Discounts seem to be a hot topic lately in the fitpro forums, mainly because a good percentage of prospect clients seem to expect them as a default. While this certainly sucks, there are certain situations where it's OK to discount and others where it's not.
To understand why your clients are always asking for discounts, take a look at the way most purchases are made in general.
High street shops promote discounts on clothing for which the season has hardly started. Supermarket and big chain store have sale running throughout the year on certain products. Society in general is conditioned to look for and expect them.
This type of thinking is prominent in the fitness industry and unfortunately, a lot of personal trainers succumb to the pressure and offer cookie-cutter type workouts available online under $10.
In this article we're going to discuss the discount mindset, when it's OK to discount your personal training services and when it's not.
A discount is a reduction to the standard price of a product or service. Using it as an element of your overall business strategy can either generate great returns or work against your business.
Whether discounting your services is going to be successful or not depends on a few factors like at what stage of its lifecycle your business is, how many clients you have and what your pricing strategy is.
Using discounts has its place in your marketing if you ensure that it’s part of a bigger strategy. You can identify the most useful way to use discounts for your fitness business by figuring out why you’d like to discount your services and integrating it in to a business plan.
Do you need more cash flow to ensure financial security? Would you like to reach out and help more people? Would you like to create a buzz around your business in your area? Here we list a few scenarios and examples to help you find the discount solution that fits your specific business strategy.
Discounts for Appreciation
If you’re just starting out as a personal trainer or you need immediate cash flow to secure your finances, it can be a good idea to use discounts to generate business. It’s very important, however, to ensure you offer them in a way that won’t create the perception of lower value for your current and new customers.
If people get the idea that your service isn’t worth as much as you originally ask for them, they may buy from you at the discounted rate but won’t renew after. There are a few ways to ensure people understand the value of your service and also appreciate the discount offer.
This means you offer discounts to selected long serving customers as an appreciation for their loyalty. These types of offers wouldn’t be published on your general marketing materials, they would be either sent as part of a loyalty programme or directly offered to hand-picked clients.
The idea is to create a win win situation. Your clients get rewarded for their loyalty and you get a lump sum of money.
Seasonal discount with clearly stated “offer ends” date for new clients. This works if your targeted audience already knows you well enough to appreciate your services. Ideally you would already have their contact details from previous communications and are readers of your emails so you can publish the offer within the funnel or a landing page.
The actual discount itself is usually in line with a season or a holiday. Classic example might include bring your mum to train on Mothers Day or a one time offer during a particular holiday.
If you have multiple elements to a service, you can offer additional services for the price of one. This is an ideal type of discount if the additional service doesn't cost you much in time or money.
Our trade is called personal training for a reason: because it’s personal. It only works for long term if the client can connect with you as the trainer on a personal level and vice versa.
Because of this referrals are still the largest source of traffic when it comes to new leads. Your clients know you well and they will be able to recommend you to people with similar mind-set and needs.
You can create incentives to encourage your current clients to get their friends and family involved in exchange for a discount or other deals. What discount you offer is completely up to you but ensure it’s aligned with your pricing and business strategy.
Discount when marketing spend is reduced
Marketing spend can be reduced by signing clients on for a set period of time. Usually 6 months to a year.
Knowing your client will be sticking around for some time means that you don't have to spend any more money on filling that space.
This will give you more capacity to think about how to use that time and money surplus to take your business to the next level and/or fulfill your personal and business goals.
Discounts are yet another marketing and sales tool that when used correctly and as part of a well thought out business strategy they can boost cash flow and speed up the growth of your brand.
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