What is a Signature Program?

Debbie LaChusa
A free video tutorial from Debbie LaChusa
Online Teacher & Author
4.6 instructor rating • 17 courses • 26,698 students

Lecture description

Watch the video lesson first, then you may refer to the Signature Program EXAMPLE for a real-life example of what a signature program looks like. This is the exact signature program I've been selling for years.

Learn more from the full course

How to Design a Signature Coaching or Consulting Program

Stop Selling Your Time. Package Your Services and Sell What Your Clients Really Want and Are Willing to Pay More For.

01:49:38 of on-demand video • Updated November 2021

  • Be able to promise your clients the outcomes they want and feel confident you can deliver those outcomes
  • Know exactly how many clients you need to reach your financial and lifestyle goals
  • Have a clear process to take each client through so you can stop reinventing the wheel with each client
  • Be able to sell your services based on the value you deliver instead of what you, or your clients, think your time is worth
  • Know exactly how to get you to your income goals within the number of hours you want to work so you can have the business and income you desire
  • Be able to give your ideal clients exactly what they want, so it's easier to market and sell
  • Be able to stop selling your time and instead sell what your clients really want and will pay more for
English [Auto] OK, so in this lesson, I just want to define for you what a signature program is so that we are all starting on the same page and you know exactly what you're going to be creating in this course. Before I give you my definition, I just want to point out when potential clients come to me or a new coach or consultant comes to me and they want my help marketing their services and setting up their business. Ninety nine percent of the time they are selling their time by the hour. So there a coach or consultant and they have an hourly rate and it's posted on their website or they have a package. And typically that's a three month package or six month package and it includes so many sessions or so many calls. And then there's a price associated with that. So it's either by the hour, financially, they're selling their time or by the term in terms of the amount of time that they're selling. But in either case, they're selling their time. And in terms of consulting, it's very often the same thing. They have a consulting rate or they will do a proposal. And very often it's spec proposals for every single client. And I know because I used to be in that business and I did the same thing. And it's a lot of work when a client or prospective client comes to you and says, I'm interested in your services and you get on the phone with them or you go out and meet with them and you find out what they want, and then you put together a proposal that outlines everything you're going to do and it gives them a price. And it's usually for so many months or it's per hour or per month. And then you give them that and they sign off on it. That's a lot of work to get a client. So but that's what most people are doing. And I admit it's what I did when I started as well. So that is not what I'm going to teach you how to do in this course, because I assume you already know how to do that. And I assume because the fact that you've decided to take this course, maybe that's not working for you quite the way you'd like. So a signature program is where you package your services and you sell a definable service with a definable outcome for a specific price. So, for example, in my business over the last few years, I have had a program called it was used to be called the Personalized Business Makeover, and then I renamed it to the complete marketing makeover. Now, a little silo for you. It does not going to matter what you call it, because no one's going to care what the name is. A lot of times people are all like, oh, what am I going to call it? And they want to spend all kinds of time creating a name. I can tell you actually, I can't tell you how many times I've actually sold my signature program on a consultation with a prospective client and never even told them the name of the program. The name is not important. So but those are the names I used to identify the signature program. It was the same program. It took a process that I found I was taking all of my clients through to help them package, brand, market and sell their services. I had identifiable steps. I did that in the same order almost every single time, or if I didn't, I could easily shift the steps. But they were always the same steps. I had specific processes that I taught my clients that I took them through and I knew how long it took to take the average client through the process because I had been doing it for a while. So I had a very specific process that I was able to package. And I knew if someone went through that process that at the end they would be they would have their business set up, they would have their services package branded, marketed, and they knew how to sell. So I knew what the outcome was. That is a signature program. It wasn't how many hours I was spending. It wasn't how many calls they got with me, although those are part of my internal process. But that's not how I package and sell it. It was a program. Here's what you're going to get. Here's what you build to do at the end of the program. And here's the price. There's nothing to do with term hourly price, I couldn't even tell you what to charge by the hour. I don't have an hourly price. A signature program is a process, and it's something that you sell to every single client. Now, I've had consultants say to me, but this is fine for coaching, but does it work for consultants? And I would tell you, yes, it does, because I did the same thing when I was a consultant working with corporations and nonprofit organizations. I knew what I offered and I packaged it. Did I tweak it a little bit for every client? Yeah, I did. But I wasn't reinventing the wheel. I was not selling my time by the hour. If anything, I had a scope of work that really incorporated my process that I was going to go through with every client. And I had a monthly retainer that I assigned to that. So you will get this outcome. You will get this work from me, if you will. Not how many hours I'm going to spend for you. And this is what it's going to cost you per month. Clients like this, because I can tell you that if you've ever been on the hiring end of our culture consultant and they want to charge you an hourly rate, that's like writing a blank check, you don't know how much you're going to pay them. And conceivably you are incentivizing them to spend longer working with you. So they charge you more. So it's an uneasy feeling on the receiving end to not know how much you're paying and not know exactly what you're getting from a coach or consultant point of view. It's also a lot harder to sell your time. And the reason is it's almost like selling yourself. How do you value that? How do you decide what your time's worth per hour compared to somebody else that's a coach or consultant in your industry? It calls into question your confidence. A lot of times new coaches or consultants feel like they can't charge as much as established coaches or consultants. A lot of times I find new coaches or consultants will come to me and they ask, what should I price myself? I looked around at what other coaches and consultants are charging per hour, and I've been doing it less time than them, so I need to charge less. But it has nothing to do with the value of your time, it has to do with the value of what you're delivering to your clients. It's an outcome they are going to be able to be do or have something different or better than they had before they worked with you. And that's what they're buying. In my case. They want to have business that makes money. They want to have a business that they know how to get clients into and that they can do the work that they really want to do. They don't want to hire me per hour and pay Debbie for her time by the hour and not know what they're going to get for that. And it's the same for you. Whatever you're selling, your clients want something and you need to know what that something is. And you need to create a program and a process that will deliver that something to them so you can market and sell that. That way you don't have to market and sell your time. You don't have to feel uneasy about what your hourly rate is because you do have one. You don't have to worry about clients saying, I can't afford a six month program. Can I just hire you for a month? And they start negotiating based on term, based on what they think they can afford. And I want to ask you to think about something. If you work with a client for a month doing whatever it is you do in the way you do it right now, or if you're not in business and you're just thinking about getting a business, what you think you'll be doing with your clients, think about what you could do with a client working with them for a month. Now, think about what you could do for a client working with them for six months. I guarantee you a different result, they're going to get something different from you working with you for six months, then one month, if not, you have no business selling a six month program. I'm not trying to be sarcastic here, but the reality is you really only want to work with a client as long as it takes to get them the outcome that they're looking for. So when you have different packages based on term weeks, months, days, years, clients tend to base their decision on what to buy based on what they think they can afford. They can't afford six months or six months. Seems like a long time or I don't know if I can commit to six months. And so they'll choose a lesser involvement with you, but they may still be expecting the same outcome. And as a coach or consultant, you're not managing their expectations very well if you're selling your time that way. So by coming up with a process that has a definable term, a definable outcome and a specific price and, you know, hey, you want this outcome, this is a six month program. It takes six months. If somebody says to you, can I just buy a month? I really don't I can't afford six months. Your response to them can very confidently be I can't get you this result in six months. I've been doing this long enough to know or if you haven't and your new say, there are certain steps and things we have to go through and we can't do that in a month and get you the outcome that you want. And if they come back and they say, OK, I just can't do six months, then, you know, they're not a good fit for you as a client or you know that it's not enough of a priority or they don't have a large enough pain to commit to the six months and working with you. And again, the six months is arbitrary. And just using it to illustrate a point, it really helps you be clear about what you're selling. It helps you market the outcome. It eliminates clients negotiating on hourly rates and terms and price. It enables you to not feel like, oh, I don't know if my time is worth one hundred dollars an hour or five hundred dollars an hour. It takes the whole equation off the table because they're not buying your time, they're buying an outcome. So that's what a signature program is. And that's why I like it, because, well, there's a lot of reasons I like it. It's also a whole lot easier to predict what your income is going to be because, you know, the package that you're selling, you know how many you need to make the money you want to make and how many clients you need. We're going to go over that in the second part of this course where we talk about testing the viability financially of your signature program. But the biggest reason that I like it is it gives you something clear to market and sell, it gives your clients something clear to buy, and it really helps you focus and sell that definable outcome. So that's what a signature program is, a definable process or steps that you take every client through to get them a definable outcome, what they will be able to be do or how that's different or better than before they started working with you. OK, that's we're going to learn how to do in this course. And so in the next video, we're going to go ahead. And I'm actually going to share with you what happened in my business when I actually just two years ago after being in business since nineteen ninety eight. So I've been doing this a long time. But two years ago I decided I'm going to break this up and give my clients the choice of a bunch of different packages. And I tested that for a year. And I want to share with you what happened. Solmi me to their.