Offering free sessions are commonplace in the Personal Training industry. Typically, the Sales Person or the owner if a Sole Operator will conduct the complimentary sessions and then continue through the sales process.
In marketing, a key business Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is the Lifetime Value of the customer. Lifetime Value reflects to how much a client spends with a business in a year. In some PT businesses the average Lifetime Value of a customer can be about $ 4000 per year.
With this in mind, a Personal Trainer giving away free sessions should not be an issue because look at what the business can get back in return. Giving away $ 200 of your time to get $ 4000 in return is very good. Especially when it's only time that you are giving away.
Having said that, offering too many free sessions and not screening or 'qualifying' the prospect first can lead to a situation where you are completing lots of complimentary sessions with people who are just chasing the next opportunity and never intend on joining.
When offering 3 FREE sessions:
The first session should be a 'Goal Setting Session' . This is where you sit the prospect down, have them fill in your Pre Exercise Questionnaire, and dig down into the 'Why' they want to do Personal Training. Ask the 'W' questions.
What … are your goals?
Why … are these your goals?
Where … specifically do you want results?
When … do you want to achieve your results?
During this goal Setting Session, you should try to get the client to see the benefits of your Personal training and at the end if the rapport is high and benefit of your training has been explained then definitely 'ask' for the sale! No need to wait until the 3rd Session.
But what about the other 2 FREE sessions?
The remaining 2 FREE Sessions offered to this client can be added to their 'Pack' of training they purchase. For example, if they sign up for 2 sessions per week, to cover the 2 complimentary sessions still owed, they can simply do 3 sessions for the first 2 weeks of their training.
Offering an incentive to sign on the first session:
You may be asking why would someone sign up on the first session and not wait until they have completed all 3 to make their decision?
Firstly, during that first session you need to build the emotion in the prospect about 'WHY' they want to do this, and 'How' much it means to them. Use that emotion and tell the prospect that 'ACTION' needs to be taken and you recommend we get started now.
As an incentive for joining after the first Goal Setting Session you can offer to double their remaining complimentary sessions and add them to their pack.
If you join today I will double your remaining 2 FREE sessions to 4, how does that sound?
Then we can schedule these 4 complimentary sessions 1 per week for your first 4 weeks which will give you a really good kick start towards your goals, how does that sound?
The End Result:
- If the client takes the offer and joins on the first session they are put on your Direct Debit schedule and that start training that week.
- The person conducting doing the sales in your business can move onto the next prospect and does not have to complete the remaining 2 complimentary sessions, the trainers can do those now as part of their program.
- The FREE Sessions are still being completed but it promises a lot better to have financial commitment already than that client.