Why Charging By The Hour Punishes Personal Trainers For Being Good

Us personal trainers often really suck at making money. This is because we fail to charge what we’re worth.

Personal trainers who charge less, in fact, undercut you to win business.  

Both personal trainers and commercial gyms are guilty of this practice. It’s smarmy AF and erodes the integrity of what we do.

If you have a strong opinion about this, check out  UK PT’s Facebook Group put together by Josh Mullin (PT Tool Box). Go there and be in-the-know. There are some cracking discussions going on always.

Recently, a trainer asked a question. He wanted some moral support and affirmation regarding his desire to double his prices.

This perked my interest.

Yet it was the comments from about one hundred other PT’s chipping in that left a sour taste in my mouth. Trolls.

The comments were packed with negativity, suggesting that “selling” is a bad thing in our industry. Seriously? Making money is absolutely critical to what we do. There was, I knew, something more to the story.

But first, here’s my 8 reasons why personal trainers fear asking for real money:

1. You’d have to upskill yourself. Learn about business, selling, persuasion, influence, and leadership. This requires you to admit that you know less than you know, then commit to a greater vision of your life and business.

2. Clients will demand more of you. You’ll have to actually live by your values, not just provide lip service. For a premium price, your clients should expect nothing less than a premium person.

3. Overcome your fear around money and selling personal training. I’m not the first person to say this: money is not inherently good or bad. It’s an energy, and it’s up to you to decide what kind it is.

4. You’d have to challenge the status quo. You’ll be standing alone rather than fitting in. As seen in the UK PTs Facebook Group, there is massive resistance. There is a saying in China: the raised nail gets hammered down. If you want to fit in with a billion other people, don’t stand out. But real money requires rare courage.

5. Stop comparing yourself to other personal trainers and their fees. Do not worry about what others might think about you. All you have to do is to be you. Recognise your value and demand a proper exchange of value.

6. Losing Clients. You might think it is a bad move to increase your prices in fear of losing clients or feel, psychologically, that you are simply not worth it.

7. Living in old patterns and habits manifested outside of the gym as you were growing up. Have you read my how to become wealthy as a personal trainer blog? I go into what money meant to me growing up as well sharing my untold story here  

8. Working on someone else’s gym floor. They dictate the prices. They choose the commission. When you really do the math, it works out less than what you would be paid for working for McDonald’s. When you do eventually charge more (and you will!), remember this, and set up a system which rewards good talent in your business.

Alright. So how do you charge what you’re worth, profit handsomely and have clients happily agree to pay you?

Let’s jump in.

Chase The Money (client comes second)

I have always chased the money before the client.

What do I mean by this?

It starts with rewriting that story that the more clients we have, the more successful we’ll be. This is simply not true.

This destroys your free time and your personal life and relationships. Read more about that here.

Taking a helicopter view, this the very thing causing our industry to fail.

There’s been a lot of talk about low budget gyms. How, for example, Xercise4less Gyms are taking large chunks of a personal trainers income.

Who could blame them? It’s a business and must maximise its income potential. It’s the same logic that should apply to you charging more for what you do.  

However, charging less, whether it’s a gym membership or a personal training session, gives permission to everyone to have a lot less responsibility to the client.

The answer? Raise prices and raise standards. This automatically creates a greater sense of responsibility and, in turn, reduces procrastination, something overworked and underpaid personal trainers are so very very good at.

Despite us being in the “game” of fitness, personal trainers aren’t really willing to do the work required to level-up. We just get the job done.

The client turns up. We provide a so-called workout based on their wishes for the day and that’s it. Then clock out. Done.  

If this isn’t you and you’d like a proven approach that’ll help you charge more for your services (even if you have no clue what you are worth yet), then read on, my friend.

Coming up with your current pricing strategy probably didn’t take much effort. Most just engage in a few web clicks, sheepishly browsing prices and sorta guessing where you might place yourself. That best guess is usually based on age, experience, qualifications, and the psychological element I alluded to earlier.

Instead, just put yourself in your client’s shoes.

Start by asking these questions of yourself:

  • What are your clients’ 3 biggest problems?
  • What’s their biggest frustrations?
  • How long has this been going on for?  
  • What have they tried previously which didn’t work?
  • What moments can you create that would take your client’s breath away?
  • What are your client’s concerns when hiring a personal trainer?

Want to go deeper? Try these on:

  • What factors does the fitness industry take for granted and should be eliminated?
  • What factors should be raised well above industry standards?
  • What benefits should be created which the fitness industry never offered?

Already, just by reading these questions, you are constructing a more profitable mindset, one that puts the money first and comes from a place of empathy and understanding of what really matters to people.

Project Management

Your fee should be based on the client’s goal, the problems you have the solution for, and when you will achieve it. Do not charge on an hourly basis.

A lack of timing is a pet hate of mine. For example, you go to the physio because you are injured, but they rarely ever give you a date when you can expect to be fully recovered and fixed.

They’ve got you hooked. It could go on forever. For what reason?

For-profit, of course. Conveniently, they don’t know when you’ll be fixed, as they are not convinced they’ll have another client coming to pay their hourly fee. So who better to pay this than you?

The fitness industry falls into the same trap. Personal trainers get paid for their time, not their results.

This is backwards. Personal Trainers get punished for being good.  

Alwyn Cosgrove first brought this to my attention.

If it takes you 10 training sessions to get the same results as I do with a client, where it only took me 5 training sessions, on the current personal training payment model, you will get paid more.

So, surely if I achieved the results in less time than you (by half), I should be worth more (more valuable)?

My First £7,200 Client

Considering the amount this client invested in for my services, and the promise I made to them to deliver results in a specific time frame, a massive pressure was put into place.

Most personal trainers are afraid of this kind of pressure. They would prefer to undervalue themselves to avoid failure. I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way.

You’ve had your fair share of the following:

  • Clients cancelling 5 minutes before their session started or after
  • Clients not prioritising your services
  • Client no-shows
  • Cold emails from clients wanting to cancel and expecting a refund with no explanation
  • Clients just turning up and going through the motions
  • Client complains when she doesn’t hit her goals
  • Client goes to the trainer down the road who is undercutting you with their low ball prices

Have a client like this? Share your worst client story below in the comments.

Stop wasting your time with these types of clients.

Let’s role reverse this. What if you were responsible for your own situation?

You’ve been given a cheap £10 watch, with no brand. Nothing special about it. Just plain and simple.

How would you treat this watch?

On the flipside, you could be fortunate enough to purchase a Breitling Colt Automatic for £3000. You pay in full.

How would you treat this watch in comparison to the cheap, unbranded watch?

There’s a massive difference, right?

The same is true when you charge a premium for your services.

The key is to stop thinking of your services as a commodity. They are not just workouts.

How? Your services help others in more ways than you can imagine, including helping yourself. It’s you who becomes the leader, the role model. And you cannot offer life advice if you don’t have your shit together yourself.

When you have yourself together, you offer more than workouts. You offer clients more life.

Become More Than Just Muscles

I’ll hand this over to Skip La Cour.

How do I get someone to start using the "right" training or ea…

"How To Get Someone To Use The 'Right' Training Or Eating Strategy?"It's frustrating when people won't listen to logic, isn't it? Here are some things to think about when you want to help people with the "right" information.P.S. The 15 MANformation Steps will help you become a better communicator because you'll understand both sides better. Get inside with the current group of men while you can. Access is free and instant. www.15MANformationsteps.com

Posted by Skip La Cour on Saturday, 13 May 2017

In a nutshell, the majority of your clients’ goals that you face requires help with their nutrition and exercise strategies. But to get your clients to consistently follow through, there is something completely different that we weren’t taught in PT Certification.

Something you haven’t been able to figure out yourself either. Why were you able to stick to your exercise and eating plan so diligently, yet your clients somehow cannot?

Once you understand this, clients will pay whatever you want to help them solve this challenge.

You are selling more than a workout. You are selling the invisible.

Yes Is For Poor Personal Trainers. To Become Rich, Get Used To Hearing NO.

Previously, I shared a recording of a client consultation in which trainers felt the need to reply in a negative way.  They say signing one client out of every 3 prospects is nothing to shout about.

To which I replied…

For the two “NOs” I received (clients not willing to pay for my services), I received one “Yes”…

Here’s the math:

2 clients pay £300 each per month (total of £600)

or

1 client to pay £800 per month

Which is the better deal?

If you knew, in advance, that for every 3rd client you consulted with, you’d sign them up for the price of 2 low paying clients, plus £200 more, would you be happy?

Of course. You work less. Fewer clients to manage means better quality time with each high paying client. In turn, they become a more committed client, and you receive more money and profit.

Let “NO” serve as a motivator. If you get a no, get to work on becoming better at sales. Do whatever it takes.

“NO” keeps out the cheapskates. These are the worst clients to work with, don’t you agree? You want clients that respect and value you enough to work hard and achieve results. These will become your billboard clients! Which will then get you higher paying clients? It’s a vicious cycle of awesome.

Let “NO” be a reminder that you are different. That you will be successful. That you have no desire to fit in but to rise above and stand in the face of fitness.

Let “NO” mean you have to upskill yourself all the time. To this day, I still get a NO and it now and forever only means that I have to continue to learn and develop myself more.

It was Jeffrey Gitomer’s fantastic book The Sales Bible which turned on the lightbulb for me.

He said, “The sale starts when the customer says no.” Brilliant.

From now on, take that approach. It turns the formerly negative into a positive, raging fuel.

Then, when you get the “YES” from the client you want willing to pay the fee you deserve, it will feel 100 times better than you’ve ever experienced. After that, you’ll never settle for anything else.

“Missing out” on all those low-end sales doesn’t matter anymore.

What Amount of Money Do You Need To Earn To Feel Successful?

Better yet, what would it cost to live your dream life?

Back to my very first point: chase the money. This dictates a number of clients you need, not the other way round.

Have fun while you figure this out.

How much would you like to earn in the next year?

£50,000, £100,000… 1 million?

What is the amount per month?

Now, play around and divide the desired amount per month by the number of clients you’d like to have.

At first, the numbers may seem very unrealistic.

Find something you are comfortable with, but stretches you at the same time. Motivates you without breaking you. Like you were chasing a new PB in the gym.

For example, could you charge £500 per month per client?

If so, 16 clients would make you £8,000 per month, or £96,000 per year.

How do you convince a client to pay you £500 per month?

First, don’t focus on a number of workouts you will include (yet).

Simply nail the primary reasons the clients need you and what you can fix that they haven’t (or anyone else) hasn’t been able to for the past 10 or so years? Answer these questions and apply some basics and you’ll be on a six-figure income faster than ever.

Need extra help with this? Click here to watch my free PT Growth Lab module: “Formulate: Create Potent Result-Driven Training Packages.”

 

 

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