Pat Rigsby is the co-owner of several businesses in the fitness industry, including the Fitness Consulting Group. He also serves as an industry consultant focusing on the development of profitable personal training departments. To learn how you can improve your club’s retention, referrals and profitability, sign up for Rigsby’s free newsletter and get his three free business building reports at www.fitnessmarketingmachine.com. Rigsby can be reached at pat@fitnessconsultingroup.com.

In the midst of the current recession, many club owners are starting to look for ways that they can generate more revenue from the members they currently have. One obvious way to do this is to sell more personal training. This sounds like a great solution, but a big stumbling block is that your members are most likely feeling the pinch of the changing economy as much as you are.

So what’s the solution to selling more personal training when money is tight? Easy: provide more value for the member’s investment. How do you do that? Well, one simple way is to offer an accelerated results program. I'll give you a brief overview of what that means.

Normally, club owners would offer basic personal training programs. If members purchase two sessions per week for 12 months, operators draft their accounts for a fee equal to eight sessions per month. This has been very simple and quite successful.

But with an accelerated results program, the client would be able to train for three sessions per week for one to four months, two sessions per week during months five through eight, and one session per week during months nine through 12. The key, however, is that the client pays the eight sessions per month rate all year long.

Obviously, the upside is more immediate gratification for the client, which potentially leads to bigger package values and a higher closing percentage—both of which are especially valuable during times like these.

The obvious downside is a smaller margin for the first four months and the client paying for more training than they are receiving during the last four months since they already used the sessions during months one through four. The key to making this accelerated results program work is to deliver great results to keep attrition down during the last four months of the program.

But there is one other potential downside to adding this program—too many choices. If you add several accelerated results programs to your current offerings, you’ll have too many options, and that’s not good.

A smart marketer once said, "Confused minds always say no." It’s true. When you provide too many options to a prospect, they get confused and often decide not to buy anything at all.

So, streamline your offerings to three choices and use the alternate choice approach for converting your members into training clients.

You’ll love the accelerated results programs because they drive more members into bigger training packages. Your members will love them because they’ll get to train more often at a lower price when they need it most. A total win/win.