Using the True-Cost Framework

Want to recommend that your clients eat organic, invest in natural beauty products, or pay for your valuable services—but you’re afraid they’ll all say, “I can’t! It’s too expensive!”

Try the true-cost framework. Have your readers ask themselves: What is not taking care of my health right now really costing me?

You don’t have to spell out this question for readers in the literal sense (though you can). You can evoke this feeling by sharing anecdotes about the long-term consequences of, say, undiagnosed diabetes or poor posture, a sedentary lifestyle or a daily Ben & Jerry’s habit

Or make comparisons with habits that have well-known consequences. Take smoking, for example. A lifetime of smoking can lead to emphysema and cardiovascular disease…. Just like a lifetime of exposure to toxic chemicals in conventional beauty products could prove to be a factor in cancer development.

This Framework Works for ANY Modality

You can use this strategy no matter your modality or area of focus. Let’s say you’re a marriage therapist. An unhealthy relationship now might show up as small, relatively tolerable bickering—something clients aren’t ready to pay to fix. But what is the long-term damage of not tending to that relationship now? Corrosive resentment, toxic emotions and, potentially, separation and divorce. It’s okay to remind your readers that a little prevention now can go a long way.  

Or you’re a business or leadership coach. What do your readers stand to lose in terms of career trajectory if they don’t develop their skills now? Maybe you’re a holistic interior decorator and feng shui expert. What are the long-term consequences of living in a space that makes a person feel unmotivated, listless, and sad?  

Don’t Mention the Expense, Mention the True Costs

So when you’re worried about people balking at the cost of services, don’t evoke the expense—don’t say, “It’s expensive, but worth it.” Instead, frame it as: “Health is your most important asset. Investing in it now is cheaper in the long run.”

The beautiful part about this framework is that it’s NOT a sleazy strategy to get people to work with you. It’s TRUE. The costs we pay with poor health, crappy relationships, and unfulfilled lives are far higher than the monetary expense.

What you’re doing by using the true cost framework is helping people see what really matters in their lives, what is truly worth paying for.

Weekly writing affirmation: What is the true cost of not hiring me?

Cost effectively,



What is the true cost of not taking the afternoon off and cuddling your dog?

What is the true cost of not taking the afternoon off and cuddling your dog?

Laine Bergeson