Increasing your personal training rates can always be a tricky subject, especially with existing clients. There is always the fear that they will not take the price hike well and you could lose some clients. Sometimes just thinking about it can be so daunting that you might change your mind altogether. For your fitness business to survive you do need to increase your rates at certain points so don’t keep putting it off and give it a shot with this 5 step strategic method.
When done strategically you can increase your rates and still hold on to your most valuable clients. It is also important to remember that you will always lose a few clients along the way as you grow your fitness business and that is okay.
By having a few guidelines in place you can increase your hourly rates while ensuring that most of your clients stay on board. We give you the breakdown of how exactly to go about the processes so that it is less stressful for you and not a big shock for your clients. Here are the areas you need to focus on:
Do it gradually
Try and put yourself in your client’s shoes for a while and imagining how they would feel if overnight you doubled your rates. It would come as a bit of a shock and they might even feel a bit betrayed by you. Make sure to give your clients time to get used to the idea. You could send out an email about two months before the year ends stating that starting from the new year there will be an increase in your rates. The increase should also be gradual so you should consider an increase of 10 to 20% and no more at a time.
Reassure your clients
The price hike will change the dynamic of your relationship with your client a bit. Even a two months advance notice and a gradual increase, some clients will feel a bit insecure after hearing the news. You will need to assure them that this will not be a regular occurrence and will most likely happen once a year or once in six months and no more than that. Also, let your clients know that all new clients will be charged a higher rate but not them.
Increase your value
In the two months or so before you increase your rates you have to make your clients feel that you are worth it. Increase your value added services and give them a better product/experience. Tell them about some market research, knowledge learned, or courses done to help boost their fitness results or prioritize some of their requests. Focus on a more solution oriented approach to your client’s needs and deliver in those areas. There is a fine balance to be maintained here so be clear on how much you will do and don’t be taken advantage of.
You could put out a survey along with your announcement asking your clients for feedback on how you can improve your personal training services. Tell them that in view of the price hike you are also looking to provide better quality and if there are any areas that they think could use improving. You are not only letting your clients know that you are offering better services but also that you value their opinion. If you become so valuable to the client then at the end of the two months they will be happy to pay the increased rates rather than lose you.
Weeding out low value
There will always be those personal training clients that don’t want to pay the increased rates. You can ask them what their reasons are and then decide how to deal with each case. Some will say that they don’t want to pay more for the same service, in this case the above point comes in handy. Show them that you will be offering a better quality of service. Other clients might not be able to afford the new rates; you can then decide if you still want to work with these clients or not. If you like working with the clients, then you could try and work out a deal for them. You could offer tiers of services and they can avail of a lower tier. If you are not happy with the clients, then you could suggest finding them a new provider for the service.
And there are still others who will just not value you and your time enough to want to pay more. It is okay to let these clients go. Having to deal with clients who are overly demanding and want more for less can be tiring and reduce your productivity. Cutting ties strategically could actually work out well for your fitness business and your peace of mind.
Play a fair game
Do a bit of research and make sure that your rates are competitive. If you try to charge your clients too much you will lose them. There will be a natural instinct for your clients to check out other service providers when you increase your personal training rates. If they are able to get the same service for a lower rate you will stand to lose them. Make sure that your years of experience and the quality of the service you offer back you up when it comes to a slightly higher price. Clients who have been with you for a while, getting the results they desire, will understand your value.
However, an unreasonably large difference in what you are charging, the value your clients are getting and compared to your competitors may not go well for you.
Alternatively, you should be careful not to price your personal training service too low. You might actually lose out on clients who think that your rates are low because your services are not of a good standard. Or you could get a whole lot of clients simply because of your low rate and then risk losing them all when you decide on a price hike. Understanding the rates of the personal training industry, in your area, with your knowledge and experience will help you fix your rate according to what is most common in your field.
But, always remember, you get paid according to the problem you solve and how effectively you solve that problem for clients. The better you are; the more in demand you will be, which in turn makes you more money as a personal trainer.
To sum this up
When you are a personal trainer who charges by the hour it can be a challenge to increase your rates. While you could increase your rates for new clients, it is always good to hold on to the clients you already have. Be gradual with your approach to increasing your rates. Give your clients time to digest the news and don’t have a drastic price hike. 10 – 20% increases in rates are usually easier for the client to accept.
Assure your training clients that this is not a regular feature and hikes will happen once in six months or less. Invite client feedback to improve your services and give them better value for money. Clients are more likely to pay higher rates for better quality. Let go of those clients that are not adding value to your business. And finally keep your rates competitive and inline with your quality of service.
When you play your A game you will get a steady flow of clients. Those that value a good service will remain loyal and those that don’t, you are better off without them. Do your job well, keep providing the level of service that your clients expect of you and you will they won’t mind paying the increased rates.