At this time of year, you might be asked by people whether you would sell them a gift voucher or gift certificate for coaching. You could be wondering whether selling gift vouchers might be a good marketing tactic and a way of generating cash flow this side of the festive season.
A Gift Voucher or Gift Certificate could be given as a gift for a partner, family member or friend. It could also be given by you to your existing or lapsed clients to entitle their friends or family to a complimentary coaching session to start off the new year right.
Once someone has claimed their session, they may go on to become a paying client, so offering gift vouchers could be seen as a lead generation exercise.
I am going to tell you what needs to go onto a gift voucher, but before I do, there are some words of caution about offering this type of service:
- People have to want it. You already know that the clients who respond best to coaching, whether it be life coaching, executive coaching, spiritual coaching, etc, are those people who are ready for it and have actively sought out a coach. If someone has already bought a session for them, they could be jumping the gun or leave their loved one wondering if they were trying to tell them something. A little like if someone receives lots of perfumes and soaps for Christmas; they start to wonder if they smell!
- The Chemistry needs to be right. Choosing a coach is a very personal choice. You know that when you are talking to a prospective client that if the vibes are not right you may not be the right coach for them. If someone chooses a coach for someone else, they may not get the chemistry right.
- Commitment. Part of the reason that coaching can works so well is that the client has made a commitment, usually a financial commitment, to playing their part in the process. Without that commitment, you may be faced with a passive client who stares at you with a 'go on then, coach me' attitude.
Assuming having read the above, you do still want to go ahead and offer gift vouchers to existing clients and/or prospective clients, here's how you do it.
Design & Print
Depending on how many gift vouchers or certificates you are going to sell, you may either decide to design and print them yourself or decide to get them professionally printed. It is possible to produce a decent-looking gift voucher on your home computer and printer as look as you don't over complicate the design. Avoid photos, just stick to standard colors and text printed onto white card. If you do want a professional job, ask your printer to print a small quantity on a digital press because this means you can get 5 or 10 printed at a time as you need them. You are unlikely to need hundreds printed.
- Your Name or Your Company Name: If you are a limited company, you should have your registered office details on it.
- Your Contact Details: the recipient is going to need to contact you to book their session!
- Name of session/programme, e.g. one hour life coaching session or Brand New You Programme
- Value of session (optional)
- Expiry Date: You need to have an expiry date otherwise you may be asked to cash in the voucher at any time in the future. A period of 6 or 12 months is usually sufficient to allow the recipient to claim their session from you.
- Serial Number: Give each of your vouchers a different number so that you can track which ones have been redeemed and which are outstanding.
Remember that you don't have to print all of the above onto the voucher. You could leave space to fill in the session name, expiry date or serial number by hand as you issue them.
Other Optional Text/Terms & Conditions
There may be other text that you want to put on your gift voucher or gift certificate. Examples are:
- whether you will allow them to use the vouchers in conjunction with any other offer. If you are planning a New Year promotion, can people use their gift voucher to pay for it?
- your working hours. If you only coach on certain days or at certain times, you might want to make this clear on your voucher
Offering Gift Vouchers can be a great way to attract new clients to your coaching practice.
Disclaimer: The above does not constitute legal advice of any form. You are advised to seek specialist advice if you are unsure of the legality of offering gift vouchers and promotions in your own country before going ahead with any gift voucher or related promotion. We accept no liability for any errors or omissions in the above article.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Have you your own experience in this area that you would like to share? We welcome our members contribution. If you have a success story or something to add please feel free to add your comments below.