I wanted to write about this concept called risk reversal.
So what is that all about?
Now, one important thing that all personal trainers need to do is to make it as easy as possible for people to give you money. And this can include a few things.
But the main thing that we need to do is to try and remove any possible resistance that might stop people from buying.
In this case, that resistance is the fear of things going wrong. Which can stop people buying.
When any purchase or deal is completed between two parties, there is always a level of risk that is taken by either the seller or the buyer.
With most purchases, when a customer pays for a product they are taking a lot of the risk.
They are risking that there will not be any issues with the product and it will be everything they expect.
They will have fears like, ‘will it maybe be in a good condition when it is delivered? Will it work the way it is meant to when I start to use it?
Risk reversal is a method of taking most, if not all of that risk and putting it on yourself, the seller, instead of the buyer to help sell more of your product or service.
In the world of products there are very common methods that a seller will use to reverse this risk which gives the buyer more confidence in their purchase.
This is what guarantees and warranties are used for. 30 day money back guarantee or a 7 day return, no questions asked policy and that type of thing.
Now, personal training isn’t a product as such, but a service. And sometimes quite an expensive one and one where many potential clients will be worried about how things will work out.
And this is a worry that will prevent many of these potential clients from signing up and becoming actual clients.
So what can we do?
Well, you can use different forms of risk reversal in your personal training business to help a potential client be more confident in buying packages from you, because the risk is now put on your shoulders.
The right kind of risk reversal can help you make more sales and convert more leads as your potential clients are not fearing missing out or wasting their money as much as they might have done before.
They will be more confident that they are doing the right thing buying from you as they have this kind of risk reversal safety net that you as the seller have provided.
For you as a trainer, you just need to make sure that you deliver on your promises so that the whole situation becomes a win-win. If you can’t, then you’ll be giving a lot away for nothing.
So what kind of risk reversal methods can you as a trainer use to take the risk and help sign more clients into your business?
One you see a lot is a guarantee on results. But this I wouldn’t recommend. There are too many variables outside of your control to make this a good idea.
But a guarantee on progress, with a few conditions does work really well.
It has worked really well for years with my clients and all the trainers that we have had at Invictus.
All clients are told that there is a guarantee on progress. So, if in a month a client has not made progress towards their goal then they will get the next month training for free.
Now, there are a couple of reasons we do free training and not any kind of money back.
First, if we really want to help people then giving them their money back and having the same experience with another trainer isn’t going to help them much.
Chances are they will have the same issues, problems or obstacles with the next trainer.
By keeping a client in our world, our ecosystem, we get a chance to figure out what is going on and eventually make an impact.
It also means that as soon as some progress is made, they will start paying again and this can sometimes be an easier process than replacing them and trying to find a brand new client with the whole process that needs to happen with that.
So you get to keep a client long term, no money has left your hand, and the client has got great service and finally started to make progress on their goals.
So your potential client either gets what they paid for which is the progress and finally hitting a goal, or they get free training until they do.
The risk is removed as no matter what happens, they win. The risk is totally removed from your side as the trainer. They can now make an investment with you knowing that one way or another, they will get great value and get their money's worth.
This is a real big talking point that they will make with friends, family or colleagues. You’ll look great and maybe get some new referral clients from it too.
It is something that is totally not expected!
The only risk now, if you can call it that, is that they do not live up to their commitment with their own training towards their own goal.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. What if the client doesn’t come, or what if they don’t do what I ask etc etc. All of that is stuff that I can't control and the client will just use this risk reveresal to get free training.
Well, there are of course some terms and conditions to this.
The first important condition to have is that any client needs to be regular.
Consistency is king! So, without it, progress is going to be hard to come by.
Next, if there is a body composition goal to the training, is that they must have measurements taken regularly by you, so you can first monitor progress, but so it will also act as proof of their progress or lack of progress.
You may also want some accountability over nutrition and have them send regular photo’s so you can keep on track with that.
You are also going to need to define what progress actually is.
And this is going to depend on the client's goal.
You need to get all these details down in a personal training agreement, have both yourself and your client sign it before getting started so you’re both on the same page.
Now, there are some methods of risk reversal you can use and should probably already be using.
A complimentary session or trial session is a great way to reverse the risk and help make a potential client more confident in their purchase.
A trial session can also help by having more time with a client to help build rapport and trust.
Higher levels of confidence in you and your services will also reduce the chance of any buyer’s remorse.
Another method that worked well was giving the first 3 sessions without any payment from the client.
If a client doesn’t like what you do they can leave without having to pay for any of the sessions.
But if they want to continue, you then backdate the payment to include those 3 sessions.
You now take all the risk.
This way the client is super confident about buying since they have had a kind of extended trial period and only get their wallet out when they are really happy.
And if you do a good job and deliver, you also won't miss out on anything as they will pay for those first 3 sessions with the rest of the package.
When we used this strategy, we didn’t have a single person come just for 3 free sessions. I think most people know that there is no real point to that as 3 sessions is nothing in the grand picture of them reaching their goals.
Three sessions isn’t going to move the needle much!
So what risk reversal strategies can you think of or what ones are you using in your personal training business?
If you're not using one…try bringing one into your workflow and see if it helps increase your conversions and client base.
If it doesn’t, don’t worry…try another one!