of the rat race and thought they had nothing to lose. If we make starting a coaching business sound too easy and coach training, no-risk, people join without being sure they really want to become coaches.
Result? Lack of commitment. And unfortunately, lack of commitment usually leads to lack of success. (Ask any successful coach. We're in the business of success.) In addition, the coaches who don't belong are unhappy and their lack of success becomes an energy drain for the whole community.
Reason 3: The School May Not (Be Able to) Return Your Money
The man who started that school was good for it and he was extraordinarily talented and completely sincere. However, he passed away suddenly of a heart attack, leaving the school to one of his colleagues. By the time the estate lawyers were finished with it, the school's resources were depleted. And many of the students were unhappy with the change of command. They wanted their money back.
Result? Student requests for refunds went unanswered for months. Some gave up; some took legal action. No fun for anyone.
Reason 4: You Don't Really Want Your Money Back
Nobody joins a coaching school hoping it won't work out and then they'll have to ask for their money back. What they want is to become a successful coach. If you sincerely want to become a successful coach, look for something better than a money-back guarantee. Look for a school whose students are succeeding. Not just an exceptional few, but the vast majority. That school will require you to put your "butt on the line" as my coach would say. They won't accept just anybody with a credit card. They'll check you out, to make sure you're serious about coaching, even while you're checking them. And they will guarantee value: Effective class material, the best instructors, a proven path to success.
Result? You get what you really want: A successful career as a coach.
Reason 5: Getting what you pay for is way better than getting your money back.
You want to get it right the first time, don't you? So, look for a school that guarantees the value you really want. That's a Value-Back Guarantee.
You've probably guessed that SCM doesn't offer a money-back guarantee. But we do have a Value-Back Guarantee. What does that mean? If you put your own butt on the line by taking advantage of all the resources we provide and do your best to follow our instructions - and it doesn't work out for you (Ex: You don't pass certification or you can't find clients) we won't offer you a refund, we'll bust OUR butts to give you what's missing (like, individual attention, new course material), because our job's not done until until you have everything you need to be successful.
Our coaching students are building successful businesses. And not after years and years of stuggling. They're building coaching success in their very first year - even in this recession!
Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2009