The key ingredient that has consistently stimulated success for personal training, is for the club operator and the personal trainer to create a “perception-of-value” in the eyes of the educated consumer.

Once the value is there, price is not the issue. However, if the value is never created, if the service is not consistent and is not maintained or delivered, then there is a problem.

Can you honestly say that your educated consumers (members and non-members) in your marketplace can expect and get the following from personal training at your club:

  • a consistent experience?
  • an intentional experience?
  • a differentiated experience?
  • a valuable experience?
  • If you answer “yes” to these questions, then this article is for you.

    If you answer “no” to these questions, then your ability to grow your personal training revenue is limited. In fact, you're probably using the following to sell personal training:

  • Buy nine personal training sessions for the price of six.
  • Buy three personal training sessions for $99.
  • End of month close-out specials.
  • Join now and receive four free personal training sessions.
  • If you are having “fire” sales for personal training, you should definitely read the rest of this article.

    ARE YOU READY FOR 2003?

    Imagine what would happen to your bottom line if you were able to offer the following services to your members in January:

  • Personal training services: multilevel (apparently healthy and high risk).
  • Group training sessions.
  • One-on-one flexibility training sessions.
  • Sport-specific one-on-one and group personal training sessions.
  • Medical exercise services, one-on-one training sessions, including pre-natal/post-partum, structural integrity training, training for special populations, cancer recovery training, and post rehabilitation training (orthopedic).
  • It will take a talented and skillful staff to support fee-based services. However, it can be done if you're ready to make the commitment.

    The following multi-tier, multi-level personal training program model can help you get ready.

    An entry level personal trainer. This is a “generalist” who can work with individuals that are “apparently healthy.” However, depending on training, they may be able to work with individuals who are overweight, slightly de-conditioned and individuals who have general sports training objectives.

    A senior personal trainer. A specialist who is able to train individuals that are either “apparently healthy” or classified as red flag but in the low risk category of the “high-risk” spectrum. These trainers can work with individuals who have for example: osteoporosis, obesity, sports-specific or pre-natal/post partum training.

    A personal coach. The “best of the best.” These individuals are specialists who can handle most conditions or issues for individuals in all three levels. But their experience, credentials, accomplishments, reputation and technical skill sets dictate a higher fee for their services. But more important, because of the types of issues or conditions that they can address, these subject-matter experts also need greater relationship-building skills.

    With this training model everyone wins. Consumers win because they are getting a higher level of training; trainers win because they are making more money; and the club wins because its gross and net income increases.

    Bob Esquerre is a program design specialist, a business planner, master trainer and program developer for Reebok University. He is also the owner of the Esquerre Fitness Group International and a personal trainer.

    THE MULTI-LEVEL PROFILE

    Training level 1: Consumer pays X$ and trainers are paid a flat rate because they are at the entry level.

    Training level 2: Consumer pays X+Y$ and trainers are paid a higher flat rate because they have completed additional credential requirements.

    Training level 3: Consumer pays X+Y+Z and trainers are paid a higher flat rate because they have a higher level of credentials and experience.