Strategies To Maximize The Amount of Money You Make
On Each Of Your Fitness Training Clients So You Never Again Need To
Rely On Charging Rock Bottom Prices
Three years ago the average boot camp was $300
Today it’s $100
Well I got good news in the form of a big fat double negative for ya…
I’m here to tell you right now there is no need and no excuse NOT to make a lot of money for your training, and you don’t need to rely on rock bottom pricing strategies either
Some of the biggest complaints and concerns I hear from trainers these days are…
1. The economy sucks, people wanna pay bottom dollar for training
2. Everyone seems to be hopping around from one cheap daily deal offer to the next each month
3. How can I compete when my competitors are offering $5 Drop-In Anytime You Want Boot Camps? And there’s even free boot camps at the local big box gym taught by the same moron that teaches the Zumba class
4.It seems the only way to compete is by lowering my prices… but I already charge bare minimum
5. My dog ate my homework
6. I was holding the stuff for a friend
7. I don’t have enough certifications yet, my town is beat, I’m waiting to handle XYZ first before I can ________, I’m too short, too tall, too skinny, too fat and I can’t Zumba dance worth a damn… plus all my shake-weights are broken and I don’t have money for new ones.
Often when I start working with a trainer on marketing their business, the whole “economy/daily deal/$5 boot camp/everyone’s going to CrossFit” stuff are the first reasons that they give me for their current lack of success
My typical response is “Awesome, this is great news”
After I get the typical “WTF?” reaction, I explain that these aren’t problems at all, and with just a few strategies these worries will disappear for good
However, if you’re thing is training 50 people at a time for low dollar, doin’ the whole Costco / Sam’s Club Volume thing where you get a tiny bit of money for each person, this post has some of stuff that won’t apply very well in that kind of environment… some of it will, but the rest of it won’t
As the 50 people a time model lends itself to a budget based pricing strategy… mass bulk groups = mass bulking discounts in many instances… UNLESS OF COURSE you have some partner trainers come in and work under and you split the group up into three or four smaller groups of 10-20 people, then that’s a different story
Now there’s nothing wrong with bulk rate boot camps… training 50 people at a time for 5 bucks a head is $250 an hour, in that case just keep doin’ your thing man… power to you
But if you wanna command more per client, attract a higher end client base who can actually afford to pay what you’re worth AND differentiate yourself from all the low end training services out there … then you’ll wanna apply what I’m about to share with you
I touched on some of this in the recent How To Grow a Personal Training Business Post, but today we’re gonna dig much deeper
We’re gonna wanna take a multi-faceted approach here… these are the areas we wanna focus on to fix this problem…
Fish For Whales, Not Guppies
If you’re getting your leads from Daily Deal sites, Free Offers, Lead Gen Boxes, Craigslist Ads and the like, I hate to tell you but you’re marketing to bottom feeders.
Nothing wrong with that, bottom feeders need to shape up too, and get enough of them and you can make a decent living… you’ll probably have a lot of headaches, but you’ll make some good money for your pain none the less.
If you wanna get Whales, don’t market to guppies… are guppies a bottom feeder? I have no idea, but you get my point
Focus on marketing in places where your ideal audience is hanging out
Print mags in local media that targets the affluent beats cheap online classifieds that deviants and deadbeats troll for sexual excursions and free stuff
And focus on getting referrals from your clients with money, most people with money have friends and co-workers with money, just like most broke people pretty much only know more broke people
Focus on running serious transformation contests for people willing to put in the work… those will pull in a MUCH higher quality of client than running a bunch of daily deal promotions…
Remember, people with good work ethic in one area typically have good work ethic in other areas… the clients who train the hardest, while they may not be rich, often times are more on top of their financial situation then your lazy clients are… lazy people are generally lazy in more areas than one
Create a Message To Match The Market YOU WANT
What’s your message?
Free Two Weeks? Only $97 Per Month?
That’s not necessary a BAD message, that message can work GREAT… great for getting broke people who can’t afford to pay what you’re worth
If your message is that you’ll take anyone, anytime, anywhere and you have the lowest rates in town, then you’ll get clients who are broke and will probably do their damnedest to walk all over you and suck you dry for every bit of peace of mind you’re worth
Make sure your message is targeted to the right people.
Integrate Some Niche-Targeted Marketing Funnels
Now, I’m not gonna tell you to just create a “niche” business, because while niche training business can be good, they can also leave a lot of good potential clients on the table
HOWEVER… you can create marketing funnels to niches who are most likely to have money
What niches are likely to have money?
Well, a few are people who’ve recently had cosmetic surgery, triathletes, cyclists, golfers, busy entrepreneurs and CEO’s
Learn some specialization for these groups, and then create marketing funnels to pull them in
Not that you need to ONLY train people within niches, but niche selective marketing can help target and pull in those types of clients
And if you live near neighborhoods where there lots of money, be sure to do some targeted direct mail… right now in the U.S. direct mail for local businesses is about half what it used to cost using the Post Office’s new Every Door Direct Mail
Create a Velvet Rope Around Your Business
“I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member” Groucho Marx
Create some real exclusivity to what you do
My friends Ryan Lee and Jim Labadie used to call it Velvet Rope Marketing
People want to get into the nightclub that they can’t get in to
If you went to a cosmetic surgeon or an attorney, do you want the guy who will see you anytime for any fee?
Or the guy who’s practically booked solid and only has a few spots available? You want the one who’s IN DEMAND
Do women want the guy who no other women are interested in and has no life and will avail himself to her every beckoning need and text and call her 87 times a day?
Or do females usually want the guy the other females are into, the one who has a full life, and in fact, she can’t even really tell if he’s into her or not? …
The 2nd dude’s all interesting and mysterious, while the first dude’s just an annoying chump
In fact the two guys could be twins and look the EXACTLY the same, but because of the Social Proof and Scarcity, twin number two has her interest, while twin number one DOES NOT
My training groups were an average of $50 per person for groups of 6 people at a time… well $49 to be exact, but let’s just call it fifty for the sake of simplicity
Now, I was in a gym surrounded by one-on-one trainers who charged $25 for one-on-one private sessions
They made $25 an hour, I made $300 an hour
They would take ANYONE, I would not
Many of them would train anytime and accept cash for one workout at a time
I only trained 3 days a week with two 4 hour blocks on each of the three days… averaging close to 70 clients, and only worked with people on long term agreements
Many of the other trainers trained 6-7 days a week, trained morning, noon and night and had a FRACTION of the clients I did
EVEN THOUGH most of them were MUCH prettier and in better shape than I was, and they certainly held the most certs from more organizations…
They were hurting for clients
I was booked solid
Not trying to sound cool, because most of these trainers where much cooler than I could ever hope to be, just making the point that if you put off a needy vibe, it will repel people, ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH MONEY…
If you’re exclusive, in demand and booked solid with the exception of just a few spots… people with money will practically BEG YOU TO TAKE THEM
Especially if you do this next thing…
Use Qualifying Consultative And Take Away Sales, NOT Pushy Sales Tactics
Ok, I can’t stand pushy sales guys, I feel my inner defensiveness immediately take over and I go into retreat “get the fuck away from me” mode, whether they”re trying to sell me a gym membership, a car, on some multilevel marketing thing, or on their religion… EVEN IF I BELIEVE IN THE SAME RELIGION MYSELF
We’re wired like this, they push, we either wanna retreat or push-back
When a trainer tries to push his services on someone it smells of desperation
If you wanna earn more money per client, then I recommend more of the “pulling back” approach, an approach that makes them WANT to train with you
An approach that dis-qualifies anyone who isn’t a good fit for you services… like those who can’t afford you, and those who don’t wanna train hard ( Personally I only liked training people who wanted to give me their all, in fact many of my clients were fit people who already worked out but just wanted to take things to the next level )
I actually found ways of making people try to talk ME into training them… and I’m the dude who when I worked at a 24 Hour Fitness and tried their approach to sales, I only signed up one person in 3 weeks… ONE
With the consultative style, I averaged closer to one a day, sometimes more
Keep in mind, I SUCK AT PUSHY IN-PERSON SALES… it just makes me nervous and I feel like an asshole…
It even made me nervous, when my boss, Mr Pushy Training Manager Sales Guy… or whom I liked to refer to as Total Dick… when he would push personal training on people who didn’t want it… And I wasn’t even the one doing the selling… I could feel the negative vibes of the bad juju from ten feet away
I even witnessed him hold an old lady’s drivers license hostage one time while she went to her car to get her credit card, he was so freaked out that she was gonna bail before signing the contract he wanted to hold her drivers license while she went outside…. See where I got the name Total Dick?
I’m a horrible salesman… horrible, don’t like it, not my thing, save that stuff for the car lots and boiler rooms
So as you can see my results at getting a lot of clients years later when I was on my own had nothing to do with me, they had everything to do with the APPROACH I was using
I got help creating a consultative/take-away sales script, then I practiced, tested, tweaked and improved
Consultative Selling as defined by About.com is a selling technique in which the salesperson acts as an expert consultant for his prospect, asking questions to determine the prospect’s needs and then using that information to select the best product or service for those needs..
I simply mixed that with a little of Velvet Rope/Take-Away/Exclusivity stuff and Wala! … I had my script
The first part of my script started on the phone, where after digging and getting to the REAL reason they’re looking for a trainer, which is typically like the 5th or 6th reason they give, RARELY THE 1st…
I would qualify them to make sure they…
- They can commit to a long term program and aren’t moving out of the country in 3 weeks
- They can afford me … so there’ll be none of this “Let me check my finances” when it comes time to sign up
- They’re willing to eat mostly good healthy foods
- They’re the decision maker… so there’s none of that “let me check with my husband” B.S.
- They’re ok with telling me no if they come in and decide they don’t like me, the gym or my training, because at the end of the workout it’s either a yes or no decision, I don’t allow “Think about its”
- And they clearly understand I don’t accept everyone as client, so when they come in, it’s for them to see how they like it, and for me to see if I feel they’re a good fit for my program
On the phone I make sure they can afford my services and take away any reason they wouldn’t sign up when they come in except they don’t like me, the gym or my training… if that’s their reason, I’m cool with it… but those reasons were RARE
My script diffused all those normal objections trainers deal with at sign up time, I demolish on the phone
And there are things I do on the phone where I’m almost trying to talk them out of training with me … all done in a way that makes them want to train with me MORE
While other trainers are begging for their money, I’m pulling away from the money, making them practically beg for me to take it
If someone isn’t a good fit, the phone call ends in 1 to 5 minutes and I never need to waste my time with them in the gym
PLUS… I got their credit card numbers on the phone to hold the workout and let them know that they would be billed the full cost of a normal workout if they didn’t show up or give 24 hours notice
While I turned down a lot of appointments that many trainers would have taken right there on the phone, I had a damn near 100% close rate after the call as you can get
I had almost zero people flake on the first workout, down from a close to 50% flake rate, and I would simply continue the script once they came in the gym and sign them up on one of my long term programs
A trainer’s dream come true
This script takes a little bit a balls, something I’m gonna get to a little further down in this post... but if you don’t have balls, I recommend going and getting a job working for someone else and let them nurture your umbilical cord, get you clients and control your future
Cuz’ owning a training business… especially one where you’re not charging rock bottom prices, takes some cajones
Maximize The Value Exchange
Most of my readers are well aware that there are three big ways to make more money in your training business… get more leads… convert a higher percent of those leads into paying clients, and then do things to maximize the value exchange between you and the client
Well, by offering upsells on things that help your clients reach their goals or help make reaching their goals easier…
Stuff like nutrition coaching, supplements, meal delivery services, life coaching, add-on classes for a monthly fee, boot camp add-ons for your personal training clients, personal training add-ons for your boot camp clients, super high end exclusive training services for the 5% of people who will HAPPILY pay 500% what your typical client would pay… where you go food shopping with them once in while, do refrigerator spot checks, make them text you pics of every thing they put in their bodies, and so on
You can also maximize the value exchange of the relationship by doin’ things to retain the client as long as possible
How does this add value to them?
Well, if you train someone for 5 years you can have a much more powerful impact on their life and health and fitness as compared to 5 weeks
And the lifetime value is DRAMATICALLY increased… we’re talking the difference between making a few hundred dollars on that client as compared to tens of thousands of dollars from a client
Now, one of the most important things you can to make as much money per client as possible
According To Wikipedia:
Differentiation is a concept used in business strategy and describes one of the three ways to establish competitive advantage. Differentiation advantage occurs when a firm delivers greater services for a non-unlimited higher price than its competitors. They are collectively known as positional advantages because they denote the firm’s position in its industry as a leader in either superior services or cost. Product differentiation is what allows firms in monopolistic competition (a market structure) to sell their products at different prices, even though they are essentially the same.
Differentiation comes down to this: You have to be able to say that you’re the only service that can do X or deliver X result.
And when you differentiate, you are bound the current average pricing structure of your local competition
But if all you offer is another watered down boot camp just like all the others, you won’t be able to earn that much off of each person, in that case all you need to do is focus on leads and expansion and get a few hundred clients
Both ways work
And… Get Your Head Straight
One thing to keep in mind… if you internally BELIEVE you’re training isn’t worth very much, that you’ll need ten more PT certs and a Zumba cert before you can succeed, if you’re scared of commanding what you’re worth and up-selling people on programs you feel can help them, then you’re gonna run into all kinds of problems
You’ll project your in-securities and lack of confidence onto the people around you and guess what… $5 is what they’ll wanna pay you and for your workouts
You gotta work through that stuff, because it will hold you back until you do
Sure we all have fears, but those of us who succeed are the ones who walk through them and act in spite of them… remember this: Action Alleviates Anxiety
Get you’re inside right, and your outside world will come together, funny thing is, often to get the inside right, we gotta take action on the outside
No one spells it out better than one of my favorite bloggers Julien Smith
From The Blog Post: Stop Being a Fucking Pussy
In every industry, there is an edge. In your business or personal life, it doesn’t matter– somewhere, there is a cliff. Most people don’t want to get to close to it, because they’re afraid they’ll fall off.
Thing is, the edge is where all the cool stuff happens. I know you don’t want to make a decision that is irrevocable and wrong– a decision from which you might never recover– that’s natural. But guess what?
You are actually in the middle of an open field, inside your house, clutching your purse, crying like a little girl while looking at an edge you see on television.
In other words? You are nowhere near the goddamn edge.
It’s time you stopped being a fucking pussy.
You want a better blog, a more profitable business, a happier marriage, or a better life? You want to meet a girl, or travel to Asia, or lose weight, or meet an Asian girl who’ll help you lose weight, or something else? Great! So does everyone.
Just to be clear: for other people, it is entirely clear that you haven’t fully committed. If you had, you would be closer. Why?
You would do the exercises.
You’d put in the hours.
You’d take people’s advice (especially if it made you uncomfortable!).
You’d learn to talk to people.
You would find a system.
- Julien Smith
From The Blog Post: The Complete Guide To Not Giving a Fuck
People are judging you right now.
Yes, it’s really happening right at this moment. Some people don’t like you, and guess what? There’s nothing you can do about it. No amount of coercion, toadying, or pandering to their interests will help. In fact, the opposite is often true; the more you stand for something, the more they respect you, whether it’s grudgingly or not.
What people truly respect is when you draw the line and say “you will go no further.” They may not like this behavior, but so what? These are people don’t like you anyway, why should you attempt to please people who don’t care for you in the first place?
Right. Then, there’s Internet trolls. That’s a whole other thing.
Regular people are fine– you don’t actually hear it when they’re talking behind your back. But on the web, you do see it, which changes the dynamic drastically. They have an impact because they know you have your vanity searches, etc. But the real problem with Internet haters is that they confirm your paranoid delusion that everyone out there secretly hates you.
Thankfully, that’s not actually true. So the first noble truth is that most people don’t even care that you’re alive. Embrace this, my friends, for it is true freedom. The world is vast and you are small, and therefore you may do as you wish and cast your thoughts of those who dislike it to the side.
- Julien Smith
If wanna get deeper into this stuff and pick up a TON tools you can use to make as much money per client as possible, there’s something your gonna wanna keep your eyes out for…
It’s called Profit Maximizer, and it’s gonna to help you make the most amount of your money out of each client you get, maximizing how much you make per person…. hence, The Profit Maximizer …
If you’re on my email list, I’ll be letting you know about it soon, as well as sending you all kinds of other cool free stuff
In the meantime, I’m working with a few eager trainers personally to help them to get on pace for their goals as fast as reasonably and realistically possible, which is actually pretty damn fast by the way… you can learn more about this opportunity by clicking here
Basically the deal is this, if you’d like my personal help in your training business to get it to the level you want it to be at, but maybe haven’t taken the leap in this past due to the $5,000 price tag that I normally charge for my coaching… I’ve got something you might wanna jump on board with while it’s available
For a short time I’ll be opening the doors on one of my most successful programs to date… my Fitness Business Makeover Fast Start Program… it cost about 10% or what my typical Mentoring Program costs and is designed to get you on pace to your goals fast… You Can See The Program HERE
I’d love to hear your comments below…