The Key To Selling Long Term Memberships For Personal Trainers
Is it getting tougher to sell long term memberships to your personal training or group training clients?
Maybe, there is definitely a trend in the market to move towards less commitment and more flexibility. You can’t ignore that. However, you also can’t ditch long term membership plans all together because selling them is a bit more challenging.
I still think there is a need, and people are willing to commit, to a service over extended periods of time.
Your Membership Options
A big mistake that I see fitness business owners and personal trainers making with their long term agreements is offering too many options. This only confuses the potential new client and makes their decision more difficult. Creating that friction results in fewer sales, which can be perceived as prospects not wanting longer term commitments.
To keep things simple create JUST TWO membership length options. A month-to-month option with a 30 day cancellation and a 12 month or longer membership option with an automatic renewal.
You can then prescribe the set number of days that is best for that individual client to achieve their results in the appropriate period of time. You can offer them 1, 2, 3, or even 5 day per memberships.
Allowing flexibility to adjust the number of days as needed will make people more comfortable with committing long term and keep your clients around longer.
Why not 3, 6, and 12 months?
Well, from my experience you sell a majority of the 3 and 12 month memberships when offering 3 or more term lengths. There is very little upside to a 3 month over a month-to-month commitment for your business, at least financially. So, make it as easy as possible to do business with you and keep it simple.
Pricing Your Programs
Here’s the second big mistake that personal trainers make when building their membership or pricing options. You discount your long term memberships, essentially accepting to get paid less for the program that you feel is best for that client.
Is there a better way?
Of course! It’s a simple mindset shift on your part as a business owner. When setting your prices you will price your longest term membership at the rate you want to make for delivering your services. Then you charge a premium for anything shorter. This premium can be anywhere from 5-20% depending on how you want to position the programs.
To the customer this will be perceived as a discount, but you are protecting yourself from discounting your services and falling below your profit goals. That’s a win-win!
Prescription Vs. Price Sheet
Finally, if you want to sell more long term memberships you need to prescribe the right program for the client. Avoid using a price sheet or showing your client all the offerings you have and prices during the close.
You don’t go to a doctor and ask to see a list of all the prescriptions that may cure your illness or make you feel better. They write it out, you get it filled…end of story. Every so often you may ask for another medication because the one prescribed is too expensive or doesn’t agree with you. In that case your doc will prescribe another medication or generic form to meet your needs.
The same is true with closing a personal training sale:
- Prescribe the best program for that person
- Let them object or accept
- Handle objections if needed
- Deliver the results
If you feel that a 12 month, 3 day per week program is the right fit for a prospect and let them that is what you are prescribing to help them reach and sustain their goals you have now shame in presenting that offer to them.
Any objections that come up can be easily addressed with a different offer such as month to month, 2 days per week or some other alternative.
The alternative route of handing over a price sheet and saying “which program do you think you want to do” takes you out of the driver’s seat. Your prospects are seeking your expert recommendation not someone to provide them a smorgasbord of options that make no sense to them.
One final tip for you…
Signing a client to a month-to-month doesn’t mean a life sentence of higher monthly payments for them. Get a system in place that cues you or your team to upgrade a client who has had a great experience and got good results after 2-3 months to a 12 month membership.
Not only will it save them money each month but you have extended out the lifetime value of that client for your business.
If you need to get away from financial reasons, it also means you get to work with this client longer to ensure they stay on track and turn it into sustainable results.
Long Term Memberships Are Still The Way To Go!
It may require a bit more sales skill and finesse on your part to sell long term memberships to your clients, but it is well worth the trouble. Not only will it provide more security and stability in your business but it reduces the stress you have as a business owner.
I can’t imagine having to worry about losing a large majority of my clients month after month.
Oh, and one final tip! Either of these memberships options I’ve suggested set you up to establish a foundation of autopay or EFT revenue for your business. You’ll save time chasing down payments and have a good sense of the revenue to expect month after month in your business.
This confidence in your revenue, without having to re-sell or sell new clients, allows you to make better decisions for your business. Not to mention, if you can build up your autopay revenue to cover your expenses, the reduced stress you’ll have as a business owner.
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