It's tempting to offer special deals, introductory offers and bargains to entice new clients to train with you. However, there’s a fine line between attracting more clients and seriously devaluing your services. Here, we explain the sensible way to approach specials.
- Don’t offer anything for free
A free trial or training session is sure to hook in new prospective clients, but it isn’t guaranteed to retain them when the time comes for them to start paying for your services. “It can be useful to have a front end offer in place so people can try out your services before fully committing to a plan, but at the same time it’s important that a prospect has a bit of ‘skin in the game’, even if it’s just offering the first PT session at a reduced rate, instead of for free,” says Tom Hart, Asia-Pacific Manager at NPE Coaching. “That creates a bit more value and means you’ve got someone willing to pay for your services, rather than just wanting to pick up a freebie.”
- How much to discount
Your competition might be offering heavily discounted training packs and memberships, but undercutting them won’t serve you, if your goal is to create a sustainable, profitable business. “Offering three training sessions for $40 when you’d normally charge $60 for a session just isn’t going to work, because you need to ensure that the people you’re bringing into your business can afford your services at the full rate,” advises Hart. As a general rule for discounting, he suggests offering your services at around 80% of what you’d normally charge.
- Prequalifying clients
To ensure you’re not just attracting bargain-hunters who disappear the moment a promo expires, prequalify new clients first. “You need a few hoops for new clients to jump through, otherwise you end up offering free trials to people that aren’t looking to commit long-term,” says Hart. He advises having an initial conversation with a new client, where you prequalify them, based on three things: the price of your services and whether it’s in their budget; if they’re the decision maker of the family (and can therefore pay for training); and finally, whether they’re really committed to achieving their health and fitness goals. “If it turns out that someone can’t afford your full rate, ask them what their budget is and refer them to a facility that charges that, rather than reducing your pricing to suit them,” says Hart.
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