This series is all about rebuilding your business.
In the first three parts, we tore it down, sifted through the ashes and identified what you want to keep. Then we set the cornerstones for your new business: nutrition coaching, group exercise coaching, personal exercise coaching and online coaching.
In the previous installment, we identified which of your clients need which of the four services you offer. Today, we’ll build them into packages and walk through the sales process.
To work along, download this resource: Your Gym 2.0 Worksheet—Part 2.
To watch my May 10 webinar, click here.
The Prescriptive Model
You’re the authority, coach.
It’s your job to get your clients what they need to improve their fitness.
You can teach that knowledge directly, you can partner with someone else to fill in the blanks or you can buy the expertise and deliver it. The last one is my favorite. But it all starts with the Prescriptive Model.
The Prescriptive Model starts with a free consultation (we call it a No Sweat Intro). You’ll use a motivational interviewing strategy to find out what the client is really trying to accomplish.
Then, using your wisdom and experience, you’ll determine the client’s needs. These will include sleep, eat, move and manage needs (the SEMM model, which we teach at Twobraincoaching.com).
Then you’ll match your services to those needs. Yesterday, we said that your services were N, G, P, O: nutrition, group exercise, personal exercise and online training.
Nutrition solves the “eat” problems.
Group and personal exercise coaching solve the “move” problem.
The “sleep” and “manage” problems are solved with online services.
You make the client a prescription like this:
“Your goal is to lose 15 lb.”
“You said that your underlying problem is really that you have too much free time right now, and you said you procrastinate all day. Plus the cookie cupboard is between your office and your bedroom.
“Our best course of action is to start you moving and build some habits around nutrition before we make any specific plan. Do you agree?”
When the client agrees, you’ve identified the “rocks” in their glass and the “pebbles” (I’ll let you decide which is which).
So you build the plan to include online work and exercise—but you have two exercise options. So you ask, “Would you prefer to do your physical training in a small group setting or one-on-one with me?”
And while you’re at it: “Would you prefer to do all your exercises at the gym or would you rather have the flexibility to do some at home?”
Note the answers, then flip to your pricing binder and quote the rate.
Finally, book a follow-up appointment for a month later. You’ve already identified that needs will change over time (they’ll need a nutrition plan when their habits have been firmed up). In a month, you’ll assess progress with motivational interviewing and make a new prescription.
Build your prices based on the value to your client, not on the time required to deliver the service.
Many coaches underprice their online accountability program because it doesn’t take them much time to deliver. Or they believe the client values the in-person experience more than a daily video text. But the opposite is actually true.
The more personal your service, the more valuable it is.
Here’s the hierarchy of your pricing model:
Top Tier: in-person, 1:1 exercise coaching (your full attention for a set amount of time).
Second Tier: in-person, 1:1 nutrition coaching (your full attention for a shorter amount of time).
Third Tier: online customization of your group exercise coaching (around 2-3 minutes per client per day).
Fourth Tier: online customization of a group nutrition program.
Fifth Tier: in-person group exercise coaching (your discount in-person option without customization).
Sixth Tier: online Zoom classes.
Seventh Tier: online delivery of a general program with no customization and no communication. This would be selling your programming or setting up an email automation. The key isn’t the value of the program but the lack of customization or conversation.
(Note how many gym owners sell only the bottom three tiers.)
Now, you should already have your rates for personal training, nutrition coaching and group coaching. Your rate for online delivery of these same services should be the same as the in-person rate.
In the covid crisis, we told gyms to provide customization to their clients: general group programming and a two-minute video text telling each client exactly how to approach the workout that day. That’s a higher-value service than in-person group training would be (unless you’re providing that same customization in person). But we were also careful to tell clients they’re getting a higher-value service for their money while the crisis continues.
The Prescriptive Model is your “secret sales pitch.” There’s no secret script; just reps.
Prepare a pricing binder. List your options on different pages.
Write your prescription on a notepad (we put templates for Rx pads in our RampUp program).
Present the options to clients; show them the sales binder.
If they say, “I can’t afford it,” that’s fine. Ask what they can afford, then say, “If that were my budget, I’d start with this,” and then flip to the page featuring the priority service (the big “rock” in the glass).
Some gyms are reporting success with weekly pricing instead of monthly. Though not a familiar concept in North America, this is a very common practice in Australia and New Zealand. Think about it: There’s no reason to charge monthly outside of convention (most subscription services and bills charge monthly). It’s just tradition. You don’t have to stick to it. Break your price down into a weekly rate and sell that way if it helps your clients.
This might sound overwhelming, so let me make it easy for you:
Ask your clients, “What will help you most right now?”
Have a price ready: Know what that service is worth. Provide it if you can. Have a partner if you don’t.
Let your business rebuild itself based on what your clients want instead of what other gyms are doing (or not doing). Follow your clients to success.