Latest News Pro Fitness Program - category

By: Pro Fitness Program  09-12-2011
Keywords: Fitness , Personal Training, Training Sales

When I first started my consulting company I was under the impression that consulting was all about creating a system, selling that system to a company for a one time fee, and then letting them run with the program and make it work for themselves. I guess it's similar to Trainers who believe that personal training is all about educating a client and letting them go out on their own. Anyone who knows what I stand for, and what I've been teaching and promoting in the industry since the early 90's, knows that I'm a proponent of personal training for life. I just wasn't doing it in my own business until only about 3 years ago. 

We totally changed our price structure and billing method and the entire way we do consulting. I have to thank Joe Asch for pointing me in the right direction and sharing his experiences with the way Bain Consulting ran their organization. Just like an initial consultation without another one to compare and follow up with, business consulting is no different. It's all about long term relationships, retraining and making adjustments and finding ways to be creative and to grow the program over the long haul. 

Well Joe practices what he preaches and has insisted that I visit his club 4 times per year for at least 2-3 days per visit for the last 11 years. Last week was no different, and I spent 3 full days working with the various departments to find solutions and ways to improve performance. Many would be happy with the results that the River Valley Club has achieved with 2000 members and personal training sales averaging 1.6 million per year. Why on earth would a club owner continue to invest in more training and consulting, when on the surface it would appear that the club has mastered the system? 

Maybe this will clearly answer that question. On my previous consulting trip we hired a new Fitness Consultant, Jason Shaffer pictured below. After some initial training Jason was successful in selling a good percentage of his clients personal training but was unable to generate more than 12 session packages. On this trip, I spent a few hours over two days observing his consultation and then getting out on the floor and making some suggestions both in terms of the gym floor training demonstration and the prescription sales process at the back of the consultation journal. On Wednesday night, just as I was about to leave the club and head back to Toronto, Jason came running out of the PT department with some papers in his hand and a smile from ear to ear. He just sold his first 144 session package using the tools I had provided him with. He was elated, and I could tell for the first time that he believed he could do it and that this was going to be more of a regular occurrence from here on out. I have worked with so many FCs over the years and it's always amazing to see when everything comes together and there is a breakthrough in terms of competence, commitment and belief. 

Jason and Jeff at RVC

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I know everyone is interested in which Trainer finished with the most sessions trained and it really did go down to the wire! Also check out the write up on the stages of change and required conditions for a personal training department to grow. 

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On December 13th, 2010 the New York Times ran an article on how important it is for clients to hire Trainers both for knowledge and safety. Thanks to Elizabeth Asch, the owner of the River Valley Club in New Hamphsire, for bringing this to our attention.

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With only a few days to go until the end of the year, there is a very close 3-way race for Trainer of the Year. As of December 20th at 9pm, Tim Marsh from the River Valley Club in Hanover New Hampshire is showing a total of 1476 completed one on one personal training sessions. Eric Olympico from Phoenix Fitness in Ancaster Ontario is a very close second at 1471 sessions, while last year's Trainer of the Year, Matt Stirling from Performance Fitness in Chatham Ontario is closing quickly with 1436 sessions and over 60 completed in the last 2 weeks.

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I just returned from our meeting with our Senior Web Developer Adrian Duyzer to discuss upcoming new features to our version 2 software. With 3 of our clubs coming on board this month with the full club software package, we wanted to ensure that the transition was as smooth as possible. Our programming team completed the program for the transfer of information within the week and the process has started with Absolute Fitness, the Fitness Firm and Performance Health and Fitness.

In our conversations Adrian indicated that he was using Google Chrome as his preferred Browser to run the software. When he claimed that it was noticeably faster that Firefox I had to go home and give it a try. I was amazed at the difference and I immediately added the Google Chrome Browser to my two computers. I am recommending that all staff in our Pro Fitness clubs make this transition as soon as possible whether that's version 1 or 2.  Please ensure that you are not using Explorer. In any business efficiency is a requirement and when you're dealing with scheduling, sales transactions, payroll and reporting you can never be too quick. Make the change today and then comment below.  

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I bet the number one reason why clubs are hesitant to raise fees is because they have not been successful selling personal training to begin with. The lack of sales has little or nothing to do with your competition's PT rates or whether or not you charge $40 or $60 per session. Trust me, we've been setting up personal training sales programs for all types of clubs since 1998 and get outstanding results each and every time. If you have a predictable sales system in place with well trained Fitness Consultants who can build value and overcome objections, price will be very insignificant in the bigger picture.

Raising your prices will accomplish several things. It will allow your Trainers a chance to earn more and prove to them that you value their services and appreciate their loyalty and continuing education. It will demonstrate to your members that you value personal training and believe that it is a tremendous investment or indeed the best investment your clients can make. In fact, most clients ask their Trainers when their fees are going to go up because they want to support them in getting a raise. We have had little to no resistance when one of our Senior Trainers moves up to a Master Trainer Level and approaches their clients to let them know their session rate will be increasing by $5 -$10 per session. You also have to take into the consideration the increased costs of doing business today. From processing fees, increased utility costs, equipment maintenance, employee benefits, addition HR costs, etc., club owners must ensure that they maintain at least a 30% profit margin on personal training sales at all times. We're happy to say that all of our clients are monitored and trained to consistently achieve those margins and more.

Jeff Russo

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The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

Keywords: Fitness , Personal Training, Personal Training Sales, Training Sales,