Raising prices is scary for many personal trainers. The fear is clients might get angry and quit. Don’t be scared. Think through it and handle the change appropriately to be successful. Here’s how…
You can get over the fear of losing clients by adding up how much more income you will make monthly once you’ve raised your rates and divide that number by your current session price. You will see that you can afford to lose a client or two.
How to Know it’s Time to Raise Your Prices
Timing is important when raising your rates. Ideally, you have met one or more of these personal training milestones:
- You have a waiting list of potential clients.
- Your cost of living and/or business expenses have increased.
- You’ve had the same prices for 1-3 years.
- You have obtained a new certification or credential that sets you apart from other personal trainers with similar prices.
- You have expanded the offerings for your clients – new equipment, nicer gym space, perks like free seminars or discounts on other services, etc.
Example of a Price Increase
If you raise your rates by $5/hour and train about 150 clients each month you will increase your pay by $750. Divide that by $50/hour and you can reasonably lose 15 sessions and your income will stay the same.
If you don’t lose anyone then you will have an extra $750/month and $9,000/year. I’d say that’s worth getting over the fear and taking the chance! Of course, you have to factor in any additional expenses and taxes, but this is an exciting financial change nonetheless.
Transition to a Higher Price With Ease
Another way to use numbers to get you over the hump of raising your prices is to set up a win-win for you and your clients by offering small group training. Susan Finley, the owner of Train Smarter in Birmingham, AL raised her rates with an option for clients that was quite popular. “I encouraged people to move to buddy sessions so that the increase didn’t impact them as much. Those who moved to small groups (which was programming I was trying to grow) LOVED having buddies to work with. So it was a win/win.”
Christine Oakes, owner of Fun2BFit in Silicon Valley, CA and author of Reshape Your Health allows her clients the opportunity to buy a larger package of sessions at the old price and convert to the new rate when that package is complete. Oakes says, “It’s great because now I know that client is definitely committed and there is less admin work for me.”
Finley raised her prices when she upgraded her studio to a new space with better features and equipment. She says, “People seemed to understand that our expenses obviously had increased and were loving the new space. I didn’t lose a single client through all of this.” When prices are raised at the right time with adequate thought and communication it can work out for everyone involved.
Tips for Raising Your Prices
Research other local trainers with the same experience, services, and education as yourself so you have the data for yourself and any inquiring clients. Before raising your prices, amplify your customer service, listening skills, and attentiveness to clients and maintain this new level of service for the future. Step into your new paycheck ahead of time.
Oakes says, “Keeping your clients informed and being upfront about a rate increase is crucial. You don’t want to be sneaky about it. Giving your clients the opportunity to purchase sessions at the current lower rate lets them know that you are looking out for their best interest and not just trying to make money off of them. It shows that you truly care and respect them as a human and a valued client.”
“I had to overcome my instinct to apologize for the increase and instead focused on all we had accomplished, how excited I was about the future and all of the professional accomplishments that set me apart from other fitness coaches,” says Finley. Getting yourself into the mindset that you deserve a raise is an important component of implementing.
Finley received this advice from her mastermind coach, “You’ve got to stop thinking like a trainer and start thinking like a business owner.” Trainers get into the business to help people, not to manage finances, marketing, and business – but it’s part of the role and one to get comfortable with.
How to Tell Your Clients About the Price Increase
- Write a letter to get your thoughts collected ahead of time: including reasons for the raise, a date of the change, and any pertinent details for purchasing at the old rate.
- Hand this letter to each client at the end of a session, but verbally mention what the letter is about to maintain rapport.
- Be short and sweet with your speech when sharing the news.
- Give the letter and have the conversation with clients you feel more comfortable with first, to ease your nerves.
Sample Price Increase Letter Script
I am very passionate about providing you services that incorporate current research and techniques that are safe, effective and specific to your goals. I recently expanded my knowledge and skills by completing the XYZ Program. I am dedicated to education that helps me bring you the best knowledge available. As I continue to invest in myself, I humbly ask you to do the same.
This letter is to formally notify you of a rate increase, effective on X date or with your next payment. The rate changes are:
1:1 Sessions: $70 to $80 2:1 Sessions: $40 to $50
I appreciate your continued support in our journey for health and wellness. Your personal fitness goals and satisfaction are my top priority. As always, I encourage you to communicate any questions or concerns regarding our sessions or this change in rates to me directly. Thank you for the opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for fitness with you.
Yours in Health and Wellness,
What if a client chooses to quit?
Even if you have the buddy option, or allow clients to purchase a block of sessions at the old price, there is a chance someone will leave. This may not affect you financially because you just raised your rates. The spot will eventually get filled. It might not feel good to lose a client, but maybe they would have gone eventually anyhow.
Personal training is a two-way street and sometimes a service isn’t worth the money to a particular person. That’s ok! Say your goodbyes cordially and offer to help the client find a suitable replacement.
Finally, you don’t have to raise your prices on current clients and can apply the raise to new sessions only. Or, make the deal feel sweet to your clients, by telling them of the price increase and then sharing that you will only raise their rate to a number in between the old and the new.
Raising prices isn’t easy, but is an essential part of operating a business in an ever-changing economy. And, if you read to this point of the article then face it – you’re probably ready to take the leap. Reach out to us if you need some support.
Have you ever raised your prices? Is it time for you to increase your rates? Let us know!
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