[ January 30, 2017 by Fitness Revolution 4 Comments ]

Should You Offer A Trial?

Offering a trial or low cost test drive for your personal training programs is a great way to get more clients, but only if you know how to convert them. Avoid the key mistakes many trainers make when offering a trial.

(Last Updated On: September 23, 2019)

Offering a Trial

There’s nothing new about offering a trial or test drive program for your personal training or group training programs at this point. Nearly everyone is doing something.

At Fitness Revolution we even teach it as a part of your sales and marketing strategy. We call these programs Front End Offers (FEO). They are designed to be a low barrier to entry experience for potential clients that may be on the fence about joining your regular program (we call it your Core Offer).

Trouble is many business owners are relying on the Front End Offer to sell their programs for them and thus have hurt their business.

Front End Offers are designed to be a low barrier to entry experience for potential clients.

Many FEOs actually provide more value than the Core Offer. To compensate for less than adequate marketing and low sales skills many trainers will throw the kitchen sink at prospective new clients to get them into an FEO. Then it becomes incredibly difficult to get the client to commit to the Core Offer at a higher price point.

Traditionally FEOs have been free or low cost offers. Every so often a trainer would run a challenge or contest with a lot of bells and whistles as an FEO. Now it seems that everyone is running free or low cost offers and throwing in all the extras for all their FEOs, all of the time.

For the prospective client this is confusing! Why would they pay $200/mo or more for your regular program when they just paid $49 for a 21 day program will all the extras.

There are 3 solutions to the problem…

Lower the value of the FEO

Take away some of the bells and whistles while still providing a good experience. The purpose of your FEO isn’t to achieve the final result for the client. It’s to help them see how you will help them achieve the final result by giving them a taste of what you offer.

Increase the value of your Core Offer

If you want to continue to provide all the bells and whistles with your FEO, then you have to really ramp up the perceived value of your Core Offer. You can do this by being great at selling the benefits of the Core Offer to the client or adding in some special incentives to join.

Change your pricing

You can raise your FEO or lower your Core Offer price points to overcome this as well. Raising your FEO prices will reduce the price jump someone will make, but it doesn’t completely solve the issue you created in the first place. Lowering your Core Offer price is a risky move that I typically wouldn’t suggest.

Your best bet would be to evaluate your FEO and determine the perceived value to your client and compare that to your perceived value of your Core Offer. To do this create a list of all the features and benefits of your FEO and your Core Offer. Assign a dollar value to each of these items.

While this isn’t a perfect way to identify the perceived value, it is a step in the right direction. Now you can compare the two programs to determine which one you’ve made more valuable to your prospective clients.

For example, if your FEO is 21 days and your list looks like this:

  • 3 weeks of 3x per week training = $249 Value
  • Nutrition Plan = $99 Value
  • Accountability Calls = $99 Value
  • Assessment = $49 Value

That’s a perceived value of $496.

Your Core Offer may look like this:

  • 3/week personal training for the month ($399 Value)

That’s a perceived value of $399, and you’re likely asking the person to commit for 3 months or more.

Do you see the disconnect?

Unfortunately, this is the approach that many trainers take when trying to attract new clients to their business. You could improve conversions from your FEO to your Core Offer if you simply remove some of the bonuses in the FEO and added them to the CO.

For example…


  • 3 weeks of 2x per week training ($179)
  • Assessment ($49)
  • Weekly Nutrition Tips via email ($49)

Perceived value of $277.

You could charge $49-$99 for this FEO.

Core Offer

  • 3x per week training each month ($399)
  • Weekly Accountability Check-Ins ($99)
  • Jump Start Package of bands, foam roller, and cook book ($199)
  • 8 Week Nutrition Course delivered online ($199)
  • 1-1 Goal Setting Meeting ($99)

Perceived value of $995.

You could charge $399-499/mo for this Core Offer. Most of the work is front loaded to the first 8 weeks to add value to get someone to sign up. The rest can be delegated or automated as needed.

A slight shift in your presentation can make your FEO more valuable to your business. And then a few times per year pull out all the stops to run a big contest or challenge where you provide all the bells and whistles.

Just price it accordingly 🙂

Should you offer a trial or FEO?

Absolutely, just don’t let it devalue your Core Offer.

Comments [04]

  1. February 6, 2017

    Thanks Ryan. We have fallen into this trap and are changing our options for both FEO and CO.

    • Ryan Ketchum
      February 6, 2017

      My pleasure Adam! It’s pretty common, and having a FREE trial isn’t always bad. You have to weigh the pros and cons and evaluate your numbers to know what will work for your business. It’s the difference in playing the volume game vs highly qualified prospects. You can get leads and FEOs quite a bit cheaper if it’s free but the quality may not be great. On the other hand you’ll have to work harder/pay more for highly qualified FEOs but they will convert at a higher rate.

      It all has to align with your overall strategy.

  2. June 10, 2017

    I like this idea a lot. I am just having trouble figuring out how to do it for my business. I offer in home private training and mostly I just have offered packages of 10 and 20 sessions at a time. I have a nice client base that consistently renews with me, and I have never had to worry about them not renewing. The other portion of my clients and new clients are a different story. I have since placed them on a per session basis, as this keeps them from not completing their packages. But I want to offer more term based training and nutrition packages. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Ryan Ketchum
      June 12, 2017

      Hey John,

      If you’re starting with an FEO, I recommend you go with a 14 day Jump Start, 2x per week training and a simple nutrition guide to get them started. Once they get results with that and like the training you can upgrade them to a membership program. It’s like putting you on retainer for your services. 2 or 3x per week either month to month or a 12 month agreement. Charge about 15% more for month to month than you do for 12 month memberships.

      Add an upsell of nutrition coaching that is priced to be profitable for you.


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