I remember being a fairly new trainer in the industry. I had plenty of experience in the gym prior to getting my national certification. But I didn’t have a lick of experience actually building a training program for anyone, let alone asking them to pay me anywhere near what the gym was charging them for my services. I thought to myself often, “I don’t want to be a salesperson, I just want to train people.” In actuality, you’re always a salesperson if you’re a trainer. And your confidence in how you speak about your value matters.
There is a common “Catch 22” I hear often. “I don’t have the experience, so who’s going to pay me $120 a session?” and the “I don’t have any clients because I’m new, so how can I get more experience?” juxtaposition. I understand it because I was there once.
Recently I had a conversation with a trainer that went something like this:
Them: I want to start up an online training business because I haven’t hit my monthly revenue goal yet and I’m almost tapped out on how many in-person clients I can train without getting too burnt out.
Me: Have you done online training before?
Them: Yes. I’m not really a fan of it, to be honest.
I’m going to pause in the conversation for a second. This trainer already knew they’d likely be miserable if they did online training because it wasn’t in their heart and the in-person service was really what they excelled at. Now that takes some self-awareness, so if that trainer is reading this right now; I commend you!
Me: There are 4 main ways you can make more revenue. You can #1 Increase the number of clients you're training, which you already said you’re just about tapped out on. You can #2 increase the offering to each client by up-selling them more stuff, say nutrition coaching as an added service. The #3 thing you can do is increase the frequency of training your clients are doing now, but similar to #1 you don’t really seem to have the hours to pack more sessions in. Finally, the #4 way to increase your revenue is what you really need to do. Raise your prices. Your time is already in demand and you’re giving deals to clients for far less than new clients and your current high-value clients are willing to pay.
Them: You’re right. I need to charge more.
This conversation literally happened twice in two days with two different trainers so I knew it was a sign that other trainers are out there selling themselves short on what they can be charging. Now there’s an art to that conversation we won’t get into here, but just know that if you already have a full book of clients and haven't hit your revenue goals, you need to be charging more. I understand you may not feel worthy, especially if you’re a new trainer and you’ve seen some early success with a full book of business, but you definitely need to charge what the market is telling you you’re worth. Some clients may have to drop their frequency because of the increase, but you’ll make that up quick by spreading the higher price point among your existing clients and signing up new (higher paying) clients to fill those gaps.
Will you lose some clients who aren’t willing to pay more? Yes, absolutely. And those are probably the clients haggling on price and tough to track down when it’s time to purchase a new package. Open up your schedule and take on the people that are willing to pay what you’re worth.
All this is easier said than done. So I want to offer you a complimentary business strategy session so we can look at your individual situation and access how you can best approach it. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or a DM @coachmikeurso on all the major platforms.
NOTE: Don’t go and raise all your rates on your clients unexpectedly without a plan. It’s a sure way to have it go horribly wrong!
You can also check out The Fit Coach Consultant Podcast HERE where I talk a lot about topics like this as well as, getting referrals, marketing yourself effectively in 2019, and more.
Check out this article on how to set up a Formal Referral System for your business to keep a steady flow of referrals (the best kind of client) coming in.