I’m a big believer in the capitalist system. My parents escaped from a communist country so that they could build a life for themselves and their children. They succeeded because they worked hard, delivered value and sold it for a fair price in a capitalist market. Anyone who says that capitalism is a bad thing either doesn’t want to put in the work, has been knocked down and refused to get back up or just hasn’t realized that the people who make really big money in a capitalist society are those that deliver the best value.
The biggest problem I see with personal trainers and fitness boot camp owners who are struggling to make enough money is that they’re selling personal training in the wrong market.
They’re selling as though they’re in competition with the big box gyms. They’re not.
They’re setting their prices as though they need to compete on price alone. They don’t.
They think they’re selling the same product that the big gyms are selling. They aren’t.
The truth is, if you’re selling personal training under these assumptions, you’ll burn out before you ever start making enough money. Competing with the big box gyms is an exercise in futility and it’s especially tragic because it’s completely unnecessary.
Big box gyms are in the business of selling access. You are selling results. They’re two entirely different things and they’re worlds apart in value. Once you understand a) what you’re really selling and b) how valuable that really is, you will be completely comfortable selling your services for what they’re really worth. And guess what? People will pay it.
Dell and Toshiba and similar companies sell kabillions of $300 laptops all day long. Yet there are millions of people who gladly pay $2000 for a MacBook. Why? Because people who appreciate value are more than happy to pay more for a better product. Imagine if someone at Apple thought they should be competing with Dell!
Let me explain two very important reasons why you are not competing with the big box gyms and how these differences affect what you should be charging when you’re selling personal training.
1. Big box gyms are cheap because they are selling access. You are not, because you’re selling results. When it comes right down to it, all the big box gyms are selling is access to their facility and their equipment. Think about it this way: What if your biggest dream was to get to Hawaii? Now say that someone comes along and tells you they’ll sell you the key to the airport. You can get in. Planes are there and if you know what you’re doing, you could use one of those planes to get to Hawaii. They’ll sell you the key dirt cheap, but you don’t get a pilot, any fuel or any guarantee that air traffic control will help you get where you’re going.
How much would you pay for that key? Twenty bucks? $100? But if someone guaranteed you a key that covered it all and go you to Hawaii what would pay?
Understand this: people pay those low gym prices because all they’re getting is access to the equipment. Most of them never enter the doors, or if they go they fall way short of their goals because they have a plane (the equipment) but no expertise and no pilot.
That’s where you come in. You have the expertise and you are the pilot that helps them achieve their heartfelt goals of changing their bodies and their lives. That has a true value and it’s worth far more than a key to the gym.
2. Big box gyms can make a living on volume alone. You can’t. I see a lot of personal trainers lowering their prices to ridiculous amounts, thinking that low prices will bring in more people and that more people will make up for the low prices. This is not a business model for your training business. Big gyms don’t need staff to take care of each of their members. Gyms only have enough staff to keep the basics running. They don’t worry about providing value.
You, on the other hand, you need the right staff to deliver results to each and every client. You have to have enough time of your own or enough qualified people to deliver some one-on-one attention. If you’ve been competing on price alone, there is very little chance you can afford enough trainers to handle real volume and make real money. You need to start charging what you’re worth.
Take a second and think about a couple of goals or dreams that are most important to you. These need to be things that would seriously impact your happiness and your quality of life. Now imagine that someone offered you full access to reach those goals, and quickly, but there was a price. How much would you be willing to pay?
Now, are you really selling personal training for what it’s really worth?
Committed to Your Success,