Personal Training Pricing: Applying Good Better Best

personal fitness trainer

Good, Better, Best is a multilevel offering sales technique where you present the client with three package offers. Each package is a step up in both quality and in price. This gives a potential client choices, making them more likely to hire you instead of your competition.

Rather than taking multiple bids from different trainers, a potential client has multiple offerings all of which are from you. Given three choices, most people will take the middle level. Rather than constantly pitching a bargain basement price for fear that someone will undercut you, you can offer them quality service.

How sweet is that? Here’s how it works.

Good Package

The pricing that you decide upon in your business should be determined by your operational costs plus a profit margin. Once you know what the minimal amount you need to make to turn a profit you can use that as a base or minimal sale. It is important that you never go below this minimum sale amount because obviously you will lose money. But even if you decide that you can float out one losing sale amongst the others that generate a profit you will still devalue your service.

The amount that you determine to be the minimal sale amount should not be your starting point.

Set that aside in a desk drawer for a fall back. Take that minimum amount and add a small margin such as 20% and use this as the basis for your “Good Package” or lowest level. Your good package should be satisfactory to the consumer but leave them wanting more. It can have fewer sessions per week, a shorter session time or less of your consulting time than your higher packages. You can use any variable that creates value.

For instance, I worked at a gym that had both a Massage Therapist and Dietician on staff. You can work out a commission arrangement with other professionals to offer other professional services in a given package to increase the value. This allows you to expand your offerings without taking on the additional expense or training required.

Furthermore, one hand washes the other and you expand your base of potential clients to include referrals from the professionals you work with.

Better Package

In most cases customers don’t want to buy the “Good Package” because they have learned from prior experience that you get what you pay for. This is where your “Better Package” comes into play.

This package will generally give the customer everything that is included in the “Good Package” plus some very desirable extras. Let’s imagine that your “Good Package” consists of three half hour sessions for twelve weeks. The “Better Package” may include four sessions per week or three one hour sessions for the same twelve week duration. It’s really up to you to decide what variable you want to manipulate.

You want there to be an incentive for a customer to upgrade. There are certain fixed expenses that you will pay to acquire new clients. If it costs you thirty dollars in marketing to get a new client that is a fixed cost that will not change if the person buys a more deluxe package. There are also fixed expenses in clerical work, time spent screening and testing a new client. Because these are fixed expenses you will profit more when a client decides to upgrade their package.

You can pass some of this money back to the customer in the form of a lower price per session. You want to make sure that you are basing this discount on the actual savings and not just creating a number to get people to upgrade. There is an old tongue in cheek saying that goes “I lose five dollars on every sale but I make it up in the volume”. Obviously if you lose money the more you sell the more you will lose.

Best Package

The “Best Package” is the full Monte, granddaddy, lollapalooza, all wrapped up with a bow on it. You want to be secretly dancing a touchdown dance in your mind’s eye when you sell this bad boy. This is for the person that lives life to the fullest and does not want to compromise. If you sell one of these you had better deliver! People will fully expect the very best and anything less will be considered a complete failure on your part.

The “Best Package” needs to be more than just an add-on to the “Better Package”, it needs to be the best service you are capable of delivering. This is where you may want to include services offered by other professionals or very personalized one on one face time on a regular basis. Don’t be afraid to charge a premium price!

The person that will purchase this package wants value for their dollar and not a discount price. I cannot caution you enough that this is where you want to put on your A-Game because you can really make a name for yourself or totally discredit your reputation. It is very rare that you will sell this package to the general population. This brings you into a whole different market.

It may seem somewhat frivolous to have this as an offering. But it is there more as a psychological tool than anything else. It will make your “Better Package” seem much more reasonable by comparison. The average consumer will think; “wow that is way more than I want to spend perhaps the “Better Package” is more my speed”. The “Better Package” obviously should be a big profit center for your training business. If you market it right and carefully price it you will do quite well even if you never sell the “Best Package” to anyone.


Presenting the Quote

Once you have met with the client, discussed their individual goals and told them about your service you will need to present them with a price quote. When you prepare your quote you should include a price for all three levels of service. Hand your quote to the prospect and ask them politely to look it over and let them know that you will gladly answer any questions.

At this point you don’t want to say a single word unless you are asked a question.

There will be a real temptation to fill in the silence with reasons to hire you but if you do it will be the death of your sale. Count to 30 in your head and then 30 again so that you realize not that much time is actually passing. It’s all perception from nerves.
Allow the customer some uninterrupted time to deliberate or when you try to talk them into a sale they will shut you right down. Let them look over the quote until it looks like they have finished reading it.

Once they have had time to deliberate you ask them, “Which package are you are interested in?”. They will either decide to buy one of your three packages or decline. If they decline you need to determine why. Ask them if it is a matter of cost. Let them know that you would really like to work with them but obviously you can’t do it for free.

One Last Chance!

Let the customer know that somewhere between free and your “Good Package” there has to be a price that would be affordable. Ask them what that might be for them. Now, remember the price point you secretly hid in your desk? Be prepared to offer them a package that fits their needs slightly below the “good package” but above your bottom line.

If they are not willing to go with that price point than you simply cannot do business with them and make a profit. Be gracious, thank them for their time and get on with your day. There are some customers that will cost you money to do business with and will not help you to grow your business. Generally the people that pay the least expect you to provide them with the most. Not everyone is a match.

Sell Your Passion for Fitness

If you bring your passion with you to work you will always be in good company. You became a personal trainer because you have a passion for fitness. People don’t want to do business with you because you are an effective sales person. The reason they are there in the first place is that they want to be a part of the circle of influence of an inspirational trainer and gain from that expertise. If you fumble a bit at your sales presentation but show them a genuine love for fitness you will still gain clients. Be a fitness enthusiast first and the sales will follow.

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John Rutnik is a NFPT Certified Personal Trainer. He holds an AAS in Electrical Technology and has been a certified personal trainer since 2008. John has been involved in physical fitness and weight training since the late 70’s and is an avid outdoors man. He became a personal trainer after rehabilitating himself from a spinal injury he sustained in a car accident and losing 70 pounds. John later obtained ISSA Certifications as both a Fitness Trainer and Specialist in Sports Nutrition and became Lead Fitness Trainer at Anytime Fitness in Schenectady NY. His training philosophy is “no man left behind,” everyone deserves a chance to succeed.