Now, today is directed a little bit more towards the freelance trainers that are out there or even those of you that maybe own your own facility or studio.
And that is because today I am going to give you a few ideas about how to package and present your personal training services.
So what do I mean by the way you package things? Well, this is basically what you would call your ‘offer’. It is what you are going to provide to a client, for how long, with the cost and payment terms all included.
So, for example, the first way that many trainers package their personal training is by offering block sessions. This is say 12 sessions a month or overseer 6 weeks for X amount of money. You can also create an offer that is say 8 sessions over 8 weeks or 36 sessions that are delivered over 3 months. It’s up to you.
Now I would say that the majority of trainers use this kind of package and positioning.
One benefit of this method includes the fact that it is nice and simple and easy to understand. But there can be a whole lot of options that might lead a potential client into decision fatigue. That is, that there are so many options available to them, that they find it hard to decide on which one is best for them.
When this happens, a lot of people will then avoid making a decision and go away with nothing and you can miss out on the client.
This shows that if you confuse, you lose!
Another potential issue with this method is that you have to set some clear boundaries around expiry dates.
To start with, when you present this type of package, it can easily look like you are charging only for sessions. Now this isn’t a great idea as we all know that when you work for a client, there is a lot that goes on outside of your session time for that client.
You put work into the programs, the nutrition, the assessments or check ins that can all be outside of the session times.
Sometimes with clients they might have health issues or injuries that you need to research or talk with their Doctors to know what the best path is for them.
So the problem comes when, say, they miss a couple of sessions and then want to get those sessions because the way you have explained it to them means in their mind they are only paying for sessions.
You can end up in a situation where your 12 sessions are no longer spread over 1 month, and they end up getting stretched over 2 months. That means that your effective hourly rate that you earn has just dropped by 50%.
That isn’t great!
And what if you for some reason need to give a refund? You have done 3 sessions plus all this work on research, programming and nutrition. But because you have sold them only on sessions, they are expecting a refund for 9 sessions. So all that extra work outside of sessions you are not going to get paid for.
Also, not great!
So, my advice is do not sell sessions. You need to sell the service as a whole…all things together. And you have to be clear about this when you explain your services and pricing.
Ok, moving on. Another way that a lot of trainers package their service is to bundle everything up over a certain time period.
A lot of transformation trainers do things this way where they will sell a 3 month transformation package. This is a much better way to do things as there is a lot more clarity over how the package works.
You can easily sell a variety of packages based on your ideal client.
Some trainers might sell a 3 month post-natal package. Others a 10k package or marathon package or even a beginner runners package.
You can have an 8 week improve your bench press, or squat or deadlift package. Or a 6 week shoulder rehab package.
There are so many possibilities based on you, your knowledge and skills and who your ideal client is.
Now, the good thing about these types of packages is that there is a definitive start and end date which is important. But more importantly it is sold as a full package rather than sessions. Clients are clear on the fact that the package includes x amount of sessions or check ins and there is a schedule for when they will happen.
But the important thing is that clients know that sessions are one part of the package they are buying and not just the only thing that they are buying.
The downside to this way of doing things this way is that it can be hard to resell to a client once the package is finished. This means that your lifetime value for each client might be restricted to only the duration of your first package which means you are missing out and potentially leaving money on the table.
So if you go down this route, try and have a ‘next thing’ that you can sell to the client.
Once a package is completed, what is the next useful thing that would help that client that you can create and sell to them?
For example, earlier I mentioned a runners 10k package. So when someone finishes that and runs their 10k, maybe the next thing you can offer them is the marathon package.
This can be a larger offer that is more expensive since training for a marathon takes longer and is more involved than running 10k.
But that’s ok, because you have already earned this clients trust, you have already shown that you can help them and you have proven your expertise.
It is a lot easier to sell to a person that has already bought from you than to find new people to sell to. So long as you did a good job the first time round.
Now, another way to position your personal training packages is to sell monthly packages where everything is clearly listed, and people are on an automatic payment system.
This way you can be clear that a time slot is clearly put aside for the client and they need to show up for sessions to make the most out of their package. If they do not come they miss out.
If they come all 12 sessions then it’s a win-win for you both. And if they do not, well, that payment comes automatically at the beginning of each month regardless.
The great thing is that there is no payment gap between renewals which help to predict your income better which can give you a lot of confidence and peace of mind.
Auto payments are a great way to go.
As a trainer you will always keep a specific slot on your calendar aside for a client.
You will always have it available for them. So if they do not come, and especially if they consistently miss sessions then there is an opportunity cost to that. Especially if that slot is at a peak time. So auto payments make it easy to cover those costs.
Now, there are different ways that you can set up recurring payments. Certain personal training software will have it built into the system and things get set up easily. But sometimes that will depend on the country you live in as to how well it works or if it will work at all.
You can also set up merchant accounts with your local payment processors such as Razorpay if you are in India. There is also the option for Stripe and PayPal which will work in hundreds of countries together.
People can even set up standing orders through netbanking if needed.
Using netbanking or a local processor is probably the most reliable way to get recurring payments set up. Once set up, a local processor will offer the least amount of resistance for your client. You can get a payment link that you can send to your client over WhatsApp or email. You can even get a small snippet of code that you can embed on your website which will fully automate the entire process.
The major benefits of this is that when a client has that automatic payment set up, they really do take things more seriously. They are generally more consistent with their sessions, get better results and are just generally better overall clients.
They value your time more and you a lot more. And you know that payments are coming on time and without hassle. I know a lot of you hate having that conversation with clients asking for renewal fees, so that can be completely eliminated from your business working this way.
Now, however you package your services there are a few things that you should always make sure that you do.
First thing is to be clear when selling your services that you are selling a service and not sessions. I can’t say it enough times!
Make sure you explain your package in a way that no client can misunderstand you in this respect.
It really will help reduce all those things we talked about earlier.
It also adds a lot of value to what you are offering. And when people see more value in what they might buy, they are far more likely to buy it.
Next up, keep in mind that you can have more than 1 package which are at different price points.
So you might have a x4 times a month, a x12 per month package and a 20 times a month package.
Some trainers will maybe call this a bronze, silver and gold package or something like that.
By doing this you can help people with their training at a budget and commitment that can suit them.
Maybe instead of x4 a month you offer, you have an online service instead that is at the lower price point.
So by having options when you are talking with a potential client can help you sign up more people.
But remember, do not give them too many options and avoid that confusion.
Having 3 options is generally considered the best in most cases. When you have 3 options, most people will choose the middle option. So in this case it would be the 12 times a month option.
So the middle option should be your main offering. The one that you want most people to buy.
Many people will avoid the most expensive as that carries the most risk and they do not want to waste money. And they will also avoid the lowest as they do not want something cheap. That might not be enough to get them what they want.
It is a weird psychological thing that happens called the ‘centre stage effect’.
It is where people choose the middle option as it is seen as the safest option since the lowest and highest choices are the extremes.
The middle is where most people live. Think of the typical ‘bell curve’ graph where most people for a given thing are all in the middle and only the outliers are at the extremes. There are not that many of them, so again, there is this feeling of safety in the middle. It’s less risky as it is what most people are or would do or choose.
The middle is safe, the middle is comfortable and that’s why most people choose it.
Now, there is also the effect called ‘price anchoring’.
Let's say you showed only the 12 times a month package and nothing else. A lot of people won’t take it as it might seem expensive.
But when that 12 times a month package is shown alongside a more expensive 20 times a month package, then all of a sudden the price will seem a lot more reasonable as you have anchored your first price at 20 times a month level.
The same people that might have refused to sign up when showing the 12 times a month package on its own, will happily sign up for the exact same package at the exact same price now compared to a larger 20 times a month package.
It’s strange how the mind works!
So even if no one ever takes your 20 times a month package, it will play a big role in you selling more of your core 12 times a month offer. Which is the one in the middle.
So there you go. Three different packages you can use for your personal training business, but also, some great tips on how to show and present your different packages at different levels to help more people and get more clients. And if people start to take your 20 sessions a month package…all the better!